Newsletter January 2024
Over the years I have noticed that patients tend to recommend new patients to me who are suffering from a similar condition. For example someone with a wrist problem will send someone with a wrist problem to me, a low back patient will send me a friend or colleague with a low back problem etc.
Many people do not realise the vast array of conditions that I succesfully treat. Thus I have compiled the list below in order that you all are aware of the range of conditions that I regularly diagnose and treat.
Over the past few years I have been teaching workshops to the members of my association. Subjects include Diagnosis and treatment techniques for the entirety of joints, muscles and tendons as well as much more.
Back pain often means more than just giving you a pain in the back. It can create difficulties with walking, sitting, bending and lifting and can even lead to depression and breathing difficulties. It can also be the cause of pain in the buttocks, groin and legs, sciatica is a good example.
Over 2.8 million adults in the UK of all ages suffer from long term back pain, enduring months and years of discomfort.
Acute pain arises suddenly and is most often due to muscle strain. Usually the spine is pulled out of line and mobility is severely restricted.
The muscles governing the movement in the painful area may have been in a hypertense state for years and have just had their 'last straw' placed on them. A nerve can be 'pinched' but more usually they become compressed due to swelling and/or muscle compression around the nerve roots. Usually there is an area of primary trauma with a secondary spread of pain, aching and stiffness which radiates outwards, upwards and downwards, thereby compounding the problem.
A case which illustrates a typical history is one of a young man in his late thirties who had been suffering from a persistent pain in his mid-ribcage on the right for many years. He worked at a computer for long hours every day. He had scans and had been to many doctors, massagists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors in search of an answer to his pain.
I found hypertonus in the muscles in the area of pain. His overall structure was slightly assymetrical. He also suffered from an intermittent pain in his left front ribcage. Both this and the mid-back pain in his perception seemed to be aggravated by his digestive problems.
I gave him treatment to all the afflicted areas including the stomach and the pain disappeared. Some follow up sessions have maintained this marked improvement.
Conclusion: many long term problems can be resolved quite quickly given the right diagnosis and treatment.
This is pain on the top of the shoulders. The Trapezius muscle is very tight and will ache and give tension all the way up the neck and down into the upper ribcage.
Trapezius frequently contributes to headaches when they are tense (hypertonic).
Case: A late middle aged man consulted me for headaches. He had been suffering since he was a teenager with debilitating pain. He had been having treatment from an Osteopath for many years. I found that the upper fibres of his Trapezius were very tense and fibrotic. He also had a mis-alignment of this Atlas vertebrae and of C-5-6. I treated these areas giving vertebral manipulation and specialised muscle technique. His improvement was immediate and in the following weeks exhibited little or no symptoms. Now, three years later he has maintained this improvement.
It has been my experience that non-surgical Shoulder joint problems such as frozen shoulder, glenoid capsulitis, rotator cuff injury and Biceps tendinitis syndromes are very common and are extremely amenable to a mobilisation approach. They range from the acute, sudden swelling of a bursa/joint to long standing cases of frozen shoulder.
Predisposing factors: Muscle 'tethering' by the Pectoralis minor, Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus and the Teres group. The deep fibres of Biceps are usually involved as well. These tight muscles effectively 'hold' the head of the Humerus too far forwards in the socket and at the same time 'tether' the Humerus such that it cannot be lifted to its full potential range.
A few weeks ago a young lady came to see me with an acute neck strain. She could hardly move her neck in any direction. She was an actress playing a part in a musical where her character was an evil old lady with a crooked posture. This had induced her problem. After one treatment she was relieved of the pain and following the second session two days later she was completely out of pain and her normal range of mobility was restored.
Long term neck stiffness is often due to a mal-positioning of the vertebrae accompanied by some degree of joint rigidity. The neck muscles are especailly prone to hypertonus and as such need to be softened, stretched and mobilised.
I have suffered from headaches many times during my long life. This means that I have had the oportunity to observe the physical and physiological factors which create them.
All too often a headache is on one side only as the image shows. They are due to a number of factors most often overlooked by those who are ignorant of the tension patterns which cause them.
You do not have to put up with pills, poor diagnosis and inadequate treatments.
There are several common causes of headaches. Here are some of the most prevalent:
These are by far the most common type of headache and typically result from muscle tension and vertebral displacement. They often cause a mild-to-severe pain that feels like a toothache one one side of the head.
Migraine headaches are more severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.
Inflammation or infection of the sinuses can cause pain in the forehead, cheeks, and around the eyes. Sinus headaches are often accompanied by nasal congestion and discharge.
Medication overuse headaches:
Frequent or excessive use of pain-relieving medications, such as over-the-counter analgesics or prescription drugs, can lead to medication overuse headaches. These headaches often occur when the effects of the medication wear off.
Lack of proper hydration can cause headaches. It is important to drink enough water throughout the day to maintain hydration levels.
Prolonged or intense use of digital devices, reading, or working in poor lighting conditions can strain the eyes and lead to headaches.
These are normally felt in the temple and over the eyes.
Lack of sleep:
Insufficient or poor-quality sleep can contribute to headaches. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleep hygiene can help alleviate this cause.
Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those experienced during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can trigger headaches in some individuals.
Certain foods and drinks:
Certain foods and beverages, such as aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners, have been known to trigger headaches in susceptible individuals.
Often the pain that we associate with hip joint problems is not due to hip joint degeneration. Patients often arrive for a consultation having been informed by their doctor that they have a 'hip problem'. All too often the patients hip joints are quite healthy and yet they are suffering from pain and immobility around the hip and groin, sometimes affecting the knee area also.
In my experience such 'soft tissue' patterns which restrict movement are reversible, but if left without the proper physical therapy can lead to hip degeneration after many years. thus, such symptoms arising in the soft tissues are often precursors for hip problems later on and are best treated right from the beginning of this potentially pathological process. Specialised hip techniques which stretch, tone and deeply massage the affected structures will prevent the majority from progressive worsening.
Even when X-rays reveal pathology such as a loss of joint space in the hip, the condition can be helped greatly and reversed such that the space will increase and joint fluid essential for the health of the hip will return to a degree whereby the patient remains comfortable and fully functional for many years to come.
Pregnancy related pain
Most often pregnancy is marred by pain occuring in the muscles which join the leg to the pelvis e.g. Rectus femoris. Sciatica can occur if there is compression in the lower back, muscle tension in the Piriformis muscle and sometimes pressure from the baby laying on the Sciatic nerve.
Wrist and hand pain
Problems involving the wrist and hand are increasingly common. They are often due to a fall or fracture and also due to repetitive strain syndromes. Sometimes they involve an arthritic pathology. Mostly they are amenable to mobilisation of the joints and stretching of the tendons and muscles of the wrist and hand. I have special expertise in this area having treated many classical musicians for example.
Repetitive Strain Injury Syndromes
Look at the incredible array of muscles in your forearm. I still marvel at the complexity which enables us to perform so many functions with our hands.
I had a case a month ago of a young guitarist who could no longer use his left little finger properly. I attended to the muscles and tendons which control that finger and improvement followed immediately. With computer workers I will examine their workstation set up and habits especially of mouse usage. This approach combined with my specialised techniques all to often bring about a rapid improvement.
A late middle aged tennis coach who weighed 20 stone (280 pounds) consulted me for his severely swollen semi-arthritic right knee. He was scheduled for a knee replacement. I got to work and increased the mobility, the swelling and inflammation reduced and he found after several sessions that he was feeling much better. He is now back at work playing comfortably.
There are many diagnoses which are gross and generalised, non-specific regarding knee joint problems. I find that they miss the point with most knee problems. Doctors like drugs and knives to cure a lot of conditions where conservative methods such as mine will often prevent and reverse such problems.
Ankle and foot pain
Much misunderstood, the foot is of course the foundation for all that rests upon it. The foot is a composite of many bones and tendons most of which arise from the calf and front of the shin.
Mostly what happens is a collapse of the arch. This due to the design that you were born with and due to shoes which do not support the heel properly. People with a lordosis (forward arching of the low back) will have increased inner rotation of the knees and a consequent dropping of the foot arch. There is a long list of conditions that affect the feet, too many to list here.
Tennis and golfers Elbow
These conditions are usually described as above but are usually due to the attachment of the tendons where they meet the elbow. They will radiate pain all around one side or the other. This common condition does not involve inflammation or sweling of the elbow joint and is amenable to mobilisation techniques combined with softening of the attachments. Pain can also extend along the forearm.
The abdomen is frequently under a lot of pressure (intra-abdominal pressure). This can be the result of sluggish digestion or vice-versa. Many digestive and bowel problems can be significantly relieved using techniques which can reduce such pressure, abdominal massage being one of them. The intestines can become blocked and kinked, they can have areas which produce colic and discomfort. The abdomen holds a lot of emotional tension which can feed back and affect the behaviour of the individual, ranging from increased anxiety to altered mental states if the 'Biome' is affected by bacterial overgrowth.
We can all experience nerve related symptoms. Ranging from pins and needles, numbness and partial paralysis of muscles and limbs. Most of these common symptoms can be relieved by the correct diagnosis and treatment.The more serious central nervous system conditions are more problematic but can still be greatly helped especially with their secondary symptoms such as weakness, loss of co-ordination and worse.
The most common nerve related symptom is pins and needles in the hand. THis may be due to a number factors and is often mis-diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Orthopedics is the study of the bones, joints and muscles which enable us to move around. In medicine it is a specialisation whose diagnostic framework can pre-determine whether a condition needs an operation or not. It is a vast realm of knowledge and must be taken into account each time a patient visits me.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope that you now have a fuller picture of what I can do for people.
If you know of anyone that I can help, please let them know, I depend on personal reccomendations.