Help! I've got a slipped disc!

We often hear the phrase in clinic "I've got a slipped disc!" often coupled with "X practitioner clicked my disc back in" but did you know that these 2 statements are very misleading and that they are not exactly true? Let's have a look why… A little anatomy lesson. The discs themselves are really known as Intervertebral Discs, which are located between 2 bones in your spine, the vertebrae. The discs are comprised of several incomplete rings of ligaments, known as the anulus, with a jelly like substance in the middle, the Nucleus Pulposus and have tougher fibres above and below them, the End Plates, that connect into the bones above and below. Discs allow a wide range of movements to happen in the spine whilst also acting as shock absorbers.  As you can see from the disc's construction, they are tough, and will oppose almost any type of force placed on them. Thanks to the surrounding ligaments of the spine, and the disc's thick end plates which attach directly into the vertebrae, ...

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What is referred pain?

A common question we hear in clinic is "What does referred pain mean?", and it's quite a valid one as it can be quite confusing!  Put simply, referred pain relates to pain felt in an area which is elsewhere from the source of the pain, the pain originates in a different part of the body. This confusing occurrence is caused by a network of sensory nerves that all connect. These nerves join with each other in the spinal cord and signals passing through a small number of these nerves can get confused. This triggers sensations in parts of the body that are supplied by the same nerve but that don't have anything wrong with them. Sciatica is a great example of this, often people experience pain and symptoms in their leg, but the root cause is often a lower back problem, however the nerves all join the spinal cord at roughly the same area and sometimes signals get confused.  Is referred pain always from the skeletal system?  There is another style of referred pain, known as vis...

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Help! I've got a slipped disc!

We often hear the phrase in clinic "I've got a slipped disc!" often coupled with "X practitioner clicked my disc back in" but did you know that these 2 statements are very misleading and that they are not exactly true? Let's have a look why…  A little Anatomy…  The discs themselves are really known as Intervertebral Discs, which are located between 2 bones in your spine, the vertebrae. The discs are comprised of several incomplete rings of ligaments, known as the anulus, with a jelly like substance in the middle, the Nucleus Pulposus and have tougher fibres above and below them, the End Plates, that connect into the bones above and below. Discs allow a wide range of movements to happen in the spine whilst also acting as shock absorbers. As you can see from the disc's construction, they are tough, and will oppose almost any type of force placed on them. Thanks to the surrounding ligaments of the spine, and the disc's thick end plates which attach directly into the vertebrae, t...

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What can help my headache?

Headaches. Let's face it pretty much everyone has one at some point in their life. But what can osteopaths do to help those of us who suffer frequent headaches? Let's take a look at the different types of headaches commonly see in clinic, and how osteopathy can offer relief for them: Tension Type Headaches Tension type headaches are the most common headaches seen in adults, reported to affect around 45% of the population. They're often described as a dull pain, a tightness or a pressure around the forehead or at the back of your skull extending down to the neck. Patients often describe the pain as a "band around the head". Tension type headaches are more commonly seen in women than men, and can either be episodic (occurring less than 15 times a month), or chronic (occurring more than 15 times a month for at least six months).The exact cause of tension type headaches is still not fully understood however there are known triggers, including, but not limited to: • Stress and anxiety• Dehy...

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What's the difference between western and traditional Chinese acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a popular style of treatment that can be used to help a variety of health problems including back pain, headaches and migraines. However, did you know there are 2 very different styles of acupuncture? Acupuncture's roots lie deep in Chinese history, with the first written text reported to date back to between the first century BC and the first century AD. Thankfully, it's moved on a long way from those eras where they used sharpened bones as needles! Traditional acupuncture follows the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, whereby it believes that blockages in specific flows of energy through the body, or meridians, can cause dis-ease. By needling certain points, the blockages are encouraged to clear, helping to improve health and wellbeing. Medical acupuncture, sometimes known as western acupuncture or dry needling, is a whole different style of treatment. The medical model uses anatomy, physiology and current medical models to create a diagnosis for your condi...

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How do I know if I'm Double Jointed?

We see lots of people who are hypermobile in clinic and it's sometimes referred to as being "double jointed", but how do you know if you are or not?  Do you find you just can't feel the stretch, despite being able to stretch really far?Do your hips and back still ache despite doing stretch classes a few times a week?Do you often dislocate joints or keep getting sprains and strains? If you answered yes to the 3 questions above these symptoms suggest you could be hypermobile.  Hypermobility basically means that the joints are overly mobile because the ligaments and tendons that support the joints and act as retaining straps are too elastic, and stretch too much, therefore they don't provide good support for the joints and let the joints move too much. Hypermobility itself doesn't usually cause pain, and often will barely affect your normal daily life. But why do hypermobility sufferers get pain? The pain is caused by the muscles working extra hard to support and stabilise ...

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Missing your comfy office chair?

It's no secret that we've all gone through a radical change with how we work thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, and its effects are being felt in so many different ways, one of which is body aches and pains from poor posture. So, if you're missing your comfy office Herman Miller chair, let's see how we can make you more comfortable without splashing out lots of money! Space - One of the biggest changes we need to make to be able to work from home is to create some space. Take some time to create a space big enough for your needs, and don't forget you're going to be working here for the next few months at least, so don't compromise!Invest – We all appreciate that laptops are convenient for working on the go, but they're not so great for home working. Invest in a decent keyboard/mouse and allow your body freedom, so you're not constantly scrunching your body to work to your laptop's confines.Sofas – Take it from someone who knows: Sitting on a sofa for 8 hours a day with a laptop i...

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We're excited to be re-opening!

I'm sure you'll all agree with me when I say it's been a VERY long 2 months of lockdown. For the protection of my own family members, I've had to remain closed during the peak of the virus, but I have been following guidelines set by the Government and the General Osteopathic Council very closely and continuously reassessing the situation. Thankfully, I'm very pleased to say that the clinic will be re-opening as of Monday 1st June 2020, however, there have to be some big changes for the foreseeable future, and I'd like to take a moment to outline those here: - Everyone, without exception, who comes into clinic will need to undergo screening for Covid19 symptoms and potential exposure, and this will need to be done every time you attend. The appointment confirmation and reminders that our system sends out will have a link to a screening questionnaire you can fill in remotely, and it only takes 10 seconds. The details you respond with will be kept securely with your records and will show...

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Is your laptop posture friendly?

When people come into clinic with body pain and mention they spend a long time in front of a computer screen, either for work, leisure or both, we always ask about how their desk is set up. A correctly set up desktop can be posture friendly, but with so many people tending to use laptops and tablets, we thought we'd take a look at some things you can do to make them user friendly. Why are laptops bad for our posture?When we use a laptop, we generally position our head so that our eyes are in the best position to see the screen clearly. If the screen is lower than our head height when we're sitting at the device, we will poke our chins forwards and drop our head down to lower our gaze and look at the screen… I see you correcting your posture whilst you're reading this! This hunched posture leads to tight and overstrained muscles around the neck and shoulder area and alters the natural curves of our spines. Of course, the opposite posture can be just as pain inducing, when we crane our n...

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Can you beat the winter sniffles?

 It's that time of year where everyone you meet has a cold, and people sneeze and cough and splutter spreading germs in your direction! Sadly, nothing can be done about that, but you can do a lot of simple things to help support your immune system through the cold winter months. Hopefully the information below will give you some ideas to get started... Your Immune SystemThe immune system is the body's natural defence against infections and illnesses that lurk in our environment. Whilst immune function is robust, it is a delicate system that can be quickly tipped off balance by many factors, including stress, poor diet, low mood, tiredness and many other things. Your blood contains White Blood Cells which help form part of the body's immune system by fighting invading organisms within the body and destroying them. Increased alcohol consumption and a diet too rich in sugar can depress the action of these cells, weakening the action of the immune system. Obviously, this is not a good...

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Is modern living contributing to your aches and pains?

In today's modern world many of us suffer from injuries and pain in our muscles and joints arising not only from our hobbies, but from our lifestyles, work and illnesses too. We now spend far longer sitting behind computers, bent over our mobile devices and stuck in traffic behind the wheel of a car. We appear to do very little exercise and tend to neglect our bodies. When it comes to pain, too often we see only the symptoms being treated medication but sometimes we need to look at why the pain is originally occurring, not just that it's there. Sciatica is a prime example of this. We often hear that someone has sciatica and the doctor has prescribed medication to help to mask the pain, but the definition of sciatica itself is pain effecting the leg, therefore it's use as a diagnosis doesn't describe what the root cause of it is. The sciatic nerve is made of 5 nerve roots that exit the spine, and combine together to create a thick, cord like nerve which runs through the pelvis and down ...

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