What does your pain mean...?

There are many different sorts of pain and each can mean something a bit different. This is why if you visit an Osteopath or other medical practitioner you will be asked a whole range of questions about your pain and any other symptoms that you have. As well as being asked where your pain is, you might be asked what sort of pain is it: is it sharp or dull. Does the pain change over the day and what makes it worse or eases it. You will also be asked how long you have had it and whether it is there all the time or comes and goes.  The more information that you can give about your symptoms will help give a clearer picture about what is causing it.

 

Pain can be categorised into 2 different sections; Acute Pain or Chronic Pain... acute pain is pain that has come on and has lasted for less than 3 to 6 months, such as a sprained ankle, and chronic pain has been there for more than 6 months. The sensation of the pain is the same but the treatment approach needs to be different as often with chronic pain there has been an alteration in the body's way of processing pain. 

 

Here are just a few examples:

Sharp pain - this may be from an injury such as a sprain or strain or a muscle spasm.

Shooting Pain - this may also be related to muscle spasm but could be nerve irritation - such as sciatica. Sciatica is a shooting pain across the buttock and into the back of the thigh and may be as the result of one of the buttock muscles (piriformis) trapping the sciatic nerve as it goes through the muscle. If shooting pain is accompanied by pins and needles or numbness in the same limb then it is worth getting some advice. It may be a bulge on a disc which should fix itself over time but advice on how to manage it can speed recovery.

Muscular pain - can be a dull pain and may be there on the initiation of movement and is often worse in the morning and evening but eases up during the day. 

Chronic Pain - this is very persistent pain. It can vary in intensity and location. It can manifest as back pain, headache, plantar faciitis or abdominal discomfort and is often accompanied by chronic fatigue and anxiety.

 

Pain feels like a danger signal and often has a tendency to stop us moving but with many types of pain keeping the body moving speeds recovery. If you are unsure about your pain or accompanying symptoms please don't suffer in silence - seek some advice. 

 

All Osteopaths are trained to medically diagnose your pain and treat or refer as appropriate. If you would like any advice do email or call us hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk 01825 840582

Read More

Chronic Pain - The pressure cooker effect

Imagine the body being like a pressure cooker. Most of a lifetime it has been bubbling along with no major issues. A couple of things may have happened in the past but they have been coped with and moved on from. Maybe as a youngster a close family member died but everyone got over it and a short childhood hospital stay where parents were kept away doesn't seem all that significant now. Money has always been a bit tight but it is manageable. The baby is not sleeping well and caring for a relative with dementia is just what you do. It's just life...but then one day there is a pain in the low back, nothing significant happened, probably bending down to pick up more discarded clothes. However, the pain doesn't go away. Painkillers don't help and eventually worry sets in. How will life be manageable? Nothing shows on investigations but the pain is still there and it is affecting daily life. Will it be there forever? Nothing seems to help, exercise hurts, it is really tiring and difficult to make people understand. Lying awake at night doesn't help but sleep seems illusive. Physical therapy (massage, yoga, pilates, reflexology, acupuncture) hurts and doesn't seem to last for more than a few days. This feels like it is for ever...

 

All these things in isolation may not be significant but each one has an emotional component attached. Fear, anger and frustration. A lack of stability, lots of stoicism and despondency at the inability to change. If you add them all together and using our pressure cooker analogy you have now built up quite a head of steam that needs to escape. This pressure feels dangerous to the body and overwhelming so the body produces pain to slow you down and get you to listen. 

 

Your life story is important to your body and in most cases of chronic pain we have to tell some of that story to get the pain resolved. At Osteopathy For All we take a biopsychosocial or #MindBody approach to chronic pain. This means we consider everything that is happening to you now and everything that has happened in the past from both a physical and emotional point of view and use this information to develop a treatment plan to help you recover, not just manage, chronic pain. 

 

For more information please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk

The importance of being...Ernest in your efforts to get MOVING.

For many people the thought of exercising fills them with dread and so by this point in the year the ‘going to the gym’ resolution has got up and gone!

However, the thought of MOVING is less daunting so maybe your new, New Year’s Resolution, could be to try moving instead of exercising.

Moving our bodies will benefit so much more than just our muscles and joints. It helps our heart and circulation, our digestion and the latest research shows that it can even promote the formation of new neurons in our brain that can help our memory, mood and emotional well-being. Moving in childhood and adolescence is essential for bone density in adult life.

 

There is a level of activity to suit nearly everyone but if you are unsure about taking up moving then check with your osteopath or doctor before starting.

 

So how might you introduce moving into your day? Well, the best way to sustain a new habit is to find an activity that you enjoy... anything from Pilates to mud runs but before you panic, not all activity requires you to leave the house. You can dance to the radio each time you are waiting for the kettle to boil or you can do squats whilst you brush your teeth or march on the spot during the ad break but if moving is a real challenge you can still do it whilst sitting down. There are some links below for exercises that you can do in your favourite armchair.

 

If you are able to get out and about then there is walking, cycling and gardening. There is an added social benefit of doing an activity with others and in East Hoathly (and just beyond) there are many opportunities to do this: at the Tennis Club, at the Community plot at the allotments, at Pilates classes in the village hall or join the Preservation Society on their monthly walk. There are also a wide variety of classes at the East Sussex National's Horsted Health Club so find what suits you and keep moving. If pain,discomfort or stiffness is preventing you moving then you may wish to seek some physical therapy. An osteopath will be able to assess, treat and advise you on the best way to get active.

 

Chair exercises  

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/exercise-fitness/nine-easy-chair-exercises

 

 

Remembering 100 years on

In East Hoathly, our bonfire night is centred around remembrance. Amidst the carnival atmosphere of our bonfire procession and before the fireworks there is a pause. Villagers and visitors gather in the centre of East Hoathly for an Act of Remembrance. Words of remembrance are spoken and then, as a complete contrast to the noise of the evening, there is a minute's silence. 

 

Last night was particularly poignant. As we stood in the pouring rain I couldn't help but think of those soldiers who one hundred years ago would have spent days at a time knee deep in mud as well as in the pouring rain having experienced horrors of conflict that we cannot even imagine.

 

This moment of reflection was followed by the final procession before the fireworks. In amongst the beautiful colourful display were, I am sure by design, some fireworks that were more like shell explosions. They cracked aggressively and my thoughts were led to our current service men, women and veterans, some of whom must find bonfire night very difficult due to PTSD and Anxiety related disorders. These disorders occur when there is a change to the way the brain is processing. The brain can get stuck in a fight or flight cycle, it is not a conscious choice, and recent studies of neuroplasticity are helping us to understand how this is happening and how we can change it for the better.

 

What is the relevance to Osteopathy?  Well, we deal with pain and the latest pain research shows that the same mechanism that is involved in the fight flight response of anxiety, is also affecting the way the brain perceives pain in Chronic Pain conditions and this is partly why so many chronic pain sufferers also experience anxiety and overwhelm. 

 

Everybody, and every BODY,  perceives trauma differently and whilst you may have never been in the trenches, your brain doesn't decipher between mild or strong trauma - to the brain it is just trauma. Some people are genetically predisposed to being less affected by trauma and some more. The trauma that causes chronic pain in adulthood can result from emotional or physical incidents that have happened at any point in life, even in childhood.  In addition to osteopathic treatment, helping you to identify, acknowledge and understand what events have triggered your fight/flight response have been proven to help calm the body's sense of overwhelm which in turn reduces your chronic pain symptoms. 

If you would like to know more please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk or you can read more here...

 

(Thank you to Richard Cossens for the image)

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

What does your pain mean...?

There are many different sorts of pain and each can mean something a bit different. This is why if you visit an Osteopath or other medical practitioner you will be asked a whole range of questions about your pain and any other symptoms that you have. As well as being asked where your pain is, you might be asked what sort of pain is it: is it sharp or dull. Does the pain change over the day and what makes it worse or eases it. You will also be asked how long you have had it and whether it is there all the time or comes and goes.  The more information that you can give about your symptoms will help give a clearer picture about what is causing it.

 

Pain can be categorised into 2 different sections; Acute Pain or Chronic Pain... acute pain is pain that has come on and has lasted for less than 3 to 6 months, such as a sprained ankle, and chronic pain has been there for more than 6 months. The sensation of the pain is the same but the treatment approach needs to be different as often with chronic pain there has been an alteration in the body's way of processing pain. 

 

Here are just a few examples:

Sharp pain - this may be from an injury such as a sprain or strain or a muscle spasm.

Shooting Pain - this may also be related to muscle spasm but could be nerve irritation - such as sciatica. Sciatica is a shooting pain across the buttock and into the back of the thigh and may be as the result of one of the buttock muscles (piriformis) trapping the sciatic nerve as it goes through the muscle. If shooting pain is accompanied by pins and needles or numbness in the same limb then it is worth getting some advice. It may be a bulge on a disc which should fix itself over time but advice on how to manage it can speed recovery.

Muscular pain - can be a dull pain and may be there on the initiation of movement and is often worse in the morning and evening but eases up during the day. 

Chronic Pain - this is very persistent pain. It can vary in intensity and location. It can manifest as back pain, headache, plantar faciitis or abdominal discomfort and is often accompanied by chronic fatigue and anxiety.

 

Pain feels like a danger signal and often has a tendency to stop us moving but with many types of pain keeping the body moving speeds recovery. If you are unsure about your pain or accompanying symptoms please don't suffer in silence - seek some advice. 

 

All Osteopaths are trained to medically diagnose your pain and treat or refer as appropriate. If you would like any advice do email or call us hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk 01825 840582

Read More

Chronic Pain - The pressure cooker effect

Imagine the body being like a pressure cooker. Most of a lifetime it has been bubbling along with no major issues. A couple of things may have happened in the past but they have been coped with and moved on from. Maybe as a youngster a close family member died but everyone got over it and a short childhood hospital stay where parents were kept away doesn't seem all that significant now. Money has always been a bit tight but it is manageable. The baby is not sleeping well and caring for a relative with dementia is just what you do. It's just life...but then one day there is a pain in the low back, nothing significant happened, probably bending down to pick up more discarded clothes. However, the pain doesn't go away. Painkillers don't help and eventually worry sets in. How will life be manageable? Nothing shows on investigations but the pain is still there and it is affecting daily life. Will it be there forever? Nothing seems to help, exercise hurts, it is really tiring and difficult to make people understand. Lying awake at night doesn't help but sleep seems illusive. Physical therapy (massage, yoga, pilates, reflexology, acupuncture) hurts and doesn't seem to last for more than a few days. This feels like it is for ever...

 

All these things in isolation may not be significant but each one has an emotional component attached. Fear, anger and frustration. A lack of stability, lots of stoicism and despondency at the inability to change. If you add them all together and using our pressure cooker analogy you have now built up quite a head of steam that needs to escape. This pressure feels dangerous to the body and overwhelming so the body produces pain to slow you down and get you to listen. 

 

Your life story is important to your body and in most cases of chronic pain we have to tell some of that story to get the pain resolved. At Osteopathy For All we take a biopsychosocial or #MindBody approach to chronic pain. This means we consider everything that is happening to you now and everything that has happened in the past from both a physical and emotional point of view and use this information to develop a treatment plan to help you recover, not just manage, chronic pain. 

 

For more information please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk

The importance of being...Ernest in your efforts to get MOVING.

For many people the thought of exercising fills them with dread and so by this point in the year the ‘going to the gym’ resolution has got up and gone!

However, the thought of MOVING is less daunting so maybe your new, New Year’s Resolution, could be to try moving instead of exercising.

Moving our bodies will benefit so much more than just our muscles and joints. It helps our heart and circulation, our digestion and the latest research shows that it can even promote the formation of new neurons in our brain that can help our memory, mood and emotional well-being. Moving in childhood and adolescence is essential for bone density in adult life.

 

There is a level of activity to suit nearly everyone but if you are unsure about taking up moving then check with your osteopath or doctor before starting.

 

So how might you introduce moving into your day? Well, the best way to sustain a new habit is to find an activity that you enjoy... anything from Pilates to mud runs but before you panic, not all activity requires you to leave the house. You can dance to the radio each time you are waiting for the kettle to boil or you can do squats whilst you brush your teeth or march on the spot during the ad break but if moving is a real challenge you can still do it whilst sitting down. There are some links below for exercises that you can do in your favourite armchair.

 

If you are able to get out and about then there is walking, cycling and gardening. There is an added social benefit of doing an activity with others and in East Hoathly (and just beyond) there are many opportunities to do this: at the Tennis Club, at the Community plot at the allotments, at Pilates classes in the village hall or join the Preservation Society on their monthly walk. There are also a wide variety of classes at the East Sussex National's Horsted Health Club so find what suits you and keep moving. If pain,discomfort or stiffness is preventing you moving then you may wish to seek some physical therapy. An osteopath will be able to assess, treat and advise you on the best way to get active.

 

Chair exercises  

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/exercise-fitness/nine-easy-chair-exercises

 

 

Remembering 100 years on

In East Hoathly, our bonfire night is centred around remembrance. Amidst the carnival atmosphere of our bonfire procession and before the fireworks there is a pause. Villagers and visitors gather in the centre of East Hoathly for an Act of Remembrance. Words of remembrance are spoken and then, as a complete contrast to the noise of the evening, there is a minute's silence. 

 

Last night was particularly poignant. As we stood in the pouring rain I couldn't help but think of those soldiers who one hundred years ago would have spent days at a time knee deep in mud as well as in the pouring rain having experienced horrors of conflict that we cannot even imagine.

 

This moment of reflection was followed by the final procession before the fireworks. In amongst the beautiful colourful display were, I am sure by design, some fireworks that were more like shell explosions. They cracked aggressively and my thoughts were led to our current service men, women and veterans, some of whom must find bonfire night very difficult due to PTSD and Anxiety related disorders. These disorders occur when there is a change to the way the brain is processing. The brain can get stuck in a fight or flight cycle, it is not a conscious choice, and recent studies of neuroplasticity are helping us to understand how this is happening and how we can change it for the better.

 

What is the relevance to Osteopathy?  Well, we deal with pain and the latest pain research shows that the same mechanism that is involved in the fight flight response of anxiety, is also affecting the way the brain perceives pain in Chronic Pain conditions and this is partly why so many chronic pain sufferers also experience anxiety and overwhelm. 

 

Everybody, and every BODY,  perceives trauma differently and whilst you may have never been in the trenches, your brain doesn't decipher between mild or strong trauma - to the brain it is just trauma. Some people are genetically predisposed to being less affected by trauma and some more. The trauma that causes chronic pain in adulthood can result from emotional or physical incidents that have happened at any point in life, even in childhood.  In addition to osteopathic treatment, helping you to identify, acknowledge and understand what events have triggered your fight/flight response have been proven to help calm the body's sense of overwhelm which in turn reduces your chronic pain symptoms. 

If you would like to know more please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk or you can read more here...

 

(Thank you to Richard Cossens for the image)

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

The importance of being...Ernest in your efforts to get MOVING.

For many people the thought of exercising fills them with dread and so by this point in the year the ‘going to the gym’ resolution has got up and gone!

However, the thought of MOVING is less daunting so maybe your new, New Year’s Resolution, could be to try moving instead of exercising.

Moving our bodies will benefit so much more than just our muscles and joints. It helps our heart and circulation, our digestion and the latest research shows that it can even promote the formation of new neurons in our brain that can help our memory, mood and emotional well-being. Moving in childhood and adolescence is essential for bone density in adult life.

 

There is a level of activity to suit nearly everyone but if you are unsure about taking up moving then check with your osteopath or doctor before starting.

 

So how might you introduce moving into your day? Well, the best way to sustain a new habit is to find an activity that you enjoy... anything from Pilates to mud runs but before you panic, not all activity requires you to leave the house. You can dance to the radio each time you are waiting for the kettle to boil or you can do squats whilst you brush your teeth or march on the spot during the ad break but if moving is a real challenge you can still do it whilst sitting down. There are some links below for exercises that you can do in your favourite armchair.

 

If you are able to get out and about then there is walking, cycling and gardening. There is an added social benefit of doing an activity with others and in East Hoathly (and just beyond) there are many opportunities to do this: at the Tennis Club, at the Community plot at the allotments, at Pilates classes in the village hall or join the Preservation Society on their monthly walk. There are also a wide variety of classes at the East Sussex National's Horsted Health Club so find what suits you and keep moving. If pain,discomfort or stiffness is preventing you moving then you may wish to seek some physical therapy. An osteopath will be able to assess, treat and advise you on the best way to get active.

 

Chair exercises  

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/exercise-fitness/nine-easy-chair-exercises

 

 

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

The Pain/Tension/Stress Cycle

It is ever-so easy to get stuck in this cycle. It can start with tension or pain and lead on to stress or it can start with stress and lead to pain. 

At Osteopathy For All we take into consideration all aspects of your story, physical and lifestyle, past and present to find the cause of your pain and then treat and manage it accordingly. 

So many of our patients remark on how much more comfortable they feel physically but also about feeling more well in themselves generally after their treatment.

If you would like more information or would like to feel better then do contact us.

Christmas Survival Toolkit

With Christmas day fast approaching many people will be juggling lots of preparations for the holiday period. Wrapping presents, wrangling over-excited children, organising relatives, doing last minute shopping and food preparations. This can be overwhelming both for our minds and our bodies. Here is simple tip to help you survive.

 

Breathe - yes it really is that simple!

 

When we get stressed our sympathetic nervous system is triggered and this produces our fight and flight response. Even though we don't need to run away or have a fist fight with ...... (insert name here) our bodies cannot differentiate and so our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises and this physiological response can make us feel quite unwell. There is a very simple technique to help reduce this effect.

 

Breathing - slow deep breaths- can re-balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the nervous system and make us feel much more relaxed and comfortable. 

Breathe in for a count of 6 and breathe out for a count of 6. This reduces your respiratory rate from 10 - 14 times a minute to about 5 - 6 times a minute and in turn this settles our body (and soul).

So if over the next few weeks it all gets a bit much, find a quiet corner (or lock yourself in the bathroom) and spend five minutes breathing slowly. If anyone asks what you are doing, tell them it is essential maintenance!

 

Happy Christmas and here's to a healthy 2019.

Osteopathy - that's backs isn't it?

Last year we had an open day at the practice to celebrate 5 years of being in East Hoathly. One of the reasons was to allow people to come and ask any questions they had about Osteopathy and also to eat cake!

There are some common concerns about Osteopathy that came up and come up on a regular basis so we wanted to address them here. 

Firstly, is about backs. Yes, we definitely treat backs. We can help to reduce tension and stiffness to improve mobility and to reduce pain. However, we can treat muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments in any part of the body. This means we are able to treat tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, arthritic knees or dropped arches. We are also able to release tension in the neck and around the base of the skull which can in turn relieve headaches.

This brings me on to the second area that many people worry about: the cracking of necks.

Many Osteopaths safely 'crack' necks day in and day out, screening their patients for contra-indications to make sure it is safe before they do. At Osteopathy For All, all our Osteopaths choose NOT to manipulate(crack) necks. We are able to release all joints effectively without needing to use this technique. We all tend to use the more gentle range of Osteopathic techniques especially when treating children. 

The other thing that concerns people is that fact that we are 'alternative or complementary practitioners'. We can be a good alternative or very complementary to your ongoing medical care...even the latest NICE guidelines recommend Osteopathy and exercises above painkillers.

However, we are Primary Care Practitioners. Our extensive training is similar to that of your GP. We complete 4 years of anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, endocrinology, radiology and all aspects of medicine, except surgery or in-depth pharmacology, as well as our Osteopathy. This enables us to be able to diagnose you. It also means we know when we cannot treat you and need to send you back to your GP. We are also trained to have a good understanding of exercise and lifestyle advice. We are the total package and we are continually assessed and monitored by the General Osteopathic Council to ensure excellent practice standards.

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact us hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk