Why do I hear a ‘Click’ during spinal manipulation?
Osteopaths use a technique called High Velocity Thrust (or HVT). This is a safe, relatively gentle spinal manipulation to restore normal movement and function in the joints of the spine. It takes the joint just slightly further than it is used to going.
Although it can sometimes feel as if force is being used, the joint is not taken further than it is capable of moving. Sometimes you hear a clicking or popping noise. However, the noise is perfectly normal is not the sound of a bone crack!
So what is actually happening to cause this sound?
The sound is believed to come from the release of gas bubbles from the joint to which the HVT technique is being applied. Joints are the meeting point of two separate bones. They are held together and in place by connective tissues and ligaments and surrounded by synovial fluid. Just like when you stretch or bend your finger to pop the knuckle, the bones of the joint are pulled apart. The connective tissue capsule that surrounds the joint becomes stretched.
This stretching rapidly increases the volume and decreases the pressure in the joint cavity. As a result this causes the gases dissolved in the synovial fluid to become less soluble and form bubbles. When the joint is stretched far enough, the pressure in the capsule drops so low that these bubbles burst. This produces that ‘pop’ that we associate with joint manipulation. See this demonstration.
Does the popping sound always occur?
Patients often listen for the tell-tale noise as a sign that the HVT has worked. However, a pop or click noise will not always be heard – even if a joint has been released. The relaxation of the surrounding muscles and increased movement in the joint are far more important signs of the technique having worked.
Why not ask me more? Phone Wilmslow – 01625 533813
Poor technique, carrying heavy golf bags, lack of warming up can contribute to neck or back strain.
Follow these tips to avoid back pain in golf and enjoy your sport:
Warm Up – Many golfers don’t warm up at all before a game. If muscles and joints are not prepared before a game then this can increase your chances of strain and injury. If the middle back and hips don’t rotate enough during the swing, it can take it out on the lower back. Follow this guide for avoiding back pain in golf with these pre game stretches: https://golfshub.com/golf-stretches-to-improve-flexibility/
Watch Your Posture – Try to avoid an hunched over posture where the curve of the lower back is lost because of tucked under hips, or an over-exaggerated curve in the lower back due to over arching the lumbar spine. Ask a friend to watch you as you swing to see which posture you’re adopting.
Watch your Swing – try to avoid over arching your low back in the back swing which can lead to back strain. See here for further advice and for avoiding back pain in golf.
Watch What You Caddy – Pulling a trolley instead of carrying a golf bag may not be the best way to caddy clubs. They can cause unnecessary strain from pulling. An electric caddy is better.
Bend Ze Knees! – when bending over to plant/pick up tees, replacing divots etc, bend from the hips and knees rather than the back.
Did you know the average golfer will walk 12 000 steps during one round of golf?
I OFFER A WILMSLOW OSTEOPATHIC HOME CARE SERVICE TO THE OLDER ADULT COMMUNITY. INCLUDING THOSE WITHIN WARDEN CONTROL FLATS OR INDEPENDENT LIVING CARE HOMES.
These are for people who can’t get out to my clinic. Perhaps they find the physical effort to get out and come to me is just too much.
I have undergone specific training to help and advise those with DISABILITY AND STABLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS to exercise safely.
I offer a portable Wilmslow osteopathic home care service, bringing with me a treatment table and anything else I need to treat older adults in their own homes. Treating them in their own environment makes them feel safe and familiar.
PERHAPS YOU HAVE PARENTS IN A CARE HOME SETTING, EITHER INDEPENDENT LIVING OR COUNCIL RUN IN THE WILMSLOW AREA?
I have also been trained in CHAIR BASED EXERCISE to be able to provide a 1 hour weekly seated exercise class in the Wilmslow community. For a minimal charge per person based in a main care home lounge, I go through all the joints to get them moving in a seated position.
It’s an easy exercise routine to follow each time. As a result, they learn the movements and can do it for themselves at other times if they need to.
The idea is that they don’t need to wait for another week before I come back. Whenever they feel stiff or haven’t moved, they can do the exercises I have taught them.
CONTACT ME if you’re interested in getting something organised for your family member and I can speak to the care home involved.
Social activity is good for their memory. Learning something new to add to their daily routine, plus the exercises help with coordination and building muscle mass.
MY SEATED EXERCISE CLASS HELPS WITH FALL PREVENTION TOO.
Older adults can fall because they feel unsteady. This can happen if they’re spending a lot of time sitting. If they then need to get up to use the toilet, for example, they can have a drop in blood pressure.
I teach them to get their body moving a little bit before they need to get up. Get them into the habit of getting their system moving first. A few calf pump exercises particularly helps to prepare their body into getting up. This then stops them from feeling wobbly and falling, stumbling or losing their footing.
If you would like a free chat about how I could help your Wilmslow care home residents with their mobility, please call 01625 533813 / 07547 631679
Or please CLICK HERE to discuss this any further.
Poor footwear, especially high heels, cause problems from the big toe right up to the spine causing back pain.
The first area we see problems are painful lumps (called bunions) on the outside of your big toe. Typically a bunion forms from pressure on the front of the foot causing a deviation in the bones of the big toe. It creates painful pressure contact on the bunion, looks unsightly and the big toe can get stiff.
Another issue with high heels are tight calf muscles. Because as your heels are elevated, it shortens the calf muscle. This shortened muscle can have a biomechanical impact on the legs. Constant wear also applies pressure to the shin bone and added stress to it can lead to issues such as ‘shin splints’ – pain on the front of the shin, which is common in runners.
You can also get calluses, hard patches of skin, under the front and ball of the foot.
Although there is a force distribution going through the hip joint, while wearing high heels, it may not directly causes specific hip problems but it does cause stress on the area!
What to do about poor footwear and back pain? The best way to avoid these conditions is to give the feet a rest!
- Limit the amount of time in high heels if you need to wear them to work.
- Always commute in flats and trainers to take the stress away from hips and knees.
- Those who frequently wear heels should do calf stretches.
- There are self help remedies you can do to deal with pain, such as standing on the edge of a step and letting the heel drop towards the next step, allowing the feet to stretch
- Massaging the sole of the feet can help – try using a golf ball or a rolling pin.
- Other remedies include a hot bath and mobilisation, such as drawing circles or the alphabet with your foot.
- Walk properly in comfortable shoes. Why not try Nordic Walking!
Back Pain – Friend or Foe?
Back Pain affects many of us at some time or another doesn’t it? It can be at times debilitating, always inconvenient as it restricts us from doing the things we love – walking, gardening or running.
There are many structures that can be involved in Back Pain – discs, joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments. Symptoms can range from local pain (pain in once place) to referred pain (pain going to another place) such as into the bottom or down to the leg, feelings of numbness and tingling or feelings of weakness.
Is my back letting me down?
So, we know that our Backs often become strained or injured but the question we have to ask is Why? Is it actually the fault of the Spine? The answer to that question surprisingly is….very rarely! The Spine is usually the victim and for far too long we have not been blaming the real foe….ourselves!! We use our bodies in very repetitive ways, take ‘chances’ with our backs by not taking care in the way we sit, lift and walk!
The main victim is the overworked Lumbar Spine. The Lumbar Spine has a unique ability to compensate for restricted motion that occurs in areas above it (Thoracic Spine) and below it (Hips). The motions of the Lumbar Spine are as follows:
- Flexion 40-60 degrees
- Extension 20-35 degrees
- Rotation 3-18 degrees
- Side-bending 15-20 degrees
Don’t bend and twist at the same time!
We are always told that bending and rotating at the same time as we lift something off the floor in a No No! It can cause injury to our low back! The Lumbar Spine actually has very little ability to rotate. The vast amount of our rotation actually comes from Thoracic Spine and the Hips (see here)
If there is restriction in rotation in either the Hips or Thoracic Spine where does the extra motion come from? That’s right. The Lumbar Spine! So this rotational restriction, in either the Thoracic Spine or the Hips, will cause the Lumbar Spine to attempt to compensate for this loss of motion outside of its normal limits. This is until something gives up…..as a result we are left in a tremendous amount of Low Back Pain!
So, don’t think your back has let you down? Our day to day poor use of the spine can be the real foe! For far too long the Lumbar Spine has been blamed when in fact the vast majority of times…..it’s actually the victim!
Look after your back. It’s your friend!
For advice about what you can do to help yourself, please contact me
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What is a “slipped disc”?
The first thing to say about a slipped disc is that it hasn’t “slipped”! This is a complete misnomer. Discs can’t slip, they are held in place with strong ligaments. However, they can bulge and press against a nerve root in the spine. The worse case, they can rupture!
More often the main problem with discs is that the start to thin and dry out as we get older. As a result, their ability to absorb shock is reduced. The small spinal joints which control our movements are subsequently pushed closer together. This can lead to wear and tear, inflammation and arthritis.
Most people with a “slipped disc” experience pain on one side of the body that starts slowly and gets worse over time. The pain you experience when a disc presses on a nerve is often worse when you put pressure on the nerve. This happens when you cough, sneeze or sit down.
However, some people with a slipped disc do not have any obvious symptoms. This is usually because the part of the disc that bulges out is small or does not press on the nerves or spinal cord.
What is the pain like?
A slipped disc in the lower back can cause:
- back pain during movement
- numbness or a tingling sensation in the back, buttocks, genitals, legs or feet
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and is made up of several smaller nerves. It runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks and down the legs to the feet. If a slipped disc is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, it leads to pain in the leg, hip or buttocks. This is known as Sciatica.
I can assess whether or not your discs are bulging and give you appropriate treatment and advice to stop the condition from getting worse.
For more information click here
Top tips to avoid Back Pain while Gardening
When the spring arrives it’s tempting to get out in the garden and do as much as we can while the weather is dry! Repetitive actions such as weeding, digging and using the wheelbarrow can lead to back trouble. Here are some tips to help our backs from becoming injured:
- Have the right tools for the job at the right size.
- Go for a short walk and do some gentle warm up stretches for your legs and back before you start.
- Having raised flower beds or narrow borders can prevent bending and over reaching.
- Weeding is best done using long handled tools or by kneeling. Use a kneeling pad, especially if you already have problems with your knees and don’t stick at it for too long.
- When working on your hands and knees, keep your spine long and your shoulders relaxed.
- Avoid repetitive bending over to pick up the weeds, if doing it from standing. Leave them in a pile and do them in one go.
- When using a wheelbarrow, don’t overfill it. Think and bend from the hips and knees before you lift it. Don’t use your back for this.
- Don’t stick at the same activity for too long, listen to your muscles. If you’re feeling the muscles complain, stop and have a break or do something else.
- When you’ve finished, do some cool down stretches for those hard worked muscles. Finish the day off with a warm bath!
- Remember, it’s often normal to feel some stiffness or mild ache in muscles the next day after unaccustomed exercise. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done yourself harm!
If you’re unsure if you’ve strained you back, I can assess you to make sure and reduce tension in the muscles with appropriate osteopathic treatment.
07547 631679 / 01625 533813
Why is Sleep Important in helping Back Pain?
When back pain affects you, you might despair of ever getting a good nights sleep. Not getting enough sleep or poor quality sleep can actually make you more sensitive to pain. It can be a vicious circle if back pain makes it harder to sleep and when you can’t sleep your back pain seems worse!
Here are a few tips which may help:
- Establish a good bedtime routine. Try to go to bed the same time each night.
- Avoid large meals late at night or eat early. Fight after dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy, do an activity until it’s closer in time to go to bed.
- A warm bath before bed can be relaxing.
- Don’t have alcohol before bed. It may relax you initially but it impairs the quality of sleep.
- Don’t read or watch Television or use an iPad in bed. TV or devices that are backlit suppress melatonin and whatever you’re reading or watching may be more stimulating than relaxing! Listen to music or audio books instead.
- Try a few gentle stretches when you lie down in bed such as pulling your knees to your chest and holding for a few seconds.
- Start off in as comfortable a position as possible such as lying on your side in a foetal position with a pillow between your legs, or on your back with a pillow between your knees.
- Don’t sleep on your stomach. This may be a habit you’ve got into but keeping your back arched backwards often aggravates back pain. To break the habit, sleep in a T-shirt with a pocket and put a ball in the pocket. You’ll know about it if you roll onto your front in the night!
- Make sure the room is dark, try not to have any digital display light on an alarm clock.
- Avoid a lie in on a weekend, it may disturb your usual weekly sleep pattern. If you need to make up for a late night or lost sleep, opt for a day time nap to pay off your sleep debt. Limit it to 20-30 mins in the early afternoon.
Osteopathic soft tissue massage treatment can help ease some of the tensions in your back which may be preventing you from getting comfortable at night.
Osteopathic ‘MOT’ as we get older
Our bodies can be likened to a car that needs regular servicing and maintenance as we get older! We can sometimes feel aches and tensions in our body frame as we get older. A presumption is made that this is to be ‘expected’ and all part of getting older. Osteopathic treatment is aimed at releasing strains and stresses that have often accumulated over the years. Osteopaths treat the whole person not just conditions. A wide variety of problems that are affecting us can be helped. Do you feel your body needs an Osteopathic ‘MOT’?
Is it too late to do anything about it?
Advancing years can often be associated with the insidious onset of health problems. Osteoarthritis, heart and lung problems, circulation problems in the legs, effects of falls/accidents and general symptoms of declining health. However, suffering pain, stiffness and poor health are NOT an inevitable part of getting older!
Many of us will have suffered trauma at some point in our lives from car accidents, sporting injuries or falls. Often people injure themselves at the time and then recover. Sometimes these strains can have a longer effect on the body tissues, which can have consequences years later. The body tissues can lose flexibility and elasticity. This makes the joints more vulnerable to arthritic changes.
Osteopathic treatment can be effective at releasing the residual strains from past traumas. As a result it allow the body to function more efficiently. Gentle osteopathic treatment can realise tension in the diaphragm and muscles of the chest. In doing so encouraging normal breathing movements. This helps the heart and lungs to work to their best potential. It can improve circulation around joints, improving mobility and slowing the rate of further deterioration in the joints.
An occasional ‘MOT’, every few months, would mean keeping everything working well so you can enjoy an active lifestyle. I can also give you advice on preventitive exercises, as well as diet and lifestyle.
BackCare Awareness Week – Caring For Carers
The UK is home to 7 million unpaid carers. These are people who provide care and support to an ailing or disabled family member, friend or neighbour on an ongoing basis. They represent an unpaid and often invisible workforce that saves the Government a staggering £119 billion every year – more than the Government’s entire annual NHS expenditure.
Carers are often exposed to higher than usual levels of physical and emotional stress which puts their own health at risk. Many carers help the person they care for with physical tasks, such as getting in and out of the bed, bath or chairs. In addition to this, the role of carer, especially when caring for a spouse or close family member, can create unique emotional stresses.
Over 70% the UK’s unpaid carers now suffer from back pain, and are a greater risk of developing chronic pain, which is highly disabling in a third of cases and life-long for the majority. The national back pain charity, BackCare is working to help the UK carers with this year’s BackCare Awareness Week (3rd – 8th of October 2016).
During Backcare Awareness Week in Wilmslow, I shall be offering 25% off the first consultation and treatment and 25% off the second follow up treatment for Carers.
For more information contact me on:
Follow me on Twitter @OsteoWilmslow