Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of pain in the elderly

Did you know that there are approximately 700 million people in the world aged 60 and over? 

And it is estimated that by 2050, there will be around 2 billion people on the planet that fall into this age bracket!  

That’s just over 30 years away!  That’s quite difficult to comprehend, but with people beginning to work and live longer, it’s important that the elderly population get the attention and care they need to stay healthy and active; so they can enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

You might think that as people get older, they become less active and therefore are less likely to injure themselves.  This may be true to a degree, especially once reaching retirement age, but the elderly population are generally an active population and are just as much at risk of injury as the next person. 

A 60-year-old person might not play footy or run around the basketball court as much as a teenager might, but they have other things to contend with – an ageing body with years of gradual degenerative change and weakening that we all experience at some point as we go through life. 

One of the most common causes of injury in the elderly is falling.  Unfortunately, as the body ages, it becomes more prone to falls.  This usually boils down to a combination of individual factors (i.e. having multiple diseases, poorer eyesight, or general weakening of the body) and environmental factors (e.g. trip hazards around the home setting).  Some of the most commonly seen injuries sustained from falls include fractured hips, arms and forearms, cuts and lacerations, as well as head injuries.

In a clinical setting, us osteopaths see our fair share of older patients.  It’s less likely we’ll see someone in the acute setting immediately following a trauma like a cut, laceration or in many instances where a fracture is suspected, but it does happen.  It is much more likely however, that we will see patients experiencing pain related to postural strain (think about the retiree who sits around a lot), or from degenerative changes in the body. 

A common degenerative condition affecting the elderly population is osteoarthritis (OA).  This most commonly affects the joints in the hips, knees and spine – particularly those of the neck and lower back.  It’s no coincidence that these are the main weight-bearing joints of the body.

So what is OA?

OA is a condition affecting the synovial joints in the body (the joints between two bones in the body that have a lubricating fluid between them).  It is characterised by changes to the cartilage and underlying bone, as well as inflammation and irritation to the soft tissues that help to hold the joints together – known as the synovium – it’s the tissue that forms the lubricating fluid that sits between the joints.

Primary OA refers to changes in the joints that relate to the ageing process.  It will often run in the family, so if your granny or dad has it, you may be more at risk to develop it.

Secondary OA is arthritic change from any other cause.  For example, following on from trauma, repetitive
stress, poor posture, or from diseases such as gout.

Signs & Symptoms of OA

The main symptoms (things the person experiences) of OA include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Poor joint function
  • Muscle weakness.

Signs (things we look for in the clinical setting) that a joint is degenerated include:

  • Popping
  • Clicking
  • Poor range of motion
  • Bone and joint swelling
  • Deformity
  • Instability

What to do if you have or think you have OA?

First things first, book an appointment to see your local osteo.  After questions and assessment, we’ll get to work on your body and putting you on a pathway to moving better.  There is a good chance your arthritic joint is paining you because you aren’t moving well, and the joint is being loaded incorrectly. 

The good news is, we know how you should be moving, and what needs to be done to get you there.  We’ll aim to reduce your pain down by releasing tight and over-worked muscles and mobilising your stiff joints.  Mobilising the joints helps to increase range of motion and will help promote production of the lubricating synovial fluid that sits between the joints to allow smooth fluid movement. 

You should get off the treatment table feeling less pain and moving better.  There is a good chance you’ll need to do some form of strengthening to the surrounding weakened muscles, so the joint is more supported when you move it.  More good news, we know which exercises will be beneficial to get you on the path to stronger muscles.

Unfortunately, we cannot claim to cure your OA, but we can certainly get you moving with less pain or in an ideal situation, no pain at all.

What’s the outlook with OA?

More often than not, if caught early, significant changes can be made to stunt the progression of this degenerative condition.  So, don’t ignore pain, it’s your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. With early treatment, the best possible outcome will be achieved.  If you pop into the clinic and we determine your issue is not OA-related, we can provide you with a sense of relief and get you on the right track for your situation (a positive outcome, either way!).

In severe cases, you may require the opinion of a specialist orthopaedic surgeon.  Sometimes people
require joint replacements and can go on to live a very good quality of life with a new hip or knee for example.  Always see your osteo first though.  Using our skills, we can possibly keep you from having to go under the knife a bit longer, and maybe even at all.  Worth a shot don’t you think?!

References

United Nations. 2019. International day of older persons – 1 October. [Online]. Available from:
https://www.un.org/en/events/olderpersonsday/. [Accessed 04 Sept 2019].
Medscape. 2017. Falls in the elderly: Causes, injuries, and management. [Online]. Available
from: https://reference.medscape.com/features/slideshow/falls-in-the-elderly#page=1.
[Accessed 04 Sept 2019].
Arthritis Australia. 2019. Osteoarthritis. [Online]. Available from:
https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/. [Accessed 04 Sept 2019].

Safety At Work

The great thing about Osteopathy is that it’s not just about ridding people of their pain.  It is a way of life.  Yes, people come to see us to get rid of pain, but once they are in our caring hands, our work doesn’t stop there. 

At Pakenham Osteopathy, we are huge advocates of ‘prevention is better than cure’.  So, we will delve deep into your life – your diet, sleep patterns, hobbies, job and more.  We look at you and your life as a complete package and will help you work out what areas need adjustments so you can live a long and healthy life (which is as pain-free as possible!).

Work is a big part of most people’s lives and is often a significant contributing factor to their pain.  This month we’re giving advice on two key areas to ensure you are looking after yourself at work, so you can avoid injury and keep food on the table.  All in the name of ‘National Safe Work Month’!  Read on to ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of staying injury-free at work.

Lifting posture

We see lots of people coming in for
treatment because they have hurt their
back, neck or shoulders in a lifting-related
incident. Our advice for you…

1. Plan ahead to make sure you have a
clear path from A to B for the object you
are carrying.

2. Make sure the object is
stable and is not going to topple over
whilst you are carrying it.

3. Get close to the object and with your feet
hip-width apart, and whilst keeping a
straight back, bend at the hips and knees
to get low to the ground (key words here –
“STRAIGHT BACK”!).

4. Ensure you have a firm grip of the object and whilst keeping your back straight (there it is again!), lift from your hips and knees until you reach an upright position.

5. Always move using your feet rather than twisting or leaning through your back.

6. Always keep the object close to your body. Never try to hold it out in front of you with your arms,
as this places a great deal of stress on your shoulders, neck and back.

7. Always get help from another person(s) if the object is too heavy for you alone. It is NEVER
worth the risk of injury by tackling a task that may be slightly beyond your physical capabilities.

Desk set-up

Postural strain from a seated desk job is another common work-related injury we treat. To
ensure you are sitting pretty, our advice to you is…

1. Ensure the top of the screen is level with or just below the level of your eyes, and centred in
front of you.

2. Sit with relaxed shoulders, elbows bent at 90 degrees and avoid cocking the wrists back when
typing (adjust your desk height to suit this if possible).

3. Adjust the tilt of your chair to allow the hips to sit at an open angle of 100-110 degrees.

4. Adjust the backrest of the chair to ensure you are supported in an upright position whilst seated.

5. Avoid slouching back on to your tailbone. Instead, gently roll your pelvis forward to sit on your
sitting bones and bring the curve of your low back into its natural position.

6. Take regular breaks from sitting. Get up out of your chair every 30-45 minutes to allow your
body to move and stretch.

So there you have it!  Our skills are much more than just our hands.  We’re full of good advice!  No matter what job you do, we’ll help you break it down to make sure you are getting the most out of it and not putting yourself at risk of a workplace injury. Here’s to a happy workday, every day!

References

Employsure. 2019. Reduce the risks associated with manual handling. [Online]. Available from:
https://employsure.com.au/blog/reduce-risks-associated-manual-handling/. [Accessed 21
September 2019].
The University of Western Australia. 2016. Computer workstation ergonomics. [Online].
Available from: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/topics/physical/ergonomics/workstation.
[Accessed 21 September 2019].
Safe Work Australia. 2019. National safe work month. [Online]. Available from:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month. [Accessed 21 September
2019].

WORKERS URGED TO STAND UP FOR THEIR HEALTH!

  • Australians spend up to 22 hours of their working week seated behind desks
  • Back problems are the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia1 and can occur from continual poor posture while seated (1,2)
  • Prolonged static and awkward work postures, and repetitive movements can increase the likelihood of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (1)
  • During October’s National Safe Work Month, Osteopathy Australia highlights the importance of incorporating simple movements into our working day to prevent pain and injury.

 

Physical activity is the key to a healthy and enjoyable life, yet one in two Australian workers spend 55 percent of the day seated (3) and on average 22 hours behind a desk (4) each week.

Prolonged sitting and a lack of physical activity takes an immense toll on our bodies and are associated with a wide range of health problems, including premature degeneration of spinal discs, inflammation of joints, connective tissues and nerves (1,2).

Painful back and neck problems are also likely results of continually sitting with a poor posture (1,2) or awkward sitting postures, which if left unresolved, can become chronic conditions. With just one in three (30%) Australians achieving the recommended amount of physical activity per week, it’s little wonder that 70-90 per cent will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives (1).

Sydney-based osteopath, Edward Clark, said that although physical activity amongst Australian workers is slowly improving, too many of us are still spending most of our working day sitting at a desk without any active movement.

“Back problems are the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia and we still face the issue of a majority of Australian workers having sedentary jobs and sitting for most of their working day.”

“The way we work is unlikely to change in the near future and as health professionals, we need to be vigilant about promoting health and making recommendations to all Australians, particularly sedentary working Australians, such as taking small breaks to stretch our limbs and joints” he said.

“Some workplaces now offer sit-stand desks and whilst these may not suit everyone, they do offer a means to negate some of the effects of sitting all day. Whilst other offices have activity programs like in-house yoga, or group fitness programs which not only negate some of the effects of sedentariness, but may also boost productivity in the workforce,” Mr. Clark said.

Osteopathy focuses on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and circulation work together to reduce pain and risk of injury, whilst improving your overall health and well-being. Osteopaths can also provide education and advice regarding workplace ergonomics, promoting healthy postural movement behaviours and prescribing exercises that can be easily performed at home or work, and can be contacted without a GP or specialist referral.

Mr Clark also believes that osteopathy is a great place to start when seeking pain relief.

“Osteopaths don’t only look at the point of pain, they take a ‘whole of body’ approach. Workplace environment and stresses may also be accessed to provide a mix of treatments.”

“Australians need to be mindful of spending too much time behind the desk and learn the best activities and practices to maintain a healthy, comfortable workplace environment,” Mr Clark said.

During October’s National Safe Work Month, Osteopathy Australia is encouraging Australians to incorporate simple movements such as stretching, standing up, walking meetings, changing postures regularly and microbreaks into their working day to reduce the risk of developing a chronic pain problem, or a work-related musculoskeletal complaint.

 


References

1https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/back-problems/contents/what-are-back-problems

2 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting?viewAsPdf=true

3 https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/sedentary-work-evidence-emergent-work-health-and-safety-issue

4 http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strateg-active-evidence.htm  

 

The Ankle Injury That Bought Osteopath, Leora Down

These are the questions I’ve had from every person I’ve seen or spoken to over the last couple of weeks ….

  1. “What have you done to yourself?”
  2. “How did you do that?”
  3. “In New Zealand? Were you skiing?”

The answer to the last question sadly is: Nope!! I wish I was skiing, much less embarrassing story if I was!

What was meant to be a long weekend in the beautiful south island of New Zealand has turned into a 4 week hiatus.

So what did I do?

Standing on a hilltop, a lookout on the last day of the trip, surrounded by the In-laws, we were there to have a little picnic before heading back to the farm for our last night before flying back to Melbourne the next morning.  Carefully making our way down the cliff face to a different vantage point and down I went!   Loose stones and steep surfaces do not mix well, sack of potatoes was an understatement!

The whole thing felt like it was in slow motion and according to those around me it looked that way too. My right foot bent backwards underneath me.  I landed flat on my back with my foot caught up underneath, not exactly the graceful impression I wanted to leave with the Kiwi family.   There I was trying to hold back tears, no one actually realising the seriousness of the situation – but I knew – straight away i knew something was not right. I felt something go “POP”.  Unfolding myself and trying to stand up, the gravity of it all started to sink in, the pain was excruciating and I could not weight bear if my life depended on it.

As an osteopath our job is to diagnose musculoskeletal issues. 85-90% of our diagnosis comes from a thorough history and mechanism of injury and with my 10 years of experience working in the sporting industry there was only 2 diagnoses running through my head, and boy was I hoping my ankle was broken.

Carried back up the hill by my other half and his brother we were able to get back to the homestead and try to assess the damage that had been done.  Very swollen and unable to move it, was the extent of my examination. Not exactly diagnostic, however the one thing that really made me uneasy was the fact that when I was hopping about I felt like my foot was going to fall off, I have previously broken my upper arm and torn my ACL and I think this was the MOST painful thing I have ever experienced.

A few hours later drugged up and driven into Christchurch Emergency an X-ray confirmed my fears – NO fracture. Most people would say that’s a good thing – however in my head this only left one other option, a syndesmosis and I happened to be right unfortunately.

Back in Melbourne and 24 hours later I’d had an MRI and the syndesmosis injury was confirmed.  I immediately put myself in a moonboot and my Mum and I were frantically calling surgeons, trying to call in every favour we could so I could be seen immediately.  Then the real stress sets in, how are we going to treat it?

 

What is a syndesmosis injury?

Your syndesmosis (high ankle sprain) is a fibrous joint where the two leg bones are connected together by ligaments or connective tissue and usually have very little mobility.

High ankle sprains are much less common but are more disabling than your traditional lower ankle sprain. They must be diagnosed early stage and appropriate treatment initiated, which again differs from a lower ankle sprain.

Syndesmosis injuries account for approximately 11% of all ankle injuries, with a higher occurrence in sporting activities that involve twisting or cutting manoeuvres. This is where the diagnosis is important – high ankle sprains can lead to long term instability and weakness of the ankle complex if not treated correctly, including pain from extra movement and longer term complications such as arthritis.

The most common way to injure these ligaments is through an external rotation mechanism (where the foot is turned away from the body), or with excessive dorsiflexion (the movement at the ankle where the shin moves forward over the fixed foot in weight-bearing).  High ankle sprains usually occur following a traumatic ankle injury.

Depending on the grade and severity of the syndesmosis injury, they can be treated both conservatively and with surgical intervention.

In Part 2 of this blog you can read about how I made the decision about whether to do surgery or not….

6 Top Products to Help Manage Your Pain at Home

We get asked all day long what products are useful and for what reasons.  So here is a comprehensive list of our top products you can use at home.  These will help keep you moving between consultations or can be used in conjunction with the hands on work we are doing within your sessions! For more information on any of these, please email us at osteo@pakenhamosteopathy.com.au

1. Ice pack & heat pack

Image result for ice pack for kneeIce is best applied for sudden onset injuries, swelling, muscle strains or joint sprains, or used as a preventative to muscular soreness following exercise. It acts by reducing the blood flow to the region which minimises local inflammatory processes and also slightly numb the area which can help slow the transmission of pain signals. This may help to reduce pain and improve recovery.

A heat pack can be applied locally to help relax tense muscles and therefore improve joint range of motion. It does so by improving blood flow and nutrients to the area.

2. Fisiocrem

Fisiocrem is a herbal anti-inflammatory cream that helps to relieve muscular aches and pains as well as joint pain. It contains arnica, which may also improve the healing of bruising. This cream is certainly a must have!

3. Foam roller & Spiky ball

This equipment can be used as a form of self massage to help release tension in muscles and connective tissue surrounding it (fascia).  Current evidence suggests it helps to improve short term performance when used in a warm up routine, increase flexibility and joint range of motion and may reduce muscular soreness following exercise.

4. Therabands

These are essentially big elastic bands that provide resistance during exercises. They are commonly used for stretching, rehabilitation of injuries and also strengthening for injury prevention. These are often required for prescription exercises an osteopath may send you home with following your consultation.

Always speak to your osteopath before starting these exercises as they will tailor the exercise to your specific needs and administer the correct resistance band needed.

5. Magnesium

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 cellular reactions in your body, so no wonder we don’t feel quite right if there is a deficiency! Taking magnesium is known to improve sleep, muscle cramping, stress related muscular tightness and recovery from exercise. It is also very important for the health of our heart, nerves, teeth and bones!

Some forms of magnesium aren’t absorbed as efficiently in our body, so talk to one of our osteopaths and see which one is best for you! Currently available in powdered & spray form at the clinic.

 

6. Turmeric

Many of you may have cooked with turmeric without having any awareness of it’s therapeutic effects!  

Image result for nageze

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory which may help relieve arthritis and joint pain. Taken in concentrated doses, it may reduce joint pain and inflammation, stiffness and swelling. is kind to the stomach compared to over the counter anti-inflammatory tablets, and is suitable for those who take medications for other conditions that normally would contraindicate the use of typical anti-inflammatories.  The brand we recommend and have available at the clinic is called Nageze. It contains the equivalent of 2kg worth of turmeric!

Lucky for you, we have all of these products available right now at the clinic.  We hope you’ve found this article useful!

If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask our lovely receptionists or osteopaths. We can be contacted via email osteo@pakenhamosteopathy.com.au or give us a call on 5941-4157.

How Much Does Osteopathic Treatment Cost?

There are many factors that contribute to our pricing structure.  Here are some insights into what is involved in Osteopathic training and treatment at Pakenham Osteopathy…

 

Osteopathy is a regulated health profession through AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) which is the same body that governs GPs, physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists and dentists among others.  To fulfil our registration, one of the requirements is that we continue our professional development throughout our career. As such, we are always updating our knowledge and skills with the latest research.

 

At Pakenham Osteopathy, all our Osteopaths have invested 5 years at University mastering their craft, compared with physiotherapy which is a 4 year degree.  So we really have a vast knowledge of the anatomy of the body and pathologies that can exist.

We spend up to 60 minutes with each new patient.  This time allows us to hear your story to fully understand why the problem has occurred and what activities or postures need to be modified.  

 

An initial consultation at Pakenham Osteopathy is typically much longer than would be undertaken at a physiotherapist or chiropractor.

 

We focus on what outcome you’re looking for, or said another way, what goals you have.  Whilst for most, initially it is just to get out of pain, we delve deeper into what the injury has prevented you from doing and what steps we can take to get you back there.  We also aim to have you fitter, stronger and better than your pre-injury state.

 

At the end of the consultation we provide you with a comprehensive, tailored management plan that includes a diagnosis (what the problem is), how long we think it will take to recover, the number of treatments required and any exercises or activities that may help.

 

Our follow up appointments are for half an hour and during this time we discuss how the previous session went and we reassess you to provide the best treatment.  These follow-up consultations are typically at least 50% longer than a standard follow up at a physiotherapist or chiropractor. We always touch on your goals and reiterate the journey or pathway to get you there.

 

Image result for hicaps goAs for our fees at Pakenham Osteopathy, if you have private health insurance with extras cover, Osteopathy is often rebated.  Depending on your level of cover you may get back anywhere from $8 to the full consultation fee. Check with your individual health fund for how much you can expect to claim back.  Alternatively, set up Hicaps Go on your phone (download to iphone or android here), and you can get quotes for your specific policy.  It’s super easy and will save you time when you do come to claim. For further information about Hicaps Go please click here.

 

Our consultation fees at Pakenham Osteopathy are: $126 for a new patient and $91 for a follow up appointments.

 

So in summary….

  • Osteopaths are required to continue their education to keep up to date with the latest research and advancements in treatment
  • All Osteopaths at Pakenham Osteopathy have completed 5 years at University
  • We have long consultation times – Initial consults are 60 minutes in length, subsequent visits are 30 minutes
  • These long consultation times allow us to hear your story and tailor treatment that is specific to you and your condition
  • Management plans are always provided so you know what’s wrong, how long you’d expect it to last, and what frequency of treatment you’ll need to get back on your feet again.

 

If you have any body aches and pains, then we believe you could benefit from Osteopathy. For further information about our services please check out our website here.  To make an appointment, click here book online here or call the clinic on 5941-4157.

 

We hope this has been informative, and we look forward to seeing you in the clinic soon!

7 Top Tips to Help Ease Your Sore Back – From the Professionals!

Up to 90% of all Australians will experience back pain at least once throughout their lives. It’s a condition we regularly see in the clinic, and makes up a large majority of the conditions we treat on a day to day basis. With that experience we’ve formulated some top tips to help you if indeed your back starts to give you some trouble:

1. Keep moving!

Standing upright might take an almighty effort so the idea of walking when you have back pain may seem too hard. However the latest research suggests that movement is one of the most effective ways to minimise back pain. Many osteopaths are familiar with the term “motion is lotion” as indeed movement allows the muscles to relax and joints to get some gentle movement. Recovery time can decrease dramatically if you can get up off the couch and start walking! The human spine loves the intermittent loading and unloading that movement provides.

2. Avoid lifting
Whilst movement is great for a sore back, lifting is not. It creates extra stress through already inflamed areas of the back. This will only add to your pain!

3. Medication
Tumeric has received a lot of press lately in relation to its use a natural “drug” for pain relief and has been touted as alternative to Voltaren and Nurofen. We stock Nageze at the clinic. Nageze reports, “patients in both clinical and non-clinical settings have reported pain relief in as little as 2 hours”.

4. Ice & Heat
For acute injuries we generally recommend ice in the first 72 hours to help decrease inflammation. For more chronic conditions, heat can be soothing for sore, aching muscles.

5. Drop the extra kgs!
Weight gain of even a couple of kilograms can have a big effect on how your back functions and the amount of stress or pressure it is put under. Whilst it was not been thoroughly studied, it is known that those who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing back pain, joint pain and muscle sprain.

6. Get treatment sooner rather than later!

All too often we hear the phrase: “I wish I’d come to you sooner”. The reason is that osteopathic treatment can reduce your recovery time and get you feeling better sooner. And who wouldn’t want that when their back is killing??

7. Prevention is better than cure
If you’ve experienced back pain in the past, chances are you’ll get it again. With each episode of back pain comes a weakening to the small muscles that surround the spine. Without proper strengthening and rehabilitation to these muscles, research shows us that the injury is likely to occur again. As Osteopaths, it’s easier for us to re-train a back that isn’t in pain – we urge you to get treatment straight away.

So come in for an assessment and get on top of your back pain, before it gets on top of you!

Book online here or call the clinic on 5941 4157. We’d prefer to see you sooner rather than later!

Should I See an Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor? What’s the difference?

Should I book in with an Osteopath, a Physiotherapist, or a Chiropractor.  What is the difference between a Chiropractor and a Physiotherapist and an Osteopath?   These are some of the most common questions we get in the clinic or over the phone.  It almost sounds like the start of a joke, an osteopath, a physiotherapist and a chiropractor walk into a bar….

 

These health modalities may appear very similar in the problems they treat however, it is the difference in philosophies, principles and the way the techniques are applied that sets them all apart.

 

While it is not for us to explain the philosophies of Physiotherapy or Chiropractic, we can tell you all about Osteopathy….

 

Osteopathy has a holistic approach to health. By that, we mean we dig deeper to find the cause of a problem, not just the symptoms.  An example of this might be: if you are suffering from knee pain we will assess not only your knee biomechanics and associated muscle groups but we’ll also look at your foot, hip and low back as they too will influence the function of your knee. We know that other areas of the human body love to refer to the knee so we assess accordingly.  We’ll also delve into what your doing in your daily life that might be aggravating your knee, such as truck driver who jumps out of his truck down on to the one knee many many times a day. By changing the way he gets out of the truck, we can change the amount of stress going through that joint, which will ultimately help with the knee pain.

 

Some other aspects that we believe sets Osteopathy apart from the rest as that we:

  • We spend more time with you…. Our initial treatments are up to 60 minutes, and 30 mins for review consultations, giving us time to explore all factors that may be contributing to your pain
  • We don’t treat multiple patients at a time
  • We don’t just give exercises and use heat or ultrasound
  • We don’t just manipulate or crack joints exclusively, excessively or heavily
  • Will not just treat the sore joint or muscle, we look for the cause
  • Will not put you on a payment plan where payment is expected up-front for subsequent treatments
  • We are a very hands on experience at Pakenham Osteopathy.  Expect to receive soft tissue massage, joint and muscle mobilisation, articulation and stretching. Where indicated and patient consents we also do joint manipulation / “cracking”
  • We are all qualified in dry needling
  • We have radial shockwave therapy – appropriate for chronic tendon conditions that are unresponsive to other interventions
  • Don’t expect a 5-10 minute consult
  • Don’t expect us to only tape, prescribe exercises and not get our hands dirty!

So if you’ve been putting up with your aches and pains try a different approach – at Pakenham Osteopathy we really care about your health.  Give Osteopathy a go!

 

3 Steps to Avoiding Neck & Back Pain at Your Desk

We often get asked in the clinic “how can I avoid getting a sore neck or back when I’m at my desk all day?”

So here’s my top 3 tips to stop postural pain…

 

  1.     Get an Ergonomic assessment done of your workstation.  If you’re in a medium to large company your OH&S officer is the one to approach about this.  If you’re not at a large workplace, and perhaps are on a computer at home a lot, there are certain areas you should be assessing.  
    •     Chair height: you should be able to rest both feet comfortably on the floor.  Your knees and hips should be at right angles and the back support should fit snugly into the natural curve of your lower back
    •     Foot or wrist supports: these are available as an additional aid if your desk height is fixed, in the case of your feet and you cannot reach the ground.  The wrist support can help support your forearms so that pressure is taken off them
    •     Desk height: sit-stand desks very popular currently as they allow for changes in position.  This is key to avoiding neck and back pain. Our body’s crave movement so these desks allow for changes in body position.  If you have a fixed desk, then getting the chair height right is even more important
  2. Get up and move as much as possible:  Here are some ways to get more movement into your day at the desk
    •     Set a reminder in your computer so that every 20-30 mins you are reminded to get up and move
    •     Stand up to take phone calls
    •     Walk to the printer regularly
    •     If a colleague comes to talk at your desk, stand and chat with them upright
    •     Have walking or standing meetings
  3. Exercise when seated: there are some great stretches to do when you’re at your desk to help lengthen out stiff, tight muscles – again movement is the key!
    •     Turn your head both ways
    •     Roll your shoulders
    •     Twist your upper body by grabbing on the back support behind you with the opposite hand
    •     March your legs up and down on the spot

So that’s my 3 step plan to help you manage your neck and back pain when at a desk.  

Below is a great overview of how to set up your workstation:

 

But if you’re in pain now please don’t put up with it any longer, make an appointment today by clicking here or by calling the clinic on 5941 4157.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Spinal Manipulation Endorsed as ‘Best Practice’ for Back Pain

They’re not telling us anything we haven’t known for ages, but it is nice to get the recognition we deserve!

As osteopaths, spinal manipulation is one of the techniques in our toolbox and we use it to treat patients suffering back pain because we see how much it can help. To read more on what we do and how we do it, click here.

The American Medical Association published a review in April 2017 endorsing spinal manipulation as best practice for acute low back pain.  Manipulation was shown to be associated with significant benefits in pain and function for up to 6 weeks.  

This follows published guidelines on low back pain management by the American College of Physicians that recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments, including spinal manipulation, before resorting to drug therapies. We are reaching for pain killer medication far too often to treat our back pain. These medications can have some very nasty side effects in some patients.

This worrying epidemic isn’t confined to the USA.  Here in Australia, pain medication prescription rates are on the rise (see research here).  President of the Australian Association of Musculoskeletal Medicine, Dr. Kisselev, is urging GPs to consider more drug-free treatments, such as manual therapy and exercise, for patients with spinal pain.

There are many misconceptions surrounding spinal manipulation.  This term does not only refer to joint ‘cracking’.  It includes other techniques such as joint mobilisation and muscle manipulation.  Hopefully with this endorsement, some of those myths can be debunked!

If you, your family member or friend is suffering low back pain – before you go reaching for that pain medication – make an appointment with one of our highly qualified Osteopaths (click here) and get your pain treated without the need for potentially harmful drugs.

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