We will carry out a thorough case history and examination in order to allow us to diagnose the problem you may have and we will create a bespoke treatment plan to enable you to get back on your feet, return to sport or get back to work.

CONDITIONS WE TREAT

We can help with a wide range of conditions:

Acute or chronic back pain/ache (Lumbago)

80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point in their life.  How is it one day you can lift a heavy weight and the next day “put your back out” with a sneeze. The spine is like a finely tuned machine, any stresses and strains which are more than that machine can cope with will cause damage, but it is not always obvious what those stresses and strains might be.

 

The key to successfully treating lower back pain is to diagnose the cause, establish the sequence of events which have led to the pain developing and recognise any maintaining factors such as posture habits, work environment, unsuitable bed, nutritional needs and emotional stressors. We are specially trained to identify to carry out a thorough case history and establish the possible causes of the problem.

 

Disc Problems

Discs form the shock absorbing spaces between the bones (vertebra) in the spine. They are made up of tough material that allows movement in multiple directions at each segment of the spine. They contain a thick fluid in the centre called the nucleus and a fibrous layer surrounding it called the annulus. Discs have to cope with lots of different types of stresses throughout life such as compression, stretch, twisting and shearing forces. Therefore, it is no wonder they can eventually break down and cause problems.

 

The most common types of injury to discs are tears to the outer fibrous layer (annulus) and disc ‘prolapse/protrusion’ or ‘herniation’ which is where the tear to the annulus is great enough to allow some of the thick fluid (nucleus pulposus) to escape from the centre of the disc.  The fluid causes large amounts of inflammation and pain, and in some cases can press on nerve roots causing problems like sciatica and neuralgia in the arm. Whether mild or severe, a protrusion/prolapse can be painful and make sitting, standing, walking, driving, lifting, moving, urinating and coughing difficult.

 

Discs especially in the lower back and lower neck, eventually wear over time and are at greater risk of damage from repetitive use or trauma. Eventually this wear process can lead to stiffness and aching in the area and is commonly called spondylosis.

 

Sciatica

Sciatica is a medical term which means pain felt in the course of the sciatic nerve and it may accompany lower back pain.

For some people the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating whilst for others, it might be infrequent and irritating. Usually sciatica only affects one leg and describes pain felt along the course of the sciatica nerve. The pain can begin in the lower back, spread down the back of the thigh, down through the leg and may radiate into the foot and toes. The sciatic nerve is made up of five nerve roots that leave the spinal column through small foramen (tunnels) in the lumbar spine. These nerve roots join together in the pelvis to form the sciatic nerve.

The nerve runs through the buttock, down the back of the leg to supply the muscles and joints of the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot and toes. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and can be irritated anywhere along its course. Because of this, the symptoms can be varied and it is not surprising that sciatica sufferers experience pain at several locations along the nerve path

Sciatica may cause:

  • Nerve sensations such as aching pain, sharp shooting pains down the leg (making it difficult to stand up)

  • Pins and needles or numbness.

  • Weakness or difficulty moving the leg or foot.

  • Lower back pain may be present along with the leg pain.

What causes Sciatica?

  • Disc problems causing irritation or compression of the nerve

  • Spondylosis (degeneration) in the lower back

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Pregnancy

  • Piriformis syndrome

  • Lumbar spinal and foraminal stenosis

Osteopaths are trained to perform a full neurological assessment to find out why and where the nerve has been trapped and damaged. They can then make a decision as to whether treatment to free the nerve and reduce the symptoms will be appropriate. In some cases, the osteopath may refer you back to your GP for further investigations to ensure you are receiving the correct treatment.

 

Mechanical Neck Pain

Most neck pain is mechanical or musculoskeletal in origin and therefore likely to benefit from an Osteopathic assessment and treatment. The neck is a complex and vulnerable part of the spine as it has a large range of movement but is relatively unsupported by musculature. The neck carries the weight of the head and it is subjected to huge postural stresses and strains, so not surprisingly many people suffer from neck discomfort as well as headaches.

 

Whiplash

This is a relatively common cause of injury to the neck in modern day society, with so many cars on our roads. It is when a person’s neck is suddenly and unexpectedly shunted backwards and then forwards or from one side to the other. This causes damage and overstretching to the soft tissues and sometimes the nerves and discs in the neck. 

You may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury: neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades. These problems can last for several weeks and its important you seek Osteopathic and medical advice on the correct treatment and exercise regime. Soft tissue damage, if left unchecked, can lead to more chronic pain problems later in life.

 

Generalised Aches and Pains

Aches and pains come in many forms but a certain amount of stiffness or decreasing joint mobility does occur with age. It is unusual to come across an eighty-year old who is as flexible as the average twenty year old. Accepting some stiffness and aching with age is reasonable but sometimes age is used as an excuse to put up with symptoms, which could be helped with the right Osteopathic advice and treatment.

Your Osteopath is uniquely qualified to assess you and diagnose the cause of your pain and stiffness. Should your Osteopath feel that you require further investigations, they will, with your consent, refer you back to your GP.

 

Neuralgia and Trapped Nerves

There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves connecting certain parts of the human body with the spinal cord. These nerves can become irritated, compressed or trapped at various points along their route. This quite commonly occurs in the spine from disc bulges or from degenerative changes. This will cause pain, tingling, pins and needles, numbness and sometimes weakness in the structures that the particular nerve supplies. This is commonly seen in the lower neck causing symptoms to radiate down the arm, often described as ‘tooth ache’ and in the lower back causing conditions such as sciatica.

 

Osteopaths are trained to perform a full neurological assessment to find out why and where the nerve has been trapped and damaged. They can then make a decision as to whether treatment to free the nerve and reduce the symptoms will be appropriate. In some cases, the osteopath may refer you back to your GP for further investigations to ensure you are receiving the correct treatment.

 
 

Arthritic Pain

Osteoarthritis involves age-related changes to the joint, commonly referred to as wear and tear. Even though it is often thought that nothing can be done except rest and medication, osteopathy may be able to improve the symptoms. Osteopathic treatment cannot reverse the changes to the arthritic joint but through improving the mobility and efficiency of that joint and the surrounding joints and by releasing muscle tension around the joint, it can help to alleviate the symptoms and reduce the reliance on medication. 

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis. It often shows as an extremely painful and stiff shoulder joint, which can start following a trauma such as a fall, post operatively or for no apparent reason. The stiffness can develop quickly or relatively slowly depending on the level of inflammation in the capsule. Most joints in our body are surrounded and enclosed by a bag, known as the capsule. This capsule is filled with fluid (synovial fluid) that lubricates the joint and reduces friction within the joint space, making movement easier.

 

When a frozen shoulder develops the capsule around the joint becomes inflamed and sticky, leading to thickening, often under the armpit. The initial process is often extremely painful and can last between 3-6 months. The common pattern of freezing, frozen and unfreezing are said to take between 3-6 months each. However, there is great variation amongst individual patients.

 

An Osteopath can provide treatment, exercises and the correct advice with regard to managing the condition appropriately at each stage of the process.

 

Headache Rising and Migraine Prevention

The most common type of headache is a ‘tension headache’ which can develop as a result of poor posture at work, an injury such as whiplash or emotional stress.

The muscles in the back of the neck and especially under the base of the skull become tense and cause stiffness in the small facet joints in the neck, irritating pain sensitive nerves and even altering the blood flow to the brain which can trigger migraine type headaches.

There are no diagnostic tests for tension headaches; a thorough case history helps to distinguish between a tension type headache and other possibilities. Osteopaths are trained to listen to the patient’s story, ask the right questions and screen out patients who present worrying symptoms that may necessitate a medical referral.

Extensive medical studies have now shown that Acupuncture is effective in treating and alleviating painful states i.e. migraine and headaches.

Many patients also report a feeling of extreme relaxation and improved sleep after an acupuncture session, which also helps reduce muscle tension and stresses in the body.

 

Joint Pain

Shoulder pain including impingement syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis and arthritis.

Hip and knee pain including arthritic pain, cartilage or ligament damage, iliotibial band syndrome and sports related problems.

 

Foot and ankle pain including planter fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains and metatarsalgia.

 

Hand, wrist and elbow pain including tennis, golfer’s elbow and carpel tunnel syndrome

Osteopaths are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of joint problems. We can provide treatment, advice and exercises specific to your particular problem and we will refer back to the GP, recommending an alternative course of action if treatment is deemed inappropriate.

 

Minor Sports Injuries and Work Related Injuries

Osteopaths are trained to treat, diagnose and rehabilitate sports injuries in anybody partaking in elite or casual sports, such as:

 

  • strained or torn muscles and ligaments.

  • tendonitis and tendon injuries.

  • dislocations and fractures

 

We can perform a biomechanical assessment with a view to improving performance and preventing injury, by restoring balance if there is excessive or uneven load being put on certain areas of the body.

 

Postural Problems

Static and incorrect posture is one of the biggest causes of pain these days. We spend too much time either sitting, standing or moving incorrectly which has a massive affect on muscle and joint health, and has a knock-on effect on health as a whole.

 

Posture can be affected by previous fractures, arthritic joints and bad postural habits from childhood. Posture should be considered as both dynamic and static and it is vital that joints and muscles are regularly allowed to experience full ranges of mobility, contraction and relaxation in order to maintain good health.

 

Pregnancy Discomfort

Huge changes occur during pregnancy placing load on the musculo-skeletal system. The body naturally adapts and the posture changes to compensate for the extra weight at the front of the body and more hormones will be released to increase mobility around all joints. Pelvic and lower back pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction (pubic pain), Sciatica and upper back pain are all common presentations of expectant and new mothers. The osteopaths at The Atherstone Active Therapy Clinic have been trained to safely treat pregnant patients and will give expert advice on safe gentle exercises, often including pilates type exercises, to keep the back strong and improve posture throughout.

 

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic condition, characterised by pain in various areas of the body. It is often hard to diagnose and will require a doctor ruling out other possible conditions through blood tests and maybe scans before a diagnosis can be made.

 

The pain can be widespread throughout the body and fibromyalgia is categorised as having 18 or more tender points throughout the body.

 

Here are some of the symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia:

  • Muscle stiffness

  • Increased sensitivity to pain

  • Tiredness/fatigue

  • Feeling hot and clammy

  • Problems sleeping

  • Problems with mental processes and memory, Known as ‘brain fog.’

  • Headaches

What causes fibromyalgia?

 

The short answer is we really don’t know what causes fibromyalgia.

 

However, it is thought to be linked to how the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) processes pain messages from the body.

 

It is also speculated that a person’s genes may regulate the way they process painful stimuli and in fibromyalgia these particular genes cause a person to react more strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful.

 

Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.

Other possible triggers:

  • Injury

  • Viral infection

  • Giving birth

  • Breakdown of a relationship

  • Abusive relationship

  • Death of a loved one

Treatment for fibromyalgia tends to involve a variety of approaches including medication, talking therapies and lifestyle changes. Some people find that acupuncture, massage and manipulative therapy can help them to relax and feel less stressed, allowing them to cope with the condition better.

CONTACT US:

Atherstone Active

Therapy Clinic

45A Station Street

Atherstone

Warwickshire

CV9 1DB

OPENING TIMES:

Tuesday: 9am – 7.30pm

Wednesday: 9am – 7.30pm

Thursday: 9.30am - 6.30pm

Friday: 9am – 7.30pm

(Saturday by Appointment only. Please call us)

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