Hollyoak Health Winter Newsletter

Winter spotlight on… Slipped Disc Myth

“My disc was out and he just clicked it back!” Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube!

A disc is a pulpy substance that sits in the centre of the vertebrae and acts as a shock absorber. If for any reason it starts to shift towards the outer edge it will touch nerve endings and cause a reaction; increased muscle tension, pain, spasm, dull ache, etc.

Should this discal material then protrude outside the edge of the vertebrae in which it was contained and then touch a spinal nerve, the reaction will be somewhat more dramatic.

If the affected area is at the base of the spine, the spinal nerve involved will be the sciatic and symptoms including pain, pins and needles, numbness, tingling and weakness, may be felt, usually in one leg.

A slipped disc is fairly uncommon so don’t be alarmed, but suffice to say all back pain should be properly checked out by your Osteopath and gentle de-restricting articulation and manipulation can often resolve the pain from stiff and locked up joints, once correctly diagnosed.

Heel pain can be caused by a number of different problems; for effective treatment you need to know the cause.

The heel is designed to absorb the shock of walking and running. When you’re walking, stresses placed on your feet can be 1 ¼ times your body weight. This can increase to 2 ¾ times when running. It is therefore not surprising that heel pain is so common.

The following are some of the more common types of heel pain:-

Plantar Fasciitis is pain in the heel resulting from damage to the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to t he base of the toes. It tends to be most painful after resting or first thing in the morning.

Calcaneal Bursitis is an inflammation under the heel bone. Typically the pain is more in the centre of the heel than with plantar fasciitis, and tends to get worse as the day progresses.

Chronic inflammation of the heel pad can be caused by a heavy heel strike when walking or a reduction in the thickness of the heel pad. This gives rise to a dull ache which again increases as the day wears on.

Sciatica…..a pain in the backside!

Sciatica refers to pain caused by a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve which supplies the leg. Symptoms generally include pain in the buttock radiating down the back of the legs and which can sometimes spread in to the ankles, feet and toes. The pain of sciatica can be intense and some people also experience numbness and weakness of the muscles as the compression of the nerve inhibits effective control. In a typical presentation, the symptoms are only felt on one side of the body.

Is it sciatica or something else?

If you have low back pain radiating into the back of the leg, sciatica is one possibility but by no means the only issue. If your symptoms do not extend below the knee, it is less likely that the sciatic nerve is involved.

Assessing the condition

When you have your condition evaluated by an osteopath for the likely cause you will be able to get appropriate advice and/or treatment. Bear in mind that the term sciatica tells you nothing about where the nerve irritation is, or why it is happening. An osteopath will consider your symptoms, your medical history and their examination findings in coming to a diagnosis as to what is happening to cause your discomfort.

Treatment should then be specific and effective; occasionally, there may be cause for further investigation, but then you will be advised about appropriate action in the meantime. Even if you already have a diagnosis such as disc herniation, you may well benefit from treatment because an improvement to the function of the local musculoskeletal structures usually offers some relief and can speed up tissue recovery.

For Your Safety

The titles Osteopath and Podiatrist are both protected by law for a very good reason. It means that we have completed extensive training (which is ongoing through compulsory Continuous Professional Development) ensuring that you are only being treated by fully qualified health care professionals.

Opening Hours

Although we have been known to open the clinic on a Sunday morning to deal with an emergency, opening hours are as below:-

Monday – Friday 9am - 5.30pm

Saturday morning by arrangement

Tips for looking after your feet in the Winter

Wash your feet every day and use a moisturiser on the skin.

Ladies, give your nails a breather and leave the polish off for a while.

Don’t be tempted to warm cold feet on a radiator, it’s a fast-track to chilblains. Instead, massage them back to life.

Tips for avoiding low back pain

Keep moving and stretching

Take regular exercise

When sitting at a desk avoid slouching

Pace yourself when the work is heavy.

If working outside in cold weather make sure you’re warm before you start.

Seek Osteopathic advice sooner rather than later

For future Newsletters please let us have your email address debbyluxton@gmail.com

Hollyoak Health : Middleton : Ludlow : SY8 3EF T: 01584 823331