Joint wear and tear can challenge your body unnecessarily and contribute to pain, ache and stiffness as you age; at Osteopathy Central, we treat joint imbalance and the results can help your body move and feel better.
As we age our quality of life particularly activity levels and wellbeing can be affected. In an osteopathic clinic reduced wellbeing, irregular gait and movement patterns, pain, ache and stiffness are common presentations. Sometimes the symptoms are the result of a specific accident, injury or trauma. At other times, the symptoms come on gradually without an apparent cause – people may say that they were aware of a problem for awhile but recently it’s gotten worse. This type of scenario becomes more common as we get older and our bodies seem less able to adapt to challenges. Cranial osteopaths believe that unresolved strains and imbalances contribute to and sometimes cause problems that can lead to long term conditions developing. They believe that by treating your body for these types of unresolved strains and imbalances, they can provide more effective and lasting relief – even when the pain, ache and stiffness have been caused by an accident or injury. Cranial osteopaths believe that treatment helps the body function better so that it can absorb mechanical challenges better in the future.
Over our lifetime, our bodies must cope with many challenges to mechanical health. They come in many forms: accidents, surgery, fractures, concussion, sports injuries, falls, sprains, strains, shock, chronic stress, disease and illness. Our bodies have an amazing capacity to adapt, heal and maintain health – but despite our body’s best efforts, it can also become over-burdened. It can occur over many years as an accumulation of relatively minor imbalances that gradually erode our capacity to bounce back, even from normal day to day stresses and strains. This is how unresolved strains and imbalances can over-burden our bodies and suppress our body’s ability to recover and maintain robust mechanical health. This can be the basis of conditions like osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but the small joints along the spine and the large hip and knee joints are the most commonly affected. Degeneration in the musculoskeletal system has different names depending on the location and degree. In spinal joints it is sometimes known as spondylosis. In the spinal discs it is known as degenerative disc disease or degenerative disc prolapse or herniation. This can lead to complications: spinal stenosis, radiculopathy and/or degenerative spondylolysthesis or retrololysthesis and so on.
Damage from wear and tear occurs gradually. It is often progressive and the characteristic signs usually begin in middle age. Once structural change has occurred, it can’t be reversed. Factors such as family history, work and prior injury can have an influence on how this type of arthritis develops.
Many sufferers are told, ‘Nothing can be done,’ or are offered only medication or surgery. However some aspects of the condition can be managed.
Sometimes, the degeneration has become so severe that surgery is the only option. Hip and knee replacements are more common.
Surgery and rehabilitation after surgery are significant challenges for the body. Cranial osteopaths can help the body recover from the shock of surgery and the challenges of exercise rehabilitation. They can help hasten a slower than expected recovery due to lingering pain and discomfort or complications after the surgery, by restoring functional balance to the new hip or knee.
Cranial osteopaths use their knowledge and skills to detect strains, stresses and loss of mechanical function in all areas of the body. They’re interested in tracking down the sometimes hidden contributing factors to pain ache and stiffness. Through gentle treatment, they release strain and tension, rebalance posture, relieve undue load on vulnerable areas, and improve posture and movement patterns. The cumulative effect is dispersal and reduction of the various stresses and improved wellbeing. Cranial osteopaths advocate early intervention before structural changes has been established. However, even if the wear and tear has developed into arthritis, the condition can still be managed. Cranial osteopathy has a useful contribution to make to improve activity and wellbeing.
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