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.

Understanding a Chronic Illness or Pain Condition

One of the hardest things about a chronic illness is helping those around you to understand how you are feeling. 

Because of the nature of chronic illness the symptoms can be variable and this makes it harder for people, who have not experienced it, to understand.

 

As an Osteopath, and recovering chronic pain sufferer, I can understand it both as the patient but also from the point of view of trying to help people to recover and live their life fully within their individual capacity.

I have spent several years of trial and error to come to a much better understanding of chronic illness and the tools that can help improve the condition. Having people around that 'get it' can make a huge difference so here are some things it is helpful to know.

 

Chronic Illness is very complex.

It can have a multitude of symptoms: pain, extreme fatigue, headaches, brain fog, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety and sensitivity.

The symptom pattern can change day by day or hour by hour and a 'Really Good Day' may be a non-sufferer's really rough day. 

 

Pain and Sensitivity

The pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe. It moves around the body and its pattern can change daily...or hourly!

It can be back pain, neck pain, limb pain, jaw pain, abdominal pain and headaches. The pain is REAL. It is processed in the brain and in chronic pain conditions it is on overdrive which is why some days it can seem like even your hair hurts. The pain reaction within the body becomes hugely heightened and sensitised. The other senses become reactive too. The smallest amount of light from an LED light at night can prevent sleep. Sudden noises seem like a bomb has gone off and even listening to the radio is too much. A room full of people can be completely overwhelming.

 

Fatigue

Often in chronic illness there is also crushing fatigue. This is not tiredness; this is the tank is on empty and the next fuel delivery date is unknown. It may be later that day or in 3 days time. With this fatigue, energy supplies have to rationed so if there is something on later in the day, the morning may have to be spent resting.  A day out can result in several more trying to recover back to an even keel. There is a wonderful story about spoons by Christine Miserandino where she describes her energy levels with chronic illness. It is well worth a read here...

 

Brain fog

Cognitive dysfunction is common in chronic illness. It can particularly affect memory and recall and means even simple things get forgotten and reassurance may be needed due to doubt.

 

Sufferers don't want to be ill and being unable to work is no holiday 

Many people struck down by chronic illness still want to be active and want to get on with their normal daily life and hobbies but are not able to. They are often high achievers and it can be a long time until they can accept that there is anything wrong because they are 'soldiering on'. 

Some sufferers become unable to work and this then has implications financially which may cause added anxiety.

 

Anxiety

The general over-sensitisation of the nervous system can also lead to anxiety and panic as the body is on high alert the whole time. 

 

IBS and Food Sensitivity

Often chronic illness is accompanied by irritable bowel symptoms that may or may not be related to food sensitivity. The irritating part is it is often not consistent; so one day it may be that wheat appears to be an issue but is fine the next day when dairy takes over. 

 

If you want to put yourself in someone with chronic illness' shoes...

Imagine severe back pain with a migraine type headache and add to this severe jet-lag type fatigue with a bout morning sickness thrown in for good measure.

Then add to this the feeling the body has just after it has had a massive shock and is left all jittery like a rabbit in the headlights.

Next add a gut that feels like it may explode.

Finally then imagine lying in bed, so needing to recharge but being unable to sleep even if someone knocked you out...then repeat for an unknown length of time...

 

At Osteopathy For All we do get it...look out for more blog posts on how to support yourself or your friends and family.

 

Do contact us for more information as to how we can support you.

email: hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk

Mothers

Being a Mother is an ever changing experience not only for you as a person but also for your body.

Pregnancy causes many changes over a short space of time. The spinal posture has to adapt to the growing bump as it alters the centre of gravity causing the spinal muscles to work much harder. Some women adapt well to this but in others it can cause discomfort. This is often felt in the low back and the lower ribs. 

Changes in the spreading pelvis can cause Syphosis Pubis Dysfuction which causes pain at the joint at the front of the pelvis, or sciatica causing pain in the buttocks and back of the thigh.  Many of these can be helped by gentle Osteopathic treatment.

Ensuring that your pelvis is mobile and not restricted at the end of the pregnancy is good preparation for delivery.

As quickly as it has all changed in one direction, after delivery, it all has to alter again and this is accompanied by a good dose of the body's own relaxing hormones which stay in the body after delivery for a while especially if you are breastfeeding. This is always a good time to have a postpartum osteopathic check up so that as all the muscles and ligaments start to tighten up again the body is as balanced as possible. 

There are many stages of Motherhood and we mustn't forget Grandmothers. Feeling a bit creaky after the grandchildren race you round the garden?  We can help ease out those aches and pains too.

Keeping mobile at all points in the journey helps keep your body healthy.

Read More

New Years Resolutions

So we are 4 weeks into the new year...how are your new year's resolutions going? Movement, hydration and rest are key in having a healthy body. If pain or discomfort are preventing you from moving then now would be a good time to pop in and get some help.

We are really well placed to help you with not only releasing and correcting and tension in the body but also with providing advice on keeping yourself fit, healthy, supple and pain free.

Rotating your activities is a good idea to prevent repetitive strain injuries. 

If you are going to the gym, mix it up with a swim. If you are running, intersperse it with some strength and conditioning exercise. This not only goes for these activities. It also applies in the garden. Mix up your tasks by doing some sweeping and then stand up and do some pruning or tying back. 

Above all if it hurts, STOP, and seek some ADVICE.

Speaking of stopping; whilst generally it is good to move we also need to allow our bodies to rest. So fitting in a rest day to any fitness regime is important. 

Finally, hydration; This is key to helping keep your muscles healthy whether you are exercising or not! We need approximately 8 to 10 glasses(2 litres)  of water per day. If you find water hard to drink try to tie it in with another habit for example every time you put the kettle on to make coffee or tea have a glass of water while you wait. 

Speaking of  advice; Louise Field, one of our Osteopaths, is our exercise specialist so if you would like some help with treatment or exercises then Louise is in the practice on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evenings.

Osteopathy - that's backs isn't it?

We recently 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

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.

Understanding a Chronic Illness or Pain Condition

One of the hardest things about a chronic illness is helping those around you to understand how you are feeling. 

Because of the nature of chronic illness the symptoms can be variable and this makes it harder for people, who have not experienced it, to understand.

 

As an Osteopath, and recovering chronic pain sufferer, I can understand it both as the patient but also from the point of view of trying to help people to recover and live their life fully within their individual capacity.

I have spent several years of trial and error to come to a much better understanding of chronic illness and the tools that can help improve the condition. Having people around that 'get it' can make a huge difference so here are some things it is helpful to know.

 

Chronic Illness is very complex.

It can have a multitude of symptoms: pain, extreme fatigue, headaches, brain fog, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety and sensitivity.

The symptom pattern can change day by day or hour by hour and a 'Really Good Day' may be a non-sufferer's really rough day. 

 

Pain and Sensitivity

The pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe. It moves around the body and its pattern can change daily...or hourly!

It can be back pain, neck pain, limb pain, jaw pain, abdominal pain and headaches. The pain is REAL. It is processed in the brain and in chronic pain conditions it is on overdrive which is why some days it can seem like even your hair hurts. The pain reaction within the body becomes hugely heightened and sensitised. The other senses become reactive too. The smallest amount of light from an LED light at night can prevent sleep. Sudden noises seem like a bomb has gone off and even listening to the radio is too much. A room full of people can be completely overwhelming.

 

Fatigue

Often in chronic illness there is also crushing fatigue. This is not tiredness; this is the tank is on empty and the next fuel delivery date is unknown. It may be later that day or in 3 days time. With this fatigue, energy supplies have to rationed so if there is something on later in the day, the morning may have to be spent resting.  A day out can result in several more trying to recover back to an even keel. There is a wonderful story about spoons by Christine Miserandino where she describes her energy levels with chronic illness. It is well worth a read here...

 

Brain fog

Cognitive dysfunction is common in chronic illness. It can particularly affect memory and recall and means even simple things get forgotten and reassurance may be needed due to doubt.

 

Sufferers don't want to be ill and being unable to work is no holiday 

Many people struck down by chronic illness still want to be active and want to get on with their normal daily life and hobbies but are not able to. They are often high achievers and it can be a long time until they can accept that there is anything wrong because they are 'soldiering on'. 

Some sufferers become unable to work and this then has implications financially which may cause added anxiety.

 

Anxiety

The general over-sensitisation of the nervous system can also lead to anxiety and panic as the body is on high alert the whole time. 

 

IBS and Food Sensitivity

Often chronic illness is accompanied by irritable bowel symptoms that may or may not be related to food sensitivity. The irritating part is it is often not consistent; so one day it may be that wheat appears to be an issue but is fine the next day when dairy takes over. 

 

If you want to put yourself in someone with chronic illness' shoes...

Imagine severe back pain with a migraine type headache and add to this severe jet-lag type fatigue with a bout morning sickness thrown in for good measure.

Then add to this the feeling the body has just after it has had a massive shock and is left all jittery like a rabbit in the headlights.

Next add a gut that feels like it may explode.

Finally then imagine lying in bed, so needing to recharge but being unable to sleep even if someone knocked you out...then repeat for an unknown length of time...

 

At Osteopathy For All we do get it...look out for more blog posts on how to support yourself or your friends and family.

 

Do contact us for more information as to how we can support you.

email: hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk

Mothers

Being a Mother is an ever changing experience not only for you as a person but also for your body.

Pregnancy causes many changes over a short space of time. The spinal posture has to adapt to the growing bump as it alters the centre of gravity causing the spinal muscles to work much harder. Some women adapt well to this but in others it can cause discomfort. This is often felt in the low back and the lower ribs. 

Changes in the spreading pelvis can cause Syphosis Pubis Dysfuction which causes pain at the joint at the front of the pelvis, or sciatica causing pain in the buttocks and back of the thigh.  Many of these can be helped by gentle Osteopathic treatment.

Ensuring that your pelvis is mobile and not restricted at the end of the pregnancy is good preparation for delivery.

As quickly as it has all changed in one direction, after delivery, it all has to alter again and this is accompanied by a good dose of the body's own relaxing hormones which stay in the body after delivery for a while especially if you are breastfeeding. This is always a good time to have a postpartum osteopathic check up so that as all the muscles and ligaments start to tighten up again the body is as balanced as possible. 

There are many stages of Motherhood and we mustn't forget Grandmothers. Feeling a bit creaky after the grandchildren race you round the garden?  We can help ease out those aches and pains too.

Keeping mobile at all points in the journey helps keep your body healthy.

Read More

New Years Resolutions

So we are 4 weeks into the new year...how are your new year's resolutions going? Movement, hydration and rest are key in having a healthy body. If pain or discomfort are preventing you from moving then now would be a good time to pop in and get some help.

We are really well placed to help you with not only releasing and correcting and tension in the body but also with providing advice on keeping yourself fit, healthy, supple and pain free.

Rotating your activities is a good idea to prevent repetitive strain injuries. 

If you are going to the gym, mix it up with a swim. If you are running, intersperse it with some strength and conditioning exercise. This not only goes for these activities. It also applies in the garden. Mix up your tasks by doing some sweeping and then stand up and do some pruning or tying back. 

Above all if it hurts, STOP, and seek some ADVICE.

Speaking of stopping; whilst generally it is good to move we also need to allow our bodies to rest. So fitting in a rest day to any fitness regime is important. 

Finally, hydration; This is key to helping keep your muscles healthy whether you are exercising or not! We need approximately 8 to 10 glasses(2 litres)  of water per day. If you find water hard to drink try to tie it in with another habit for example every time you put the kettle on to make coffee or tea have a glass of water while you wait. 

Speaking of  advice; Louise Field, one of our Osteopaths, is our exercise specialist so if you would like some help with treatment or exercises then Louise is in the practice on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evenings.

Osteopathy - that's backs isn't it?

We recently 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

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.

Osteopathy - that's backs isn't it?

We recently 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

Swim, Dance, Garden or Sing your pain away...

This blog title isn't meant to sound flippant. As a chronic pain/fatigue sufferer I really know what it is like to be in so much pain, so much of the time, that you never think that you will be able to do anything again, let alone something you used to love. It feels overwhelming and unmanageable. 

However, if you can find something that you love and manage to do it even a couple of times a week, or every day for a short time it will help your body to feel better and reduce your pain. When we are more relaxed and happy our Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels reduce and this in turn can help to reduce our pain.

When my pain was really bad and my energy levels were really low I, initially, survived on a diet of Netflix. It meant I rested and was distracted from the pain. If that is all you can manage and you enjoy films and box sets it is well worth the subscription. 

But what makes you tick...

I sing...some of you may have seen The Singing Osteopath video that was our Friday Funny last week on our Facebook page. There is a link below for anyone who missed it . Singing is something that I could do that didn't cause me too much discomfort or use up too much energy and the benefits of the joy it brings are huge. It sets me up for the week.

What brings you joy? 

Walk...to the end of the garden and back...Dance...even if it is just on the spot in your kitchen.

With spring coming, if you are a passionate gardener, but are frustrated because you cannot get stuck in due to pain and stiffness, could you plant up some pots and put them outside the window to enjoy whilst you are resting. If someone can help you by putting everything on a table so you don't need to bend to garden you may still find pleasure in it. If you are not quite up to this, even sitting out in the sun at midday for 10 minutes will help elevate your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency can cause pain and stiffness and is very common in Britain today in all area of the population.

As I started to improve I was able to start swimming and then walking my dogs again. As we move our bodies not only does it allow our muscles to stretch but it also improves the blood supply and the lymphatic drainage which in turn boosts the health of our bodies so that gradually we start to recover. It can be a long process but each baby step we take is worth it. 

At Osteopathy For All we are also here to help support your body and to help get it moving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgKo04Q9Jc

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We don't treat conditions, we treat people...

We treat people...

I was updating the website this week and was writing a section about what osteopaths treat. We are allowed, by the advertising standards agency, to say we treat a number of conditions. These include back pain, tennis elbow and osteoarthritis, to name just a few.

However, what we really treat is people...big people(adults) and small people (children). In our case we also treat their horses, but I will save that for another day.

What is important is the whole person and the stresses and strains that have led them to the osteopath. Everybody's story is different and we, as osteopaths, have the greatest luxury of being able to spend time finding out our patient's story. Rarely are they not many chapters. Some people have just strained something, but it is rarely in isolation. It may be related to an occupational postural problem or to ongoing stress causing a raised tension in the tissues that has predisposed them to injury. It may be that they had a previous injury or illness that has taken its toll on the body and this is just the final insult.

What always amazes me still, even after over 20 years in practice, is how one person can have a impact, physical or emotional, and respond so differently to another individual in a similar situation. Some people just sail through, whilst others can have a minor injury that rocks their world. That is why we treat people, not conditions.

The Teenage Brain....

I am looking forward to  a magical mystery tour next weekend....The Teenage Brain. I will be on a course exploring all aspects of the teenage brain, from the neurological development to social anxiety disorders and how to support and treat them osteopathically. Good stuff, can't wait. Pippa

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