Pain around the knee cap (Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome (PFJS) – Dr Jed Pullen – Associate Osteopath @ MOVE Osteopathy
In my experience the main cause of patella femoral joint syndrome is due to muscles that have become very tight combComments 0ined with a lack of adequate stretching, foam rolling or treatment. A change in shoes, type of training and surface you train on may also be the culprit. Tight muscles pull the patella, also known as the knee cap, so that it no longer slides and glides smoothly up and down when you bend and twist. Equally, weak glute muscles and a muscle located on the inside of your knee may be attributed to poor motion at the knee.
Osteopathy can help to loosen off musculature around the knee and hip which contribute to pulling and poor movement patterns of the patella. Short exercises to help retrain muscles that, based on our assessment, are in need of more strength will also help to prevent further pain and recurrence of pain. If patellofemoral joint syndrome doesn’t get treated it is likely to persist for a long time as the causative factor hasn’t been address. If quickly addressed with treatment this pain may be resolved in 2-3 weeks. Cases that have been on and off for a long period of time often take longer.
There are a number of things that you can do to help. Foam rolling through the ITB , the outside of the thigh, as well as the quadriceps and glutes are all going to help with releasing muscular tension. In the short term sports taping/ rocktape can help to ease the pain during activity. Applying ice after exercise is also important to help reduce inflammation in and around the knee. A short stint of consistent osteopathic treatment over 2-3 weeks, and then follow up treatments to help reduce likelihood of recurrence should see a significant improvement in the pain level experienced during exercise.
Shin Splints – Dr Kieran Schulz – Associate Osteopath @ MOVE Osteopathy
Shin splints occur when the muscles sitting either side of your shin (tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior) are being overused. This most often occurs when you rely on one of these muscles too heavily, usually from factors like running on hard or angled surfaces; increasing the distance, intensity or duration of your runs too soon; wearing unsuitable footwear; or poor biomechanics in the foot, ankle or knee which changes the loading patterns of the leg. If left untreated, this steady tightening can result in the tight muscle pulling so hard on its tendonous attachment to the tibia (shin) that the muscle starts tearing the outer soft-tissue layer of bone away from the bone itself. This is what we call shin splints.
If you don’t remove the causative factor, the irritation will continue and usually the situation progressively worsens till running and walking induce severe pain in the lower leg. With rest alone, it may take many months to ease, but with appropriate care, that recovery time may be reduced to just a few weeks in mild cases. Self management like rest, ice, taping, self massage and stretching usually help, and when you couple these at-home strategies with patient specific advice and osteopathic techniques which will help to loosen the tight tibialis muscles, calm and stretch the irritated area, and correct the biomechanical imbalances in the surrounding joints, you’ll be back into training again in no time!
Hamstring Strains – Dr Ashleigh Maggary – Associate Osteopath @ MOVE Osteopathy
A hamstring strain is where the muscle tears, this can occur in varying degrees from a few muscle fibers to a complete tear. Excessive pressure on this muscle can cause the strain or it can occur when performing unaccustomed or repetitive activities. It is most generally a non-contact injury and is common among runners, or with sports involving kicking or jumping. Other causative factors include inadequate flexibility or strength of the hamstring, muscle fatigue, and insufficient warm up time.
Depending of the severity of your muscle injury, healing time can take up to 18 weeks. Treatment for minor hamstring strains may resolve within 2-3 weeks if addressed promptly. Osteopathic treatment will speed recovery time and help to prevent recurrence of the injury.
For recent injuries, ice for the first 24-48 hours to help reduce swelling to the area. Elevate the leg that is injured (if possible). Avoid any sudden or strenuous movements of the hamstring to protect it from further injury. Osteopathic treatment will focus on reducing inflammation to the area and maintaining range of motion. For a resolving muscle strain, heat can be applied now that there is no swelling. This will help the muscle start the healing process. You can do some self-massage to the area at home, this will encourage blood to the area to help recovery. Stretching daily, once injury resolved and pain free, is very important to avoid re-injuring this area, especially after exercising. Treatment will focus on regaining stability, strength and improving range of motion. In most cases muscle strains respond well to osteopathic treatment, for more complicated muscle injuries we can discuss referral to a GP for further investigation.
Ankle sprains – Dr Vincent Cahill – Senior Associate Osteopath @ MOVE Osteopathy
The most common ankle sprain is an inversion sprain where the ankle rolls out. This normally occurs when you step on something or fall over. There is three main ligament on the outside of the ankle that are affected when you roll your ankle. The damage done is categorised into the different grades:
- Grade 1 strain: when there is some slight stretching and damage of the fibres of the ligament.
- Grade 2 strain: is when there is a partial tear of the ligament which leads to some hypermobility of the ankle joint
- Grade 3 strain is Complete tear or rupture of the ligament.
When an ankle is sprained it normally swells and a lot and is very painful for the first 24-48 hours. In this time it is really important to incorporate R.I.C.E (Rest: keeping off it as much as possible; Ice: 20 minutes on 20 minutes off, Compression: through a bandage, Elevation: Having the foot/leg raised onto something).
Healing of ankles is in three stages:
- Stage 1: includes resting, protecting the ankle and reducing the swelling of the ankle. This normally takes one week and will be greatly improved by Osteo treatment. Taping and bandaging can help to really protect the ankle in this stage.
- Stage 2: Includes restoring range of motion, flexibility and strengthen. (1-2 weeks). Gentle non-weight bearing circles of the ankle and kicking in the pool can help in this stage.
- Stage 3: Gradually increasing weight bearing activity to restore function. (weeks to months). Slow progression of weight bearing exercises.
Osteopaths can greatly increase the rate of healing of an ankle sprain and also correctly diagnose any issues that needed follow up scans or referral. Osteo’s would help decrease the inflammation around the joint in stage one of the healing and increase movement if any restrictions have occurred in stage two. It is also important for us to check the hips, pelvis and lower back to make sure that there isn’t any imbalances present form the injury or from the limping after the incident.
Stage three is very important to make sure that this doesn’t become a chronic problem. An Osteopath would guide you with some strengthening and proprioceptive exercises to stop this happening. Including standing on the injured ankle with your eyes closed and heel raises on an uneven surface.
Weight training injuries – Dr Bridget Vinning – Associate Osteopath @ MOVE Osteopathy
The main cause of weight training injuries that I see walking through the door are those attributed to poor technique and weakness in gluteal and middle back muscles. For example, not activating your gluteal muscles effectively during a squat or dead lift can lead to overloading your lower back muscles and joints and/or having bad shoulder posture during any upper body exercise will often lead to overuse of the trapezius muscle causing neck pain and headaches.
Osteopathy can help with weight training related injuries by identifying areas of weakness in your movement patterns and give you simply advice on how you might go about changing your current routine. Osteopathic treatment can help by releasing tension in muscles which are tight and being overused and ultimately restore full range of motion in your joints which may be restricted due to particular movement patterns your body has fallen in to.
When it comes to time frame for recovery it is very dependant on what area of the body is injured and your ability to rest or at least alter what you are doing in the gym to avoid re-aggravation. I often advice my clients to seek advice from a personal trainer for a few sessions when they are starting something new and if they don’t follow this up on a regular basis at least check in every 4-6 weeks to see if your technique is as best as it can be. Your osteopath is also able to screen your shoulders/back/hips and provide information on areas that require stretching and those which need strengthening. Communication between your training professional and osteopath is very beneficial to all parties involved.
Elbow pain / Tennis & Golfer’s elbow – Dr Grant Sinclair – Associate Osteopathy @ MOVE Osteopathy
Elbow pain is a very common site of pain in the upper limb; your osteopath can help to differentiate where the pain is coming from and why it has occurred. Areas that are associated with lateral elbow pain can refer from other sites including the neck shoulder and wrist. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and Medial epicondylitis (golfer elbow) occurs when the muscles in that elbow region become irritated and inflamed generally preceding repetitive strain during a certain action like repeated wrist extension against resistance, contrary to what the name suggests you do not necessarily need to play golf or tennis to develop epicondylitis’s.
Osteopathy can be useful treatment option, by settling down the inflamed area by encouraging adequate circulation and lymphatic drainage of the area allowing the inflammatory process to take place for optimal healing of the irritated tissues. Your osteopath may use a variety of varying techniques ranging from stretching and soft tissue mobilization to dry needling, in combination with lifestyle advice to reduce causative factors along with specifically target exercise rehabilitation.
Nobody wants to be out of action or in pain for any extended period of time longer then need be, generally epicondylitis is a self-limiting condition that without treatment can last anywhere from 6months to 2 years to recover, with osteopathic treatment you will tend to find that the initial painful episode can settle within 6-9 weeks if acted upon quickly, but will usually require ongoing care to prevent flair ups.
In conjunction with osteopathic management supportive aids such as braces or taping maybe useful to reduce strain on inflamed tissues as well as avoiding aggravating factors such as heat or massage to the affected area as well as exercise that may stretch or irritate the area.
How can Acupuncture help with Sports injuries?
Nicholas Smith – acupuncturist @ MOVE Osteopathy
Acupuncture is a useful tool in the management of many sports injuries. Whether it is an acute injury or a long-term condition which won’t go away, Acupuncture can help.
One of the ways acupuncture helps, is by increasing blood flow to the area. Acupuncture can increase the flow of nutrients to the area, giving the body what it needs to heal itself. It also flushes out inflammatory mediators, the chemicals which sustain an inflammatory response long after it has outgrown its usefulness. This means Acupuncture can be useful in treating any condition where inflammation is a part of the cause, which is often the case with chronic conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Arthritis and Bursitis.
Increased blood flow can also help with acute conditions like with sprains and strains. Inflammation can be reduced, and the increase in nutrients allows the tissues to heal themselves faster. This can lead to significantly reduced recovery time after injury.
Susan Maughan – Acupuncturist @ MOVE Osteopathy
Acupuncture assists the healing of acute and chronic sports related injuries by helping the body heal. Needles are placed right at the site of the problem and supporting points are put in other areas of the body to stimulate the body to release its own natural pain killers, natural anti-inflammatory and anti-stress hormones. This in turn will move the blood and qi in the affected area to:
- Reduce pain, swelling and inflammation
- Increase range of movement
- Decrease muscle spasm and relax muscles
- Decrease bruising
- Help disperse oedema or swelling
- Improve healing to reduce recovery time
- Improve blood supply to deliver nutrients and remove toxins at the site of the injury.