Sports Injuries

Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur, an elite professional, a gym junkie or simply like to keep fit, sports injuries do occur. Many sport injuries are the result of overuse through playing too hard and too often, but occasionally incorrect equipment is the problem like ill-fitting footwear which can cause hip, knee and foot injury. Football, golf, rugby, tennis, running, skiing, dancing, and martial arts are some of the many sports that our patients compete in and come to us for treatment.

Issues such as joint dysfunction or soft-tissue restrictions limit the body’s ability to function correctly, directly affecting the degree of performance and may even result in further injury. Osteopathy can help by improving joint mobility, reducing adhesions and soft-tissue restrictions, resulting in structural balance and restored movement leading to enhanced performance.

We Can Help:

  • Overcome injuries
  • Improve performance
  • Prevent further injury

Massage is often used during osteopathic treatment to soften and prepare the person for manipulation. It is helpful as part of pre-event training to minimise injury, and post-event to encourage tissue repair. Massage reduces muscle tension and therefore eases pain and inflammation by stimulating blood supply to the tissues. Passive resisted stretches and trigger point release are also used if appropriate, together with advice on rehabilitative exercises. We will ensure that your recovery time is minimised. If you have any questions about a particular sports injury and whether osteopathy can help call Osteopathy Care now.

Common Sport Injuries Osteopathy Can Help:

  • Achilles Tendon Injuries
  • Back Pain (lumbar or thoracic pain)
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Constant Knee Problems
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Foot Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Injuries That Don’t Go Away
  • Persistent Hamstring or Calf Strains
  • Running Injuries
  • Recurring Achilles Problems
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Sciatica
  • Sprained Ankle and Other Sprains
  • Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Wrist Injuries

Arthritis

Arthritis may be divided into two types – degenerative and inflammatory. Degenerative or OSTEOARTHRITIS is the commonest form, sometimes called ‘wear and tear’ and is usually localised to a specific site such as the hips, knees or spine. Its classic features of pain, stiffness and restricted mobility may often be eased and improved with skilled osteopathic treatment. Inflammatory arthritis such as RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS is generally a systemic disease affecting not just joints but the whole body. Like osteoarthritis it produces severe pain, stiffness and often deformity. Osteopathy may be helpful in addition to medication.

Why Osteopathy?

There is no cure for arthritis however osteopathic treatment can do a great deal to reduce pain, ease swelling and improve mobility and range of joint movement. Management focuses on eliminating symptoms through early diagnosis and improving lifestyle to prevent further degeneration.

Osteopathic treatment involves gentle manual osteopathic techniques on joints, muscles and ligaments. This may involve gentle stretching, mobility, and traction techniques. Exercises to do at home may also be prescribed to improve joint function and to reduce muscle spasm. Exercise in warm water or salt baths may also be recommended.

The Aim Of Your Osteopath Is To:

  • Provide immediate relief from symptoms
  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Promote range of joint movement
  • Improve mobility
  • Assist in rehabilitation after surgery such as hip replacement
  • Educate on how you can improve your quality of life through diet and nutritional support, posture, and exercise.

Sciatica

Sciatica refers to pain that runs along the sciatic nerve. The pain usually affects only one side of the lower body at a time and often extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh, down through the leg. Occasionally the pain may also extend to the foot or toes. It is often a reoccurring condition that seems to worsen with every episode.

What are the symptoms of Sciatica?

  • Buttock, hamstring and/or calf pain that is worse when sitting
  • Lower back pain that is worse for coughing or sneezing
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
  • Pain may be persistent or come in spasms

 What causes Sciatica?

In young and early middle-aged adults most sciatica results from inflammation or pressure from a bulging disc which can be very painful. In older people, changes in the spine due to conditions such as osteoarthritis may be responsible. Aggravating factors of sciatica include:

  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Wearing high heels

Without proper care, pinching of the sciatic nerve may result in months or even years of pain.

How is Sciatica diagnosed?

Your osteopath will diagnose sciatica by taking a full medical history and by testing your back, hips, and legs for strength, flexibility, sensation, and reflexes. In some cases it may be necessary to get an MRI scan of your back to show whether or not there is a specific disc injury pressing on a nerve. Your osteopath will discuss this with you. X-Rays are of no help in this condition because they only show the bones and not the softer tissues that cause this sort of trouble.

How is Sciatica treated?

Osteopathy has an essential role both for the acute episode as well as long term avoidance of further episodes. The most common type of sciatica that we encounter responds well to osteopathic treatment, which consists of relieving pressure and inflammation off the sciatic nerve. Typical sciatica treatments include:

  • Gentle Spinal mobilisation of the lower lumbar spine
  • Release of muscle spasm.
  • Traction of Lumbar spine manually
  • Gently articulating the affected joints.
  • Rehabilitation exercises.

Repetitive Strain Injury’s

Repetitive strain injury or RSI is a painful inflammatory condition of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues, usually caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained/awkward positions. RSI injuries have become a more common phenomena in recent years and most commonly involve the upper limbs, however they can occur in any body part. RSI is typically related to an occupational strain, but may also be linked to certain leisure activities such as tennis, golf, gardening, running and playing computer games.
Common sites for RSI related pain include:

  • Wrist
  • Outer elbow (Tennis Elbow)
  • Inner elbow (Golfer’s Elbow)
  • Front and point of shoulder
  • Thumb joints
  • Fingers
  • Below the knee cap
  • Ankle and foot

Common causes of RSI include:

  • Gardening / pruning
  • Shearing
  • Use of screwdrivers, drills, planers
  • Excessive overhead work ie. electricians
  • Computer work
  • Texting / typing
  • Playing computer games and operating gaming consoles
  • Work with microscopes
  • Driving
  • Sporting techniques / activities

Initially symptoms may only occur when you are actually performing the repetitive task and slowly fade when you rest. Eventually symptoms may be present all the time, and will worsen during the repetitive task, if left untreated.

The most common RSI symptoms include:

  • tenderness and pain in the affected muscle or joint
  • pain when moving the affected joint or muscle
  • swelling in the affected area
  • throbbing sensation in the affected area
  • pins and needles (tingling) in the affected area, especially the hand or arm
  • loss of sensation
  • loss of strength

Early treatment is the key to preventing the onset of a chronic (long term) injury and any irreversible damage to the tissues in the affected body part. If the condition is left untreated RSIs may require more aggressive intervention such as injections and surgery and can persist for years. It is very important to seek treatment and advice as soon as possible (as soon as you begin experiencing the pain during the activity, at rest or even when performing minor tasks such as pouring the kettle).
Your Osteopath is trained to determine which tissue is responsible for your pain. They have the appropriate skills and knowledge to assess your complaint and, once the cause has been pinpointed, decide on the most effective course of action.

Back Pain

Back pain is a very common problem, with reports suggesting as many as eight out of ten of us will suffer from it at some point during our lives. Around 5.6 million working days in the UK are lost each year due to back pain, second only to stress .

Back pain can affect anyone at any age, and can often be the result of a sprain or a strain of the structures of the back such as the muscles, ligaments, joints or damage to the discs. Osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the back can also be a reason.

Most of us know that back pain can be painful and inconvenient, but it’s not usually serious and will often resolve on its own within a few weeks. However, many people seek osteopathic treatment to address it quickly and at a time and place of their own choice; and osteopaths are skilled at helping prevent back pain from becoming a chronic, long-term condition.

What causes Back Pain?

In most cases back pain is caused by a minor injury or a strain, rather than anything more serious, and can be referred to as ‘simple back pain’.

The symptoms often occur suddenly and can be triggered by a particular movement, but the causes may have been building for some time.

Some of the most common causes of stress and strain on the spine include:

  • Bad posture
  • Being overweight
  • Being unfit
  • Slouching in chairs
  • Driving in hunched positions
  • Unsupportive mattress or pillow
  • Standing, sitting or bending down for long periods of time
  • Lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads that are too heavy, or performing these tasks incorrectly
  • A trip or fall
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Generally overdoing it

In some cases, there may be a more severe underlying causes of your pain, but these are less common. These causes include:

  • Degenerative conditions such as disc disease or arthritis
  • Congenital abnormalities in the spine (e.g. scoliosis)
  • Osteoporosis
  • A prolapsed disc
  • Deformities of the spine
  • Infection or collapse of the vertebrae
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Cancer or Tuberculosis

 How Do Osteopaths Treat Back Pain?

Using manual techniques, osteopaths examine the whole body to identify sources of pain and restricted movement that may indicate injury or impaired function.

Osteopathy aims to relieve back pain by:

  • Stretching the muscles and ligaments of the back
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Restoring better mobility to the vertebrae of the back
  • Improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage
  • Promoting free movement of the entire musculo-skeletal system

An osteopath may also advise a patient on techniques for avoiding and relieving furure episodes of back pain, including:

  • Proper posture
  • Exercise and stretching
  • Proper lifting techniques
  • Diet
  • Stress management
  • Workplace ergonomics

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle yet extremely effective therapy that can be used in acutely painful or delicate conditions for people of all ages, from newborn babies to the elderly. It encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions.