Osteopath Shaun Richardson spent the weekend updating and expanding his dry
needling skills, learning a variety of new techniques. These new skills allow
him to safely (and comfortably!) needle sensitive areas such as the head and
neck, chest, abdomen, hands and feet.
techniques can be used to help treat things such as headaches and migraines,
jaw problems, spinal pain, and foot or knee complaints. Broadly speaking, they
promote increased bloodflow to the area around the needles, providing increased
oxygen delivery, and reducing tightness, encouraging faster healing.
Hopefully none of you injure yourselves and require this
treatment, but if you do, rest assured that it is not as painful as you may
think!! The needles used are of a far smaller diameter than those that are used
to administer injections, and are can provide a stronger, longer lasting effect
than manual therapy alone.
Ever heard that
term bandied around and wondered what the heck it means, well, read on....and
maybe even pick up a tip or two on how to address it!
correct term for wry neck is 'acute torticollis', but let's break it down and
make it look less technical.
Acute: in medical terms relates to something of recent onset.
Tortus: in latin means 'twisted'.
Collum: in latin refers to 'neck'.
So when a patient
who presents to our clinic with their head 'off-kilter' and in a decent amount
of discomfort, we have a pretty good idea (on first impression) as to what is
going on. Having said that, as osteopaths we won't immediately jump to
conclusions, and will still run through a thorough history and examination
process to arrive at a provisional diagnosis.
Once we have
ascertained there are no red flags (neurological deficits, a preceding trauma,
signs of infection etc.), we will then try to get a deeper understanding as to
what may have 'set' this episode off. Bear in mind, a wry neck can occur
insidiously (that is, for no apparent reason), but over the years we have
anecdotally seen potential triggers such as:
* A complication
from birth (poor bub's head is held in an abnormal position in utero, or during
labour the forces on the neck muscles triggers a protective muscle spasm). As a
result, it is not uncommon for us to treat babies in the clinic.
* Moving from bubs
to the feeding parents (especially breast feeding mums), spending excessive
amounts of time with the head held in non-neutral positions (ie flexed, side
bent and rotated) can create adaptive shortening of key neck muscles,
especially one called the sternocleidomastoid (let's call it SCM for short! -
* Some other
examples of abnormal head positioning can include dozing on the couch (you know
that position; head slumped forward tilted slightly towards the armpit, with a
little trace of dribble at the side of your mouth). What about sleeping on a
different pillow (especially one that is too high for you), going for too much
on that bench press in the gym and straining every muscle (including your
neck muscles), and maybe even getting into that play fight (think over-zealous
head lock on that bucks/hens night!).
So now you know a
little more about it, how do we fix it.......?
Remember these 3 key words - RELAX, BREATHE and STRETCH.
Yes, that's right.
Although it can be very painful, rest assured that in most cases this
injury/condition is self-limiting and will often sort itself out over a 3-7 day
period. Getting anxious/wound up/stressed about it will only exaccerbate the
problem. So don't try and fight it and force your head back to normal, just
know that over the coming days a slow and steady return to normal range of
motion (ROM) will occur. This is where the role of the osteopath can be very
important, as the introduction of soft tissue massage to the affected muscles
may release spasm and improve blood flow, and using passive manual movement may
aid in gradually restoring head and neck ROM.
This might sound
obvious, but if you analyse your breathing closely, take a fuller breath and
take note where the majority of your breathing is coming from. You may be
surprised to see your shoulders elevate more than you realised and you feel
fuller in the upper chest. Now this isn't all bad, but the implication can be
that you may be under-utilising your diaphragm (our Primary breathing muscle
lining the inside of our rib cage) and over-utilising your accessory breathing
muscles (which includes our offending SCM muscle, and trapezius muscles).
Consulting with an osteopath may be quite helpful as we can apply treatment
techniques to these 'breathing' muscles and the supportive thorax, and also
provide instruction on optimal breathing patterns.
Let's keep this
simple; in the case of a wry neck you are most likely to suffer significant
tightening in and around the neck region. As mentioned previously, it is
important to regain ROM asap, so being armed with some appropriate neck and
upper back stretches can assist with this goal. Additionally, the use of heat
therapy (such as topical heat creams and wheat bags) may also have a positive
gives you a clearer insight into what can be a random, yet somewhat common
condition, and should you require treatment or further advice for a wry neck
please do not hesitate to contact us at Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic on 9580
1820 or book online here
You may have caught the following Frequently Asked Questions on our Facebook page, as we celebrated Arthritis Awareness Week last week!
Haven't seen our page? Check it out (& feel free to "like" us!) here!
1. What exactly is arthritis and why is
it very common among the senior patients?
Arthritis is a form of joint disorder
that involves inflammation of one or more joints. Age is the strongest
predictor of the disease (in particular, osteoarthritis) and therefore
increasing age and extended life expectancy will result in a greater occurrence
of the disease.
2. What are the most common types of
arthritis and how do they differ?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most
common type of arthritis and is considered a form of degenerative joint
disease, i.e. your ‘wear and tear’ type issue. The other common types of
arthritis can include rheumatoid (RA), psoriatic and septic arthritis. These
can be more linked to an auto-immune disorder or infection within the joint.
3. What is the typical treatment option
There is unfortunately no known cure
for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment options vary
depending on the type of arthritis but may be divided into 3 categories:
1. Pharmacological: Includes control of
pain and improvement in function and quality of life while limiting drug
toxicity. For OA, medications such as paracetamol (Panadol Osteo) may be
indicated. For RA and other inflammatory types, non-steroidal
anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) such as ibuprofen may be prescribed. In more
severe cases, a category of drug called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
(DMARDS) may be administered (e.g. Methotrexate).
2. Non-pharmacological: Physical therapy
such as Osteopathy, lifestyle modification such as weight loss and a tailored
exercise program and orthopaedic bracing can all be considered.
3. Surgical intervention: Is generally
reserved for failed medical management where functional disability affect’s a
person’s quality of life.
4. How can Osteopathy be beneficial to patients suffering from arthritis?
Taking into consideration an Osteopath
cannot CURE a condition such as arthritis, they may be able to provide manual
treatment techniques such as soft tissue massage and passive joint
articulation, which may reduce muscle spasm surrounding the joint and improve
blood flow and nutrition to within the affected joint/s. They will also be able
to formulate an appropriate exercise/mobility regime, aimed to optimise quality
joint movement and body function.
there any chance to prevent an arthritis condition? What are the prevention
As previously mentioned, there is no cure
for arthritis, but here are some management ploys that may curb the severity
and/or onset of arthritis:
See your GP or physical therapist for
Keep active and eat a well-balanced
diet. Exercise has proven to keep your joints and muscles healthy and flexible,
and a diet aimed at maintaining an ideal body weight is recommended.
There is poor independent evidence to
support the use of joint supplements such as glucosamine sulphate; however,
anecdotally some people have reported either relief or reduction in their
For more information chat to your General Practitioner or Osteopath.
Don't have an Osteo? Call us to make an appointment 03 9580 1820, or book online here!
Use Your Head (Correctly) When Texting - Dr Chris Reeves
Next time you check your phone, or shoot off a text to your 'bff' (who's hopefully not sitting next to you!), STOP, and think about where your head is at .......I mean literally!! Is your head poking forward like a turtle hiccuping? Or is your chin poking into your collar bones??
Did you know, a new study published in 'The Atlantic' suggests that looking down at a mobile phone is the equivalent of placing a 60 pound (approx 27kg) weight on one's neck. OMG!!!!! That's like having your 8 year old child constantly sitting on your head!! Or go down to Bunnings and grab a bag of rapid set concrete and a couple of 4L tins of paint and plonk them on your head!
(Picture sourced from The Atlantic)
So PLEASE....make life easier on your neck (and on your Osteopath!), by keeping these tips in mind:
* NO epic SMS marathons or browsing sessions - keep changing your head and upper body position to avoid the 'pressure build up'.
* I know it's a massive buzz word at present, but be more MINDFUL of your head position, especially when reaching for your phone.
* Perhaps try and remember this mantra..."Bring your phone up to your head, DON'T bring your head down to your phone".
If you feel you may fall into this category and have been experiencing pain or discomfort, especially in the neck or upper back, please let us know at Parkdale Osteo! as we'd love to help you out.
Please note our hours for the Easter 2017 weekend:
Good Friday (14th April): CLINIC CLOSED
Easter Saturday (15th April): Clinic Open 8am - 1pm
Easter Sunday (16th April): CLINIC CLOSED
Easter Monday (17th April): CLINIC CLOSED
Tuesday 18th April: Clinic Open - Normal Hours
Wishing you and your family a safe & happy Easter break!
T20 for Men's Health
Join us on Sunday 26th February from 2pm - 6pm at Gerry Green Reserve for a great T20 match supporting men's health!
Chris will be there for the duration of the event. If you've ever wondered about Osteopathy and how it could help you, come along to have a free chat with Chris and have all your questions answered!
Looking forward to seeing you there!
TALKING FOOTY – With Dr Laura Ellul (Osteopath)
TALKING FOOTY – With Dr Laura
With the football season just around the corner, it’s time to start
thinking about ways to prevent and manage injuries. In my time working at
various amateur football clubs such as De La Salle and Boronia Football Clubs,
I saw a lot of injuries, which were often attributed to poor stretching
protocols and as a result led to poor mobility. The importance of a good
warm-up prior to training and games is generally well done, however cool down
stretching is just as important. To keep the message brief, think about what’s
happening to your muscles over the course of the exercise bout…..they’re
getting tired! And what happens when they start to fatigue, well, they start to
tighten up or contract. If we allow muscles to stay contracted, we potentially
open ourselves up to a range of different issues; cramp, increased joint
compression and a higher risk of straining muscle/s. So when you’ve finished
your training session or game, and you’re recalling that amazing ‘speccy’ or
Eddie Betts like goal with your team-mates, do so with a bottle of water in
your hand (for best hydration) and whilst performing some quality stretches.
Keep posted for some more stretching tips….
Clinic Closed Australia Day
Please note the clinic will be closed Thursday 26th Jan for the Australia Day public holiday.
We will be Open for business as usual on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th Jan.
Wishing everyone a 'Bonza Stray-ya Day!!"
Headaches - Dr Laura Ellul
I really enjoy treating a wide
variety of injuries; however I take a special interest in the treatment of
headaches and migraines. I believe Osteopathy has the potential to help with
the musculoskeletal implications which occur from headaches or migraines, but I
also think it’s crucial to identify other lifestyle factors which contribute to
chronic recurrences, as it is often not possible to completely eradicate
headaches without making some changes to the things we regularly do. There are
many factors which contribute to headaches or migraines; including poor
posture, stress, poor sleep quality, imbalanced diet, medication/s, lack of
appropriate exercise and hormonal imbalances.
I recently had a patient presenting
with chronic headaches which had become more frequent over the years, to the
point where she was getting them on a daily basis. Upon examination I found her
to be extremely tight in her neck and upper back musculature, as well as being
very stiff through her upper neck joints and TMJ (jaw). I thought she may get
some good relief from treatment but that it could only be temporary unless we
identified causative triggers in her life. I worked out that this particular patient
had been going through a lot of stress, and thus was not sleeping well and was
developing very poor posture, particularly at work. She was also clenching and
grinding her teeth at night which I believe was contributing hugely to her
headache. We made numerous changes to her daily routine including changing her
work station and car seat set up, referring her back to her dentist who fitted
her with a night splint to prevent grinding, increasing her exercise and
introducing yoga and meditation into her routine.
These changes were combined with
osteopathic treatment to improve joint mobility and reduce muscular
hypertonicty in the upper neck muscles and TMJ. These small changes made a
significant difference to her headaches, and by combining this with manual
treatment, within a few weeks her headache frequency was reduced to one every
3-4 weeks. In this case, managing stress levels and teeth grinding were the
main triggers, but every case is different and I always recommend keeping a
headache diary to identify the triggers.
for more ‘bits’ from Laura……!
Parkdale Osteo Clinic Hours
Christmas and New Year Clinic Hours
Saturday 24th December 2016:
8am – 12noon
Christmas Day 2016: CLOSED
Monday 26th December 2016:
Tuesday 27th December2016 :
Wednesday 28th December 2016: 2.30pm
– 7.00pm (Osteo only)
Thursday 29th December 2016: 2.00pm – 7.00pm (Osteo
Friday 30th December 2016:
– 6.00pm (Osteo only)
Saturday 31stDecember 2016: CLOSED
Monday 2nd January 2017: PUBLIC
to normal business hours (Osteo and Remedial Massage) from Tuesday 3rd