Blog completed by Lead Osteopath Andrew Terry who is available for treatment at both our Barnet and Tufnell Park Clinic. Regular Osteopathy can help with improved body function and help reduce the likelihood of injuries.
When talking about the body, you often hear people say “everything is connected.” Whilst I understand what they mean, it can give the impression that they were at one point separate. The body is in fact just one whole unit. This is an important concept because it helps us to understand why an injury in one part of the body can affect another part of the body that is really far away. It’s why as an osteopath we need to take a detailed case history. There is no insignificant information as everything impacts the body. Here are two case histories of patients we’ve seen at the clinic where people came in with a symptom in part of the body, but the cause was actually somewhere completely different.
CASE STUDY 1
Ms K was a teacher who came in presenting with pins and needles into both her hands. They happened during the day when working and at night when she was reading in bed. It could also sometimes impact on the quality of sleep, and would be a little uncomfortable when having to write. We did an examination of the wrist, elbow and shoulder all moved really well and there was no obvious cause for any sort of nerve impingement. The neck however was restricted, particularly at the levels of the spine where the nerves supplying the hand are. This is very common with people who have to sit at a desk for long periods, or lye on their bed reading as they are flexing their neck for long periods. So over the course of a few sessions, we applied a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, soft tissue and articulations to help release the joints and improve the nerve supply to the hand. But most importantly in this case was the advice we gave on improving posture and some simple exercises she could do, so that once we resolved the issue, Ms K would have the knowledge and skills to make sure that the complaint didn’t come back in the future. By the end of three sessions we had completely resolved the original complaint, and we keep in contact with her to see how she is getting on, and so far so good!!
CASE STUDY 2
Mr R worked in management, and had a ten-year history of chronic headaches. He had been to see a neurologist, headache specialist and every other type of specialist you could think of but none were able to ascertain what the cause was. Mr R’s case is another really good example of why taking a detailed case history is so important, because if it weren’t for that we wouldn’t have been able tow work out what was causing the issue. The headaches began shortly after Mr R ran a marathon, the first one he had ever run. Now what was particularly unusual in this instance was that Mr R had also stubbed his toe really badly only a day or so earlier. This had completely altered the way he walked, and in turn affected how he ran the marathon. All our bodies contain something called fascia. They are chains of connective tissue that run all over the body. In this instance Mr R had tightened the superficial backline fascial chain, which runs from the balls of your feet, up your calfs and hamstrings, into your sacrum, up your spine and over your head, and onto your forehead attaching just below your eyebrows. When this gets tight, it can pull on the structures on your head and cause a headache.
So we focused on Mr Rs feet and lower extremity, as well as the base of his spine using a mixture of manipulations, soft tissue (massage) and stretches. In one session we had reduced the headache by 20%, in four they had completely gone and this was a person who had been suffering with headaches for 10 years. Mr R comes in occasionally for a check up, but we’re pleased to say that the headaches have never come back!
To see how our Osteopathy Department may be able to help you then take a look at our Osteopathy page at Bodylogics and see what other ailments can be treated to help you succeed.