Do I need imaging of my back?
One of the most common questions asked by patients is whether they need an MRI or X-Ray of their back. Understandably, having low back pain can be a worrying experience and everybody wants to know the reason for it!
However low back pain is very common, with up to 84% of the population experiencing it at some point in their life. Majority of these cases (95%) are totally benign and without a specific cause. This means is that there is no serious cause such as fracture, infection, cancer, or other underlying condition.
Based on your pain history and signs & symptoms, your osteopath or GP will be able decide which category you are more likely to fit in.
Signs that mean you should see your GP/A & E
Following a fall from great height
Groin area numbness
Loss of you control of your bowels or urination
Extreme weakness of your arms and/or legs
If you fit into the 95% group where there is no serious cause for your back pain, then imaging of your spine is unlikely to show anything useful. In most cases imaging doesn’t show the reason for the pain and there is little correlation between this and the intensity or disability experienced.
Studies have shown that changes on the spine are normal and common in asymptomatic patients. This means a person in pain may have the exact findings of a person with no pain. This imaging rarely changes the management or treatment of the pain.
Osteopaths are trained at recognising the signs to indicate that a scan may be of benefit. They are also trained at performed specific tests that can identify the structures that are currently sensitised. This information can be used to recommend a treatment plan with hands on treatment, an exercise plan, and goal setting aimed at helping you return to your previous activities.
If you have any concerns or want to make an appointment please just call or book online.
Help! I have back pain! by Harry Hampson M.Ost
You are probably reading this post as you now have what 84% of the population have at some point in their life – lower back pain. This can be quite a rubbish and frustrating time – especially when it stops you doing what you want to do in the day!
Below is a quick guide about lower back pain and some tips to help you get moving again.
1) DON’T PANIC
95% of the cases of back pain are non-serious (meaning they are not due to fractures, cancer, or other serious causes). This means you are unlikely to have damaged anything, slipped a disc (see “I’ve slipped a disc!” post), or require any surgery. Your back is extremely strong and is capable of many movements.
2) KEEP MOVING!
Although your body is telling you to stop and lie in bed, this is often not useful to help get over the pain in the long term. Instead, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that you keep as active as possible during this time. Physical activity keeps the back muscles strong and teaches the brain that movement is safe.
3) USE ICE! (OR HEAT)
Often there is polarising advice on whether to use ice or heat or even both! The simple advice I can offer is use what makes you feel best! Research has shown that ice is a powerful pain modulator (meaning it overrides the pain signals to the brain making the pain feel better). Heat however is soothing and often capable of relaxing the muscles that are irritated, helping you get moving again.
4) IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME!
Most cases of low back pain tend to resolve themselves within two weeks of the original trigger. This may feel like a long time, but the body needs opportunity to fully recover and get back to before! However, if this pain continues longer than this period then we have one more recommendation…
5) SEE YOUR OSTEOPATH!
If your pain persists longer than the expected two weeks, then there may be some other factors at play. Pain can be influenced by sleeping habits, activity levels, stress, previous experiences, and friends & family! Osteopaths believe that the body is a whole and are trained to help identify any musculoskeletal contributions to your pain, advise on activity adaptations, and provide specific exercises & stretches. This may also include hands-on treatment aimed at helping the recovery process.
Harry is available at the clinic on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Call or book online to make an appointment.
With the main emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation, it is relevant to all injuries - with the main goal as not just a quick fix, but the long term fix that you've no doubt been searching for!
Each individual requires a goal, whether it is to be able to walk your dog, or if it is to make the glorious return to your 5-a-side league, your rehabilitation programme and treatment will be tailored to fit exactly to your needs.
Here's a short list of what can be treated:
Manual Therapy treatment will include Mobilisations, Sports Massage including Trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage & Swedish massage. Exercise Rehabilitation Programmes will be created to meet your needs, taking into account all contributing factors to get you back to where you need to be!
Sports Therapy uses this combination to ensure that your injury is dealt with at source, whilst targeting the underlying cause - minimising the chances of your injury reappearing.
If you have any further questions please contact Bearsden Osteopaths,
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 0141 942 0629
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects bone density. The bone becomes more fragile and therefore prone to fracture (breaking). An osteoporotic bone generally doesn’t look any different from the outside, but on the inside it’s pores become more porous. The inside of a healthy bone is like a matrix. With Osteoporosis the gaps in the matrix become larger as the bone disappears.
Osteoporosis affects both genders but is more common in females, especially post-menopausal women.
It’s not a painful condition, it develops slowly over years and you might only find out about it when you fracture a bone. The most common sites of fracture are the wrists and hips due to falls. Spinal fractures can occur too. This causes the body of the vertebra to become wedge shaped. This collapse causes a visible change in the posture of the person it’s happened to. They become very stooped and as a result can develop chronic back pain.
It is a normal ageing condition but can be present due to hereditary factors, other chronic diseases or because of certain medications. Once our bones have become fully formed they start to go the other way...all downhill from our mid 30’s(!) So you can see, it’s really important to look after our bones from a very early age.
In fact, the exercise we do before the age of 30 is so important as it makes our bones as strong as possible (peak bone mass) and therefore the ageing process will be delayed. Maintaining a good level of fitness helps the density of the bones to remain, especially with resistance training and body weight training e.g. walking, Pilates, Yoga.
Hormones are needed for bone development. In women it’s oestrogen and in men it’s testosterone. That’s why it is more prevalent in post-menopausal women, as their oestrogen levels lessen. In both sexes growth hormone is needed too.
The body replaces its bone by around 10% a year. Osteoblasts make new bone and osteoclasts breakdown old bone. The process of bone formation is called ossification. Osteoblasts take calcium compounds from the blood and deposit them into the bone. Vitamin D is needed for calcium to be absorbed into the blood from the small intestine. Calcium and Vitamin D are therefore important for strong bones. We get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight exposure. About 10-15 minutes a day on our face and hands (without sun protector!) should be plenty. Then, slather in sun screen to protect your skin from burning. Eat plenty of dark leafy green veggies (yum), dairy (if you can tolerate it) and oily fish. Certain foods prevent the uptake of nutrients so best to avoid these including fizzy drinks, too much caffeine and alcohol (boo).
Our bodies adapt and change according to the stresses we put it under. In the case of good stress, like weight training, the bone remains strong to adapt and cope. It’s a bit like when you train a muscle to get stronger, except for bone it needs to be a level of pressure that loads the bones at the right place and needs time to build up if you’re not used to it. Too much and even someone without osteoporosis will fracture, e.g. a runner who hasn’t worked up to that 10km slow enough, who then breaks a metatarsal in their foot
The same changes happen if we put our body under a constant low level negative stress for example, with bad posture. If we sit slumped at a computer and sit all day our bones mould into that shape. I see this happening in our youngsters, who are addicted to their mobile phones, their play stations and studying. They never look up! We don’t extend enough. But the good news is, we are malleable and over time with the right exercises we can change for the better. It’s never too late to improve posture, strength and to lessen the effects of the inevitable ageing.
Yes!! I treat many patients with the condition. We take a thorough case history to make sure any treatment we do is right for you. During the interview, be sure that you tell us you have osteoporosis. We avoid certain heavier techniques to prevent any undue harm, but rest assured you are in safe hands at Bearsden Osteopaths.
Exercise helps to maintain bone density, muscle strength, coordination and balance which prevents falls which is paramount in preventing fracture.
Eat well; eat to nourish your body. It’ll thank you for it when you’re older.
It is safe to have osteopathic treatment when you have osteoporosis – just be sure we know first!
DATA PROTECTION UPDATE – CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY
Our policy explains how we collect, use and maintain this information.
We are Bearsden Osteopaths Ltd, Suite 2, 5 Kirk Road, Bearsden, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, G61 3RG, UNITED KINGDOM. We provide multiple alternative and complementary therapies services.
We respect your privacy and never sell your data. We process personal information to enable us to provide health services to our patients, to maintain our accounts and records, promote our services and to support and manage our employees.
When do we collect your personal data?
We collect data when you contact us to enquire about or make an appointment by either calling us, messaging us on social media, emailing us directly or through the ‘contact us’ page on our website. To find out what data is collected when visiting our website click here
What sort of data do we collect?
Name, contact details including home and email address, contact numbers, occupation are requested when you arrive for your appointment. You will be asked to fill in a consent form, you can choose to leave parts blank if you wish.
During the appointment the practitioner will gather medical history information relating to the health complaint in a private treatment room.
How do we protect your data?
We use reputable systems that comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Your medical case history information is recorded on paper and is filed away in a lockable drawer. Only staff members have access to these drawers and keys are kept away from public view.
Online systems are secure and safe. PC’s are password protected and have AVG software installed to protect from hacking.
How long do we keep your personal data for?
We are legally obliged to store your medical files for a minimum of 8 years after conclusion of the last treatment
Who do we share your personal data with?
We do not share any medical history to anyone without prior consent from the individual.
We use Mailchimp as a marketing tool to promote our services and to let you know of up and coming events. We also send snippets of information like top tips for improving health. You will have received a newsletter to ask you to ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt out’ to these newsletters.
What are your rights over your personal data?
You have the right to gain access to the personal data we hold about you, free of charge.
Due to legal reasons, we have to keep your medical records for at least 8 years after the last treatment received.
We can remove you from the mailing list at any time you request.
This is a good time to update and correct any personal data we have and add any new health information that may have intervened since your last treatment at Bearsden Osteopaths. Just speak to your practitioner if you would like to do this.
If you require any clarification or have any further questions regarding this document please do contact our data controller Miss Linda Canning, director and osteopath, at email@example.com, or call 0141 942 0629
Let’s think about your posture when driving (you can apply this to your desk too. Or even better get a standing desk. Standing car?) Tune into it, do a little body map in your minds eye:Are you slumped? Is your torso lopsided? Do you constantly keep and arm in one position the whole time – that arm that gives you an ache in the shoulder for no apparent reason? Are you able to be more balanced form side to side? Getting yourself completely straight can be difficult in a car. Cars are not designed specifically for our individual shapes. But we can all do a few things to help our frames out when we are forced to sit.
To make an appointment call Linda and the team at Bearsden Osteopaths on 0141 942 0629. You can also book an appoinment online at www.bearsdenosteopaths.co.uk/contact-us
Firstly, face the direction in which you want to carry the weight. Always lift using a relaxed, straight back and make sure your legs are at least your hips’ width apart with the knees bent. Keep your head and shoulders directly above your waist and keep the weight you are carrying as close to you as possible – avoid twisting. Avoid bending from the waist, which increases the stress on your lower back. Never keep the knees straight, as this will lead to over-stretching and damage to your back and never lift while twisting from the waist. Try and lift with a ‘broad base’ i.e. your feet about shoulder width apart or more, this will make you more stable.
Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back. Make sure you balance or secure the weight before you start moving. Putting the weight down can often cause just as many injuries as lifting it up. If possible, put the weight on something waist height rather than the floor. If you do have to put it on the floor, try and keep you shoulders hips and knees pointing in the same direction, have a ‘wide base’ and bend your knees rather than your back.
If you need any help or advice then please call Linda and the team at Bearsden Osteopaths on 0141 942 0629. You can also book an appoinment online at www.bearsdenosteopaths.co.uk/contact-us