There are several reasons for headaches. Most are not serious and once the cause is established headaches can often be helped by simple changes in lifestyle. One cause can be tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back.

Treatment from an osteopath may help. Gentle massage to the tight muscles and manipulation to loosen the joints of the neck, thorax and back can relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to headaches. Osteopaths can also advise on exercise and lifestyle changes and offer guidance on simple changes to your posture when at work or driving which may help.

Arthritis is a common condition which causes pain, swelling and inflammation and often stiffness in the joints of the body.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but there are many other types including ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis. Certain types of arthritis can also affect children.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear of the joints in the body. It is common in people over 50 and most commonly affects the joints of the knees, hips, neck and back, base of the toes and hands.

The gentle manipulative and massage techniques from osteopaths can help some arthritis sufferers. Treatment is individual, gently moving and stretching an arthritic joint and massaging surrounding muscles and tissues can help ease some of the discomfort. Sometimes an osteopath may work on general mobility of the other joints and muscles in the body to help the mechanics of the body work better. Osteopaths may also give advice on exercises, diet, posture and changes to lifestyle. X-rays, scans or other tests may be required and your osteopath may refer you to your GP for any additional investigations and treatment

Back pain is a very common problem, with reports suggesting as many as eight out of ten of us will suffer from it at some point during our lives. Around 5.6 million working days in the UK are lost each year due to back pain, second only to stress.

Back pain can affect anyone at any age, and can often be the result of a sprain or a strain of the structures of the back such as the muscles, ligaments, joints or damage to the discs. Osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the back can also be a reason.

Most of us know that back pain can be painful and inconvenient, but it’s not usually serious and will often resolve on its own within a few weeks. However, many people seek osteopathic treatment to address it quickly and at a time and place of their own choice; and osteopaths are skilled at helping prevent back pain from becoming a chronic, long-term condition.

Back pain can be brought on by lifting, moving awkwardly or by an accident. Sometimes it can come on without any specific injury to your back. Stress, depression, posture, being overweight, sedentary living and poor lifestyle habits can all be significant factors.

People can feel a range of symptoms such as stiffness, tenderness and mild to very severe pain. The pain can come on quite suddenly or over time, and be located anywhere in the spine from the top of the neck to the pelvis. Sometimes pressure from the back on the nerves can cause pain or pins and needles and numbness in the legs and arms. X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make a diagnosis. If osteopathy treatment cannot completely heal or discover the cause of the back pain, your osteopath may refer to your GP or a specialist for any additional investigation.

  • Osteopaths are well known for treating back pain and patients report high satisfaction with treatment. There is good quality evidence supporting the beneficial effects of manipulation for back pain and the National Institutes for Clinical Excellence recommends osteopathy for sub-acute and chronic low back pain
  • Osteopaths can use a wide range of gentle manual treatments depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis. We may gently massage the soft tissues of your back or rhythmically “rock” the joints to release tension and sometimes we may gently manipulate the back to loosen the joints and you may hear a “click”
  • Treatment is different in every individual and sometimes it might involve treating other areas in the body such as the hips or neck
  • We may offer advice on your lifestyle particularly if we feel something you are doing repetitively is part of the reason why you have back pain. We may offer advice on your posture and give advice on diet and exercise or give you specific exercises

Neck pain is common in people of all ages and is often caused by how we use our necks.

Working all day bent over a computer, driving long distances, poor posture while standing or sitting, stress and tiredness are all factors that can cause the muscles in the neck and upper back to become tight and the joints to become stiff which can contribute to ongoing neck pain.

Sometimes a nerve in your neck can become irritated or “trapped” and cause pain in the arm going down into your shoulder or the hand, and may be accompanied by pins and needles and numbness.

Some headaches can be the result of tension or stiffness in the neck and upper back.

Osteoarthritis or age-related wear and tear in the neck can also cause muscular pain from the neck into the shoulder as well as some stiffness in moving the neck.

Sciatica is an umbrella term used to describe leg pain, much like lumbago is an umbrella term used to describe low back pain. There are a variety of causes of sciatica, many of which can be treated with osteopathic techniques. These can range from tissue massage to the more commonly known ‘cracking’ of joints or manipulation. The underlying reason for the cause of the sciatica will be established by the osteopath and this will determine the type of treatment administered.

The nature of most sports involve explosive stop, starts intertwined is a lot of twists and turns. This inherently leads to the possibility of injury whether that be traumatic or repetitive. As well as treating sports related injuries osteopathy could help with injury prevention, by improving the mechanics of a dysfunctional area that may predispose an athlete to developing an injury elsewhere. This can be done using a variety of stretching and mobilization techniques as well as strong advice on strengthening injured areas to aid recovery.