Osteopathy in life

Today’s lifestyle

Life is a fantastic gift, but sometimes it can be a challenge to our bodies and our wellbeing! Here at ‘The Douglas-Mort Practice’ we we are able to offer experienced assistance for many common problems… Sadly modern day lifestyle usually means that we get less exercise, more calories, and fewer opportunities to burn up stress hormones. Often we spend much time hunched over a desk, the wheel of a car, or a computer at a badly designed work station, suffering ‘postural stress’, and then go on to suffer great ‘computer stress’ when the machine breaks down! The combination of physical tension in our postural muscles, inactivity in our large joints and muscles, compression to our spinal discs from prolonged sitting, and surges of adrenalin and other stress hormones is not good for us. Additionally, for those travelling a lot, ‘whole body vibration’ repetitive micro-trauma from the vehicle and road surface has a compacting affect on the spine, squashing the circulation and jarring discs and nerves.

Problems can occur from wearing high heels, which tip the pelvis forward unbalancing the posture, and putting an unnatural strain on the feet, legs pelvis and spine. Heavy shoulder bags can cause tension in the shoulder girdle and even a curvature of the spine due to unbalanced muscle tension when carried on one shoulder.
D.I.Y. and other similar activities can also cause problems, especially when using power tools like drills, sanders and concrete breakers, which subject your body to vibration and prolonged strain. Often it is a case of ‘overdoing it’ to get the job finished, but this can cause serious ‘repetitive strain injuries’ and stress to unfit bodies!

All of these biomechanic stresses on our physiques can make our bodies literally seize up, producing, tension, aches and pains, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, cramps, indigestion, problems relaxing, RSI syndromes, headaches and so on. Historically patients have said that the gentle release techniques that we have developed at ‘The Douglas-Mort Practice’, in addition to implementation of lifestyle advice on exercise, diet and better life management, have been supportive.

Illness and surgery

Illness, surgery and radiotherapy can affect ones body function by causing congestion and scar tissue. This can in some cases make it difficult for the connective tissue to return to a normal functional and balanced state, thus altering circulation and causing stresses and strains in joints muscles and organs as normal biomechanical support is affected. Chemotherapy can cause a toxic overload to the body taxing the liver and other eliminative organs. The effects of a cold, stomach or flu virus can deplete the immune system. Violent sneezing, a hacking cough, sickness or diarrhoea can place a strain on the stomach muscles, jar the spinal discs, and give a feeling of seizing -up to the ribs and diaphragm. This can predispose you to ongoing respiratory and digestive discomfort, as well as possible injury to your spine. Historically patients have said that the Sutherland therapy and other gentle release techniques utilised in conjunction with rest, exercise and a proper diet can be very helpful in resolving joint and muscle strains, aches and pains, cramps, tensions, and hence helps to increase their level of vitality reduce tiredness and speed up their recovery 

Accidents and injuries

Accidents do happen, and can cause a lot of body tissue trauma affecting many structures. Falls, knocks and twists can cause a substantial amount of compressive and shearing trauma, disrupting many biomechanical structures -depending upon location-, but with the effects often seemingly ramifying throughout the entire body. Whiplash injuries are an example of this, often occurring in R.T.A.s, and can appear to have an enduring affect on the head, neck, shoulders and lower part of the spine. Frequently patients will report that these cause misery, depression and loss of function for many years. Our patients have frequently sought help from us for all manner of problems relating to the effects of accidents.   

Positional stresses during routine procedures

Sometimes problems can occur as a result of positional factors that may occur for example in dental treatment. Often it is necessary to keep ones mouth open for long periods, and this can cause strain to the muscles and ligaments of the jaw, which may also be unevenly stressed in the process. The use of drills and other vibrating devices can have a jarring effect upon the neck and base of the skull. This can arguably lead to strain and tension in the muscles and ligaments of the throat, jaw, neck, and the sutures at the base of the skull. Quite frequently patients have then noticed tension, aches and pain, neuralgia, neck and shoulder pain, muscle spasms and headaches, etc and sought our support.

Frequently hairdressers will ask their clients to tip their heads back over the basin in order to wash their hair. In our opinion this is NOT a necessary, safe or advisable option. Not only may it cause severe strain to deep muscles ligaments and joints in the neck which can be painful and disorientating; but it may possibly cause damage and fragmentation to major blood vessels in the area which may be a contributory cause to a stroke according to some medical observations.

Our advice;- Never accept a ‘backwards hair wash’, always insist on bending forwards over the basin, it’s much less of a strain on your body!

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