Osteopathic medicine is effective in the treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions.
This page lists some of the most commonly seen presentations in osteopathic practice. While conditions such as back pain and headaches can often be directly caused by issues in the human musculoskeletal and biomechanical mechanism, ailments such as indigestion or general nervous exhaustion can be addressed indirectly by treating the related musculoskeletal areas of the body. This can and often does provide significant relief and enable the body to recover faster.
Understanding pain is crucial to knowing what to do about it. Below is a great, easy to follow video about chronic pain. It helps you understand what current research has been saying about chronic pain - thats its not a joint or muscle problem, rather a 're-wiring' of the brain perception of itself. In other words, the brain has become more sensitive than before.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 70-90% of Australians will suffer back pain during their life. Luckily, most back pain is preventable and treatable with life-style modification and osteopathic medicine.
Mechanical back pain is common and usually feels like an ache with varying degrees of intensity and 'sharpness' that varies with movement and is worse in certain positions. Back pain is often worst after periods of inactivity, such off after waking and after sitting, and may ease of when muscles and joints warm up. Often, back pain is caused by strained or overworked muscles and can persist even after massaging the area of pain. In this case, it is often necessary to address other factors such as muscle trigger points, joint mis-alignment or nerve impingement.
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Headaches and migraines
According to Headache Australia 10-15% of Australians suffer severe headaches or migraines. This means many more Australians experience less severe types of headaches; many of them experience headaches more than once per week. The cost to the Australian economy exceeds 1 billion dollars annually.
While some headaches can be complex to diagnose and treat, many have relatively simple causes and, luckily, relatively simple fixes. Many headaches have their origin in neck and head muscle tension and trigger points which are often the result of persistent poor posture, such as while working on a computer or prolonged periods of over-head work. Other headaches are caused by mis-alignment of joints in the upper back or neck, can be food-related or be the result of prescribed medication.
Migraines are severe headaches which often include visual changes, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. These migraine headaches are often debilitating and disabling with sufferers forced to take time off work and life to sleep them off in a dark and quiet room. While some migraines can be hard to treat, osteopathy can often help alleviate their symptoms by addressing related aggravated factors and, at times, a full recovery or drastic reduction in severity and frequency of the migraine attacks can be achieved.
You don’t need to put up with headaches. Get help now!
Sciatica is nerve-pain resultant from compression of the sciatic nerve on its path from the back down the leg, for example as a result of disc bulges or arthritic changes. Sciatica commonly present as lower back pain accompanied by a sharp ache in the back of the thigh which, in severe cases, can cause shooting pain all the way down into the foot. Sciatica is often worse after long periods of sitting and when leaning forward and away from the painful side. The most important consideration in sciatica is the protection of your nerves. This may require a referral. However, it is possible to treat and alleviate pain caused by sciatica and to enhance the healing process through osteopathic treatment and care.
There are also a number of other conditions, such as tight buttocks muscles and muscle trigger points, which can mimic sciatica and which are easily treated.
Sciatica can be treated. Don’t suffer, get help now!
Hip and knee pain
The hips and knees are among the most common joints in the human body affected by pain conditions. In the younger population the cause is often sporting injuries, while hip and knee pain in adults 45+ often occurs due to long-standing issues of alignment leading to increased loading of ligaments and joint surfaces causing strain and uneven wear and tear.
Using osteopathic principles to realign joints and decrease excess pressure and load can optimise joint function and help decrease inflammation and pain.
You don’t have to live with hip or knee pain. Get help now!
General joint pain
There are many reasons for joint pain ranging from strained ligaments e.g. due to poor posture, inflammation from wear and tear, trauma or chronic inflammation. Through the use of osteopathic medicine to restore good joint function and the management of life-style related causes for joint pain, a reduction in pain can generally be achieved over time, even in long-standing joint pain conditions.
Joint pain is treatable. Get help now!
Nerve pain is a serious condition and needs to be treated quickly for best results. Severe nerve pain is caused by compression of a nerve along its path and feels like shooting, radiating, electric shock pain. Most commonly, nerve pain occurs in the leg as a result of compression to the sciatic nerve through disc bulges or muscle tension (see sciatica above). As nerve compression can result from a number of structures encroaching on a given nerve, thorough diagnosis is important and, at times, referral for imaging may be necessary before treatment can commence.
In many cases, nerve pain can be caused by simple muscle tightness which can be easily treated. At other times, conditions such as myofascial trigger points (see below can mimicked the referred pain common to nerve pain.
We can help your nerve pain. Don’t suffer unnecessarily. Make an appointment now!
Muscle pain and trigger points
Muscle pain and tightness is one of the most common presentations in manual medicine, causes a great deal of frustration and can be debilitating for sufferers. When muscles become very tight or overworked, they form knots, known as myofascial trigger points. These can be excruciatingly painful themselves and also refer pain to other areas. For example, a great number of headaches are caused by referred pain from shoulder and neck muscles. Once properly diagnosed, muscle pain can be treated effectively using a number of techniques and relief can be achieved within a short period of time.
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Sports injuries, strains and sprains
When muscles and ligaments are either placed under long-term load, such as with poor posture, or short term excessive load, e.g. through injury, they may become strained (muscles) or sprained (ligaments). Common examples of muscle strains are those which occur due to a lack of warming up before play, while the most common ligament sprain happens when we roll an ankle.
While nearly identical in their injury mechanism, the main difference lies in healing time and the methods of rehabilitation. In any case, if you think you are suffering from a muscle strain or ligament sprain, seeking competent advice can not only minimise your recovery time but also be a deciding factor in your long-term ability to return to sport or work.
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Chronic pain management
Chronic pain is pain which persists long after the expected healing time for the tissue from which the pain originated. While long-lasting pain can itself be debilitating, it is often the inability to partake in normal life which leads sufferers of chronic pain to withdraw and, over time, spiral into anxiety and depression. Research confirms that a multi-modal approach to chronic pain yields the best results. Therapies should address physical ailments through manual medicine such as osteopathy, life-style factors and modifications as well as emotional and psychological mechanisms which may be perpetuating chronic pain patterns.
As someone who has himself overcome a chronic pain condition, Johannes has experience and understanding of what it means to be affected by long-term pain and its effect on life. He also has a fantastic network of competent and compassionate practitioners who help with the treatment of chronic pain patients.
No one needs to live with chronic pain. Get help now!
Indigestion and bloating
Indigestion and bloating can be troubling as well as inconvenient and embarrassing. A number of musculoskeletal and life-style factors can impact on the digestive system. These can include nervous system deregulation, myofascial trigger points and muscle tension or spinal joint misalignment. Osteopathic treatment can go some way to alleviate digestive system ailments and we can advise you regarding positive life style choices or refer you to another practitioner within my network if required.
Let us help your tummy. Make an appointment today!
Stress and nervous exhaustion
Today's busy life-styles foster states of constant stress, which can lead to nervous exhaustion. Osteopaths can use techniques to settle the fight or flight response, enabling the nervous system to return to a balanced state. Further, the removal of problems within the musculoskeletal system frees up energy the body previously spent on compensating for misalignments, e.g. through muscle tension or ineffective postural patterns. We can also advise you on diet and life-style factors which may be able to assist you in becoming more stress-resilient.
Are you out of energy and out of balance? Let us help you get back on track.
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From time to time, a feeling of general malaise overcomes us all. This is often caused by fatigue, being worn-out due to times of stress or because our body is struggling to compensate for life's stress. If you are feeling generally unwell, you could also be suffering from an infection or other illness. If you are worried about how you feel, it is best to seek help from your GP straight away to make sure there is nothing serious going on.
However, osteopaths are trained to thoroughly check all of your vital systems and, if required refer you immediately. Should there be no reason for concern, we will make sure that your musculoskeletal system is well aligned and functioning, so that your body can return to a state of good health and balance as soon as possible.
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Preventative health care
Just like we go to the dentist for regular checkups or get our car serviced to prevent it from breaking down, regular preventative maintenance of your body can help you stay active and on top of your game. Our bodies are great at compensating and often able to bounce back from aches and pains. However, especially those among us who live very active life-styles or who ask a lot of their bodies, can benefit greatly from having day-to-day stressors, such as tight muscles or joints, released before they become bigger problems. Regular maintenance has many benefits such as improved efficiency and bodily function, decreased pain and better stress-resilience.
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