Why choose Osteo Rehab?
My approach to helping people…
People come to see me in pain or when they have limited movement. I find the underlying causes- it’s rarely often just one. This may come down to postural and structural reasons, but it’s never as simple as just ‘sitting at work badly’, or let’s face it, it would be a simple problem to solve.
I do my best to calm the situation and give the patient immediate relief, and break the pain pattern. I get them to move, so I can address the underlying mechanical flaws. For example, a person’s lower back pain (caused by repeatedly picking up their children) might actually be generated by hip flexor tightness and poor movement in the foot. So simply getting that patient’s facet joints in their back to move more, doesn’t give long term relief, and guess what, the fix is only temporary. Unless , of course, you remedy the broken pattern. I often give patients exercises and little movement practices which initially don’t overwhelm the sore area (so there less risk of inflaming or irritating it).
Once the body tissues have calmed down enough, I gently stimulate and integrate the affected area back into a new movement patterns. In other words, I get the calmed area to do more loading and work. I look for strength deficiencies and poor proprioception and co-ordination, and correct them. This happens several times, building strength and better movement as the more of the ‘little bumps’ are revealed and then ironed- out. It’s a bit like the layers of an onion; there may have been an underlying poorly functioning joint from an injury caused many years ago, which has quietly impacted on other areas of the body, until such time that it caused pain distal to the original site of injury.
Once I’ve spotted the faults, I can often help to resolve the problem far more quickly than people would expect.
Katie is an equestrian rider, who’d had a very frustrating ankle injury.
When I met her she was having to move around with one foot off the ground, using an orthopaedic ‘trolley’ to carry her leg. She’d had this problem for weeks and weeks, and she hadn’t been able to get back to riding. Not getting out of the house meant she was also feeling very isolated and she had dreadful back and shoulder pain from moving in such an asymmetrical manner.
I listened carefully to her concerns, and we quickly began work to change her postural alignment. Starting with myofascial and gentle joint mobilisation, I released off her over-compensations that were plaguing her lumbar spine and shoulder. This enabled her pain to reduce considerably, giving her the confidence to start loading her ankle. With very tailored exercises she started to correct her gait, and with just three sessions of treatment, she got back in the saddle, and she’s now riding regularly again.
Mike is a triathlete, and he came to see me when back pain was holding him back from training for a big event. He had pain when trying to push a big gear up hill, and he was very concerned he wouldn’t be able to compete.
After watching his cycling action on his bike, I spotted that he was failing to recruit his glutes, and he was relying on his overly dominant psoas (hip flexor) muscles. Because he also had a stronger left side than right side, he was putting lots of abnormal pressure on some of his lumbar facet joints – producing pain.
Releasing his hip flexors, mobilising his lumbar spine, and utilising specific exercises for his glutes, enabled him to get back to comfortably cycling. I encouraged him to look for visual cues (such as the positioning of his shoulder and elbow) to keep on top of his symmetrical cycling form.
Imogen dances professionally, and she’d been to see several people in relation to some pain and restriction she was feeling in her hip and knee. She wasn’t able achieve comfortable, fluid movements in her dancing, and she was naturally feeling frustrated.
She explained that a previous osteopath had simply ‘repeatedly cracked my sacro-iliac joints’, and she hadn’t had any rehab measures put in place. She’d had a similar unhappy experience with a physiotherapist: ‘ he rubbed my traps and lats to the degree that it left me with a lot of additional pain.’
Three sessions of focused treatment later, which included correcting poor squatting technique with specific exercises and movement ‘cues’, she was 95 % better, she was back to dancing five days a week.
Ciaran was due to compete in a weightlifting tournament, and he was running out of time. He described this lifting as ‘weak’, it gave him lower back pain, and he was losing confidence.
In Ciaran’s case, during his clean and jerk, he was loading up more through his right knee and hip than through his left side. This created a spiral of force through the pelvis, which had to be matched by a counter-rotation within his shoulder girdle. This shoulder imbalance meant he couldn’t forcefully drive up through his trunk and arms (so the lift felt ‘weak’), and it compressed and overly extended his lumbar spine (giving him pain).
After releasing off a tight psoas muscle, and work in front of a mirror, Ciaran began to ‘see’ what a neutral and symmetrical lift looked and felt like. We trialled different foot positions to steer his hips and used tailored exercises to optimise his scapular stability. Ciaran competed in the tournament, and lifted his heaviest weight yet this year.
Joshua came to see me when he jumped for a header and landed awkwardly, hurting his knee. He was due to play in an American football match ten days later, and he was struggling to find someone who could help him. He’d seen a physio attached to his club, and been told that because all of the traditional ‘orthopaedic’ examination tests had proven negative, there was nothing else to be done.
When I observed him in walking and lunging, I noticed he had poor proprioception (balance) in his gait, and there was a very big imbalance between his hip flexors at the front, and his glutes and hammies at the back. The net effect was that his knee cap wasn’t gliding correctly on the front of his knee, creating continued joint surface and fat pad irritation.
I carried out some hip flexor release work, and then I gave him a ‘layered’, structured series of exercises to strengthen from the ground up. He regained control first at the ankle, then the knees, and then the hips. With the help of a pre and post-game routine to fire up his glutes, he was back playing in the match ten days later.
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