We all feel pain from time to time. When someone injures themselves, specific nerves recognise this as pain, which in turn triggers the body’s repair mechanism. As the problem resolves, the pain tends to improve and usually disappears within 3-6 months. This type of pain could be argued to be beneficial: if it hurts, you are likely to try and avoid doing whatever it is that has caused the pain in the future, so you are less likely to injure yourself in that way again.
Occasionally the pain continues even after tissue healing has finished. When pain continues after this point, it becomes known as persistent (or is sometimes referred to as chronic) pain. This type of pain is not beneficial and is a result of the nerves becoming over-sensitised, which means that a painful response will be triggered much more easily than normal. This can be unpleasant, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing yourself any harm simply by moving. You could think of this as a sensitive car alarm that goes off in error when someone walks past.
Persistent pain is very common and effects over 14 million people in the UK alone. It often does not respond to conventional medical interventions and needs a different kind of approach, but there are many things that you can do to manage your pain yourself with the support of your osteopath, your family and loved-ones. Keeping active, performing exercises and stretches can help, learning to pace your activities so that you don’t trigger a flare-up of your pain as well as setting goals and priorities are all very important and can help you to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle.
For more information on how to manage your persistent pain, speak to your osteopath or visit http://www.paintoolkit.org/
Shoulder Pain and Some Causes
Shoulder pain can arise from a number of conditions:
· Rotator cuff problems – This is an injury or strain to the muscles of the shoulder girdle, particularly the intrinsic rotators. Pain can be felt in the shoulder or the upper arm.
· Biceps tendonitis, which affects one of the tendons of the biceps muscle and is experienced at the front of the shoulder mainly (anterior aspect)
· Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis – This is where the shoulder capsule becomes inflamed and gradually stiffens and is often very painful. Range of movement becomes reduced which can limit daily activities.
· Acromioclavicular joint pain – This is pain in the joint where the collarbone and shoulder blade join at the tip of your shoulder
· Osteoarthritis – Gradual wear and tear of the cartilage and shoulder joint. You may feel swelling, stiffness and aching pain which can be sharp on movement.
· Referred shoulder pain – Pain in the shoulder can be referred and coming from a problem in the neck or upper back.
· Shoulder instability – Dislocation or excessive movement at the shoulder joint leading to pain.
Treatment of shoulder pain
As an experienced osteopath, I am trained to try and help you understand what is causing your shoulder pain. Once you have been examined, I will determine whether osteopathic treatment could help you. Scans or other tests may be required to make a diagnosis and I may refer you to your GP for further treatment or investigation.
Treatment varies to suit your individual case; you may receive massage, shoulder articulation and/or manipulation of the neck and thoracic spine with rehabilitative exercises.
If you have any questions about your shoulder pain and want to ask any questions, feel free to get in touch on 01491-838866.
Speak to Rohan or Jane and feel free to ask any questions before consultation.
"powerful evidence of patient satisfaction...that typifies osteopathic care"
This is one of the most frequently asked questions asked by patients over the phone and also at a first consultation. It is a difficult question to answer succinctly but the link shown here from NCOR ( National Council for Osteopathic Research ) is interesting as it looks at what each profession says about itself and also summarises the information provided by the professional body for each group.
The Hazards Of Hairdressing
Many occupations involve some degree of manual work which will often include lifting. Those people that are traditionally engaged in jobs like building and plumbing are thought to be at particular risk of injury. This is true but not everyone would consider hairdressing a risk occupation; however studies have shown that 70+% of hairdressers suffer from work related injuries. These affect all parts of the body, mainly in the low back, neck and shoulder areas.
We shouldn`t really be surprised, as standing on the feet using the arms repetitively whilst performing intricate tasks for long periods of time, causes various strains on the body, which can lead to injury.
These strains are often mechanical in nature but stress can also be a factor. Some of the knock-on effects relate to inefficient blood supply and waste clearance in the muscles which are supporting the body and arms.
The feet, veins, knees and back are vulnerable to prolonged standing on hard floors. Bending to shampoo hair can also contribute to aches, pains and restrictions affecting the body. There are also natural stresses related to clients who share their own problems with a hairdresser for example.
Here are some commonly diagnosed conditions (labels) attributed to hairdressing:
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Locked or restricted joints in the neck or spine
- “Trapped nerves”
- Postural Related Fatigue
- Tension Headaches
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Muscle / joint tightening and strain
- Varicose veins
- Tennis/Golfers` elbow
- Stress Related Effects
- Migraines and Headaches
So How Can I Help Myself?
Here are some measures that can help
1. Leave plenty of time for travel where possible so that you start the day in a relaxed state
Cushioning with a rubber mat or similar to help reduce compressional stresses
Evenly distribute weight during breaks by sitting on a properly designed chair eg. a saddle stool This can also reduce the stress on the legs
Help the circulation by moving to adjust your position whilst standing
Keeping your centre of gravity near the midline helps to balance the weight distributions through the spine and legs
Appropriate, supportive non-slip footwear is advisable. Avoiding heels is therefore sensible
Orthotics or insoles can reduce compression and help with the foot mechanics. This translates to less stresses and strains in the knees, hips and spine
Standing with one foot in front of the other or with one leg elevated on a support where health and safety is not compromised can spread loads and reduce low back strain
Avoid excessive bending by standing closer to client
Clients chair heights should be adjustable where possible
Neck, arm and back stretches between clients or at break times in the day are essential
Keep an eye on the weight and exercise regularly to keep down the stresses put through the body
Drink water to keep hydrated
Smoking has been linked to many illnesses including muscle and joint pains so find a way of giving up if you are a smoker (https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree)
Use a mirror to assess your posture and improve
Use good quality scissors to reduce hand stress
Wrist position is important so avoid twisting strains
Meditation and/or other relaxation techniques can help
By taking some simple precautions injuries can be avoided and this in turn will make us more productive; Manual treatment can also help to reduce stiffness and to improve joint function which will often alleviates aches and pains.
Rohan Iswariah D.O