Osteopathy and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be the result of:

    • An old trauma such as a car accident, a jerking movement, a fall, a fracture, a joint dislocation, a direct blow to a muscle.
    • A change in posture resulting in poor body mechanic.
    • Repetitive movements causing overuse of a joint and then osteoarthritis (wear and tear).
    • Prolonged immobilisation.
    • Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, affecting joints and the muscles surrounding them.

Many sufferers are told that nothing can be done, that it is their age and that they have to live with it. Nobody can reverse the effects of age or the damage caused to the joints by inflammatory arthritis or trauma, but osteopaths can help by improving movement, easing stiffness, reducing swelling and loosening muscles, restoring some joint mobility, all helping the body to adapt to these changes. As a result, there is often less reliance on medication and consequently fewer side effects, such as gastritis and constipation.

When the posture starts to deteriorate for instance and a hump develops, even a small one, it places a huge strain on the joints and muscles of the back and the neck. Treatment can help improve posture and relieve the strain. Treatment is gentle and completely non-invasive. Osteopaths guide the stiff joint through its range of movement, gently stretching and easing away the stiffness. Associated tissues may also require treatment to ensure that they are functioning well in order to compensate for the damaged joint(s).

The osteopath can also advise on gentle home stretching exercises to try to preserve joint mobility and prevent deterioration.