Blog




GDPR- Your privacy is (..and always has been!) really important to us!!

As you probably know by now on the 25th May 2018 new regulation is coming into practise that will govern how all organisations (including the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice) manage, store and use your personal data.

We thought, in order to be compliant, now would be a good time to reassure everyone about our policies.

Medical records have always been subject to stringent confidentiality guidelines, and when we take our case histories (which here, are recorded with pen and paper) we have always been obliged to keep them stored in a cupboard under lock and key. It is recommended that we keep notes for at least 8 years after we last see a patient, or until a child turns 25 years old. We afford the same level of privacy to all of the data we hold regardless of age.

These notes have only ever been accessible to staff members all of whom are trained about the importance of medical confidentiality. This remains the case, and is a responsibility we take very seriously.

On a first visit, when we take a patient’s initial case history it is obviously important (..and a General Osteopathic Council regulation) to take a certain amount of personal data such as name, address, age etc. We have never asked for (or stored) patients' email addresses as part of this process, but do ask for a preferred telephone number in order that we might contact people to send appointment reminders, or perhaps amend appointments if necessary. Some of these numbers are securely stored on mobile phones that require a passcode and finger print scan to access. Whilst we respect a patient’s right to request that we do not contact them, there are occasions that it might be necessary for the smooth running of the practice. We try to keep contact to a minimum.

If patients contact the practice by email, access to the email account is enabled to staff members only and password protected. Part of the reason that GDPR legislation has come into place is to stop organisations from inundating people with unsolicited “junk mail”. We do NO email marketing. We rely primarily on patient recommendations and people contacting us (by phone, but occasionally email) normally via our website.

Personal data has become a valuable commodity, and some companies sell what they hold for profit to third party organisations. Please be assured that we never have, and never will, partake in such activity.

I hope that this information outlines our commitment to GDPR compliance and gives you an idea about how seriously we take your privacy. I also hope that it reassures you that any information we hold, we do so as securely as possible, and only in order that we can supply the best possible service to our patients.

Thank you.


Marathon Training

Loads has been written in the past about the trials and tribulations of training for a marathon or any other endurance event. This year for the first time, I have really understood what they meant, as since Christamas I have been “cranking up” the miles in an attempt to complete the 2018 London Marathon.

Whilst a lot of long distance running is “in the head” I can definitely confirm that an awful lot of it is also in the legs!! My aim is to simply complete my first event, not particularly chasing a quick time, but none the less the schedule is gruelling. Last week alone I covered over 50 miles!

Any internet search will tell you how and when to stretch, which is really important, but I personally have found that stretching, and even foam rolling have not proved enough to relieve all of my muscular tightness and tension. If I am honest I can constantly feel a degree of "conditioning ache” in my major muscle groups.

Good nutrition helps (again a Google search away…) and also cross-training instead of just doing what you’re training for relentlessly i.e. simply running at the expense of other resistance work…. and definitely don’t forget to be organised and observe your schedule, including your rest days!

The last piece of general advice I can offer from my first experience of intense event training is to occasionally pamper yourself with a sports massage or osteopathic treatment, this has been a life saver for me on a couple of occasions when my legs have been at their most exhausted, especially after those long weekend runs!

If you think we can help you avoid that dreaded event-finishing injury please call The Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122 and let us give you some personalised treatment and advice, based on good evidence... and now bitter/sweet experience!!

We look forward to hearing from you.


Chiropractor or Osteopath?

Chiropractor or Osteopath? Who should I see? Which is better? What's is the difference between the two therapies? These are questions that are asked by our patients on a daily basis. There are some historical differences in the philosophy of the two professions, but what most people want to know is how their treatment may differ by visiting either therapist.

Like most professions, I should start by saying that there is a huge variance in the ways that individuals within both professions practice.

Some patients who have seen both say that there are chiropractors out there who practise more like an osteopath, and likewise, some osteopaths who practise like chiropractors – these practitioners may not massage the soft tissues or focus on rehabilitation at all and only ‘adjust’ or manipulate joints.

A significant difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath is that while the chiropractor is primarily focused on the spine and joints, an osteopath is perhaps more concerned with the rest of the body- taking a more holistic or “overall” approach. Osteopaths may treat patients for not just musculo-skeletal symptoms, but also people with problems in other systems in their bodies- possibly digestive problems or any other number of problems that may seem unrelated to the spine or joints.

This assessment of the main difference comes from a chiropractor friend of mine- “Typically chiropractors will use what we call “Adjustments”, which are as specific as possible and aimed at restoring joint position and function. Osteopaths typically take a broader approach and may treat a larger area…. both professions are highly trained at an undergraduate level and both are trained to be excellent clinicians and to care for your health first and foremost”. I think that this is a very fair viewpoint.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a natural therapy, which combines manual ‘hands-on’ techniques with exercise and advice.

Osteopathy works with the structure and function of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

An osteopath works to restore your body to a state of balance without the use of drugs or surgery.

What is Chiropractic?

According to the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), chiropractic is “a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health”.

Chiropractors (practitioners of chiropractic) use their hands to treat disorders of the bones, muscles and joints. Treatments that involve using the hands in this way are called “manual therapies”, so both osteopaths and chiropractors are “manual therapists”.

Chiropractors use a range of techniques, with an emphasis on manipulation of the spine.

Differences between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

Chiropractic therapy is actually derived from Osteopathy… osteopathy was invented by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in 1872 and Chiropractic care was invented by one of Dr. Still’s students- Daniel David Palmer, in 1895, so there are many obvious similarities. However you should be aware that subtle differences between the two techniques may make one more suitable for you than the other.

The major difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor is that while the Chiropractor is primarily focused on the spine and joints, an Osteopath is also concerned with the rest of the body. Osteopaths tend to work more holistically; generally looking at the contributing factors that may be causing your symptoms which need to be addressed too.

Whether you see an osteopath or a chiropractor, you should expect:

  • A thorough case history to be taken.
  • A clinical examination undertaken.
  • An accurate clinical diagnosis reached.
  • Effective treatment for your condition.
  • Management over the longer term if needed.
  • Appropriate rehabilitation exercises.
  • Effective advice regarding your activity, life or sport

… then you have found the right practice, and the right practitioner for you, regardless of their profession.

Treatment by an Osteopath and Chiropractor

Osteopaths use soft tissue massage, stretching and manipulation techniques to re-balance your body’s structure in a way that enhances your blood flow and nerve function. This allows your body’s natural healing process to be improved.

Chiropractors use manipulation to adjust the position of your spine and joints in order to improve your nerve function and healing ability.

All of the team of osteopaths at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice have the greatest respect for the chiropractic profession. In many ways we are trying to achieve the same goals with our patients, but we might use slightly different techniques.

Our advice when choosing a Chiropractor or Osteopath would briefly be as follows:

  • Make sure that the chiropractor or osteopath has studied a four or five year degree.
  • Ensure that they are a member of their respective governing body (General Osteopathic Council or General Chiropractic Council). This ensures that you know that you will receive a minimum standard of care and treatment whichever chiropractor or osteopath you choose.
  • If possible use a practitioner who has been recommended by a friend or GP.
  • Don’t persist with treatment if the treatment does not suit you.


Our team at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice aim to treat a wide range of complaints, using osteopathy. We are a local, easily accessible family run osteopathy practice, serving Kent and south-east London.

We have over 25 years experience from which we have developed a highly effective, safe, gentle manipulation and massage approach to Osteopathy.

Our approach helps improve the function of the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons, providing pain relief for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.

Our practitioners use structural osteopathic techniques and sports massage. We attempt to create bespoke treatment plans considering every patient as an individual.

We don’t only treat injuries however- it is our aim to look after patients even if they have no obvious problems. Our team are highly trained to recognise imbalances within the body that may not yet be manifesting themselves as pain or symptoms. We endeavour to look after the patient before they experience pain and advocate the motto “Prevention is better than cure”.

A gentle form of treatment, osteopathy can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of every age. Osteopaths often provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms from reoccurring.

As osteopaths, we treat many conditions, although a common myth is that most people think of us as ‘back specialists’.

Although we do see a lot of people looking for back pain relief, don’t forget that osteopathic treatment can benefit all parts of the skeleton. It does not just target your symptoms but treats the parts of the body that have caused these symptoms.

Our osteopaths assess and treat people of all types and ages: from children to the very elderly, and from pregnant women to elite sports people.

If you would like more information about our clinic and the various conditions we commonly see, please take a look around our website. If you would like to book an appointment please call us at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122.


FOOSH!!

You may have read about or heard the term, but what exactly is a FOOSH injury?

FOOSH is an acronym which stands for:

Fall
Onto
Out
Stretched
Hand

We can all relate to this, as it is instinctive to try to protect yourself if you feel that you are falling.
As a result, we tend to put out our arm to break our fall and protect our head and face.
As we topple over, there are large forces which may potentially cause injury- we have the combination of our body weight and gravity meeting with an unforgiving (usually hard) ground.
So FOOSH doesn’t describe the specific injury- more it describes the mechanism of injury. Most often, it results in damage to the wrist, arm or shoulder region.

What are examples of FOOSH injuries?

1. Fractured metacarpal: one of the long thin bones in your hand. The ring and little finger (4/5) are most vulnerable to this, but any metacarpal can be involved. It is sometimes called a Boxer’s fracture, as it usually occurs if you fall onto a clenched fist, and the injury is similar to a punching impact injury- hence the name.

2. Fractured Scaphoid: one of the small bones within the wrist. This accounts for 70-80% of wrist fractures. The patient will feel pain at the base of their thumb between the two prominent tendons that stand to attention when you give the “thumbs-up” sign.

3. Colles Frcture: affects the end of the radius, one of the 2 forearm bones- most likely if the patient lands on the palm of their hand.

4. Smith Fracture: again a fracture of the end of the radius, but usually occurs if the wrist is flexed when landed upon (i.e. patient lands on the back of their hand).

5. Fractured elbow: may affect either of the forearm bones (radius and ulna) and/or the upper arm bone (humerus).

6. Fractured humerus: the bone at the top of your arm- usually gets broken at the top near the joint, so may cause shoulder-type symptoms and bruising may be evident in the patient’s trunk/ ribs as well as in the arm itself.

7. Shoulder dislocation: occurs when the joint between the ball and socket joint of the shoulder separate. If the bones remain out of place it is known as a dislocation but if is reduces spontaneously, it is known as a subluxation.

8. Fractured Clavicle: The collar bone at the front of the neck links the arm with the rest of the body, so absorbs a lot of shock. This bone is susceptible to fracture by a FOOSH and may result in bony deformity.

9. A/C Joint dislocation: Where the shoulder blade and collar bone meet, we have the “Acromio-clavicular” joint. A FOOSH injury may cause sufficient opposing forces for the joint to separate, and result in ligament injury affecting the stability of the joint. Often after injury, a step can be seen, this sometimes called a sprung clavicle"

10. Whiplash: Neck related pain from a heavy head falling at a faster rate than the rest of the body.

FOOSH Injury Symptoms

Symptoms include:
• Arm pain
• Arm stiffness
• Difficulty moving the neck/ shoulder/ elbow or wrist
• Upper back pain and/ or stiffness
• Swelling
• Bruising
• Bony deformity

FOOSH Injury diagnosis

Any physical therapist, such as an osteopath or physiotherapist, as well as a qualified medical practitioner will normally be able to diagnose the injury from the way you describe how the accident occurred, from your symptoms, and through a thorough physical examination.
If a fracture or dislocation is suspected, usually an X-ray will confirm the diagnosis.

FOOSH injury treatment
General advice for FOOSH injuries:

RICE (Protocol for any acute injury)
 Rest (immobilise)
 Ice- 5 minutes over the affected area every hour until the diagnosis is confirmed.
 Compress to minimise swelling.
 Elevate the limb if possible.
• Paracetamol- For an adult the maximum dose is two 500 mg tablets, four times a day.
• Anti-inflammatories- These may be used alone or at the same time as paracetamol. They include ibuprofen which you can buy at pharmacies or get on prescription. Other types such as diclofenac or naproxen need a prescription via your GP. Some people with stomach ulcers, asthma, high blood pressure, kidney failure, or heart failure may not be able to take anti-inflammatory painkillers.
• A stronger painkiller such as codeine is an option if anti-inflammatories do not suit or do not work well. Codeine is often taken in addition to paracetamol.
• Muscle relaxants such as diazepam are occasionally prescribed for a few days if your neck muscles become very tense and make the pain worse.

Please only take prescribed medication when it has been prescribed specifically for you by the GP, and if you use over the counter medication, always read the label.

If a fracture or dislocation is found, the patient may need the bones to be realigned (reduced), and they are then immobilised for 6 weeks (or more) in a splint, plaster cast or sling.
Occasionally surgery may be required to stabilise the bones in the correct position for healing to occur. This is called an “Open Reduction- Internal Fixation” repair.
Once out of plaster, rehabilitation with a physical therapist is suggested to restore normal function.

Osteopathic Management

Our osteopaths are able to offer various options for rehabilitation and to help symptoms to settle down. They may suggest massage, traction, manipulation, acupuncture etc.
Although it may take several weeks to achieve this, the main emphasis of their treatment will be to:
• Increase strength
• Increase joint range of motion
• Reduce pain
• Reduce swelling
• Reduce scar tissue
• Restore normal function
• Permit a return to regular activities and sports

If you have a problem you think we can help you with, please call us at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122, we look forward to hearing from you.


Ergonomics in the Office

Avoid Back Pain With These 13 Tips

At my practice this week I have had several patients reporting similar back pain. In all these cases, the main cause of their back pain symptoms has been from sitting at their desk in a bad position from 9 to 5 each day. Unfortunately, if you work at a computer all day its highly likely that at some point you will feel a stiffness or discomfort in your lower back or between your shoulder blades.

When most of us sit at our desks the last thing we are thinking of is having good posture. The reality is that it is very important to consider your posture and make sure that you do everything you can to avoid back pain and shoulder pain.

Here are a few ideas to think about when sitting at your desk, which may help to improve your posture and reduce the possibility of back and shoulder symptoms:

Improve Your Posture At Work And Avoid Back Pain

  1.  Set your chair height to allow your feet to be flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
  2.  Ensure your chair has a full length back to ensure appropriate support to your lumbar curve.
  3.  Make sure there is sufficient clearance between the desk and your thighs and that your thighs are at a 100-120 degree angle from your upper body.
  4.  When sitting normally, shoulders should be relaxed, with elbows at 90 degrees when your hands are on the keyboard.
  5.  Your wrists should be horizontal or around a 20 degree backward tilt with mid forearms supported on the table.
  6.  Set your screen so it’s directly in front of you, approximately arm’s length away.
  7.  Position the top of the screen so it is at eye level.
  8.  Try avoiding prolonged sitting, especially when you’re getting tired – take regular walks if possible.
  9.  When sitting at your desk, try to replicate the same upper body posture that you would adopt if you were standing upright.
  10.  Sit back in your chair and use the back as a support and let the chair do the work when rotating from side to side.
  11.  Your mouse should be in easy reach at all times and you might find a gel wrist cushion will add further support.
  12.  Concentrate on not slouching in your chair – easily done after a long day.
  13. Speak to the facilities team at work and find out if you can have a desk assessment of how your work station is set up.

Back Pain Relief

Follow these simple steps and you will go a long way to avoiding back pain and shoulder pain in the work place. If, however you are experiencing pain and are looking for relief then give us a call at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122.


Persistent pain? Keep moving!

The old-fashioned treatment for painful conditions was bed rest for weeks or months on end. We now know this is the worst possible approach. Exercise and continuing to work are key to recovery.

Forget resting if you have a painful condition like back or neck pain. Lying in bed for long periods may actually make the pain last longer, because inactivity makes you stiffen up, your muscles and bones get weaker, you don't sleep well, you become lonely and depressed, and the pain feels worse.

You'll also find that it becomes harder and harder to get going again.

A better approach to reducing pain is a combination of exercise, staying at work, physical therapy and painkillers.

Exercise to beat pain

Choose an exercise that won't put too much strain on yourself. Good options include:

  • walking 
  • swimming 
  • exercise bike 
  • dance/yoga/pilates
  • most daily activities and hobbies 

Activity and stretching needs to become part of your lifestyle so you routinely do exercise little and often.

Try to be active every day, instead of only on the good days when you're not in so much pain. This may reduce the number of bad days you have and help you feel more in control. 

If possible, try to go to work despite the pain!

It's important to try to stay in work even though you're in pain. Research shows that people become less active and more depressed when they don't work.

Being at work will distract you from the pain and won't make your pain worse. 

If you have a heavy job, you may need some help from colleagues. Talk to your supervisor or boss about the parts of your job that may be difficult to begin with, but stress that you want to be at work.

If you have to stay off work for a while, try to get back as soon as possible.

You could go back to work gradually; this is called a "graded return". For instance, you might start with one day a week and gradually increase the time you spend at work. 

You could also agree changes to your job or pattern of work, if it helps – talking to a health and safety rep or an occupational health department may be useful here.

Physical therapy for pain

Pain experts often recommend a short course of physical therapy. This helps you to move better, relieves your pain, and makes daily tasks and activities, such as walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed, easier. 

Physical therapy for persistent pain can involve manipulation, stretching exercises and pain relief exercises. 

This can be delivered by one of our osteopaths. Acupuncture (which can also be helpful) is also offered at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice, especially for back pain and neck pain.

Osteopaths can give you advice on the right type of exercise and activity. 

If you have physical therapy, you should begin to feel the benefits after a few sessions. 

Your GP may be able to refer you for physical therapy on the NHS, unfortunately osteopathy in the London Borough of Bexley is only available privately.

Your GP may also refer you for exercise classes, and some centres have specific classes for low back pain. It is good to talk to others that suffer from conditions similar to you, and to share ways of managing painful conditions.

Painkillers

These can be "over the counter” remedies like paracetemol or ibuprofen, or they can be prescribed by the doctor. Be sure to always read the label and talk to your GP immediately if you have any concerns!!


Persistent pain can be a disabling problem and because it is complicated it tends to require a combined approach to care. At the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice we are here to do our part, and to help you!

Please call us on 020 8298 7122 if you would like to book an appointment.


Red Flags

Severe pain is very frightening, especially when it’s the first time we suffer a new type of pain i.e. it’s in a new place or when it's so bad it interrupts our day to day living. This is a problem, as fear and anxiety can sometimes “amplify or turn up” the pain simply making things worse.

The irony is that pain (even when severe..) in isolation is not necessarily a serious symptom, it is normally just the bodies way of telling you that something is wrong with the musculo-skeletal system e.g. muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, etc.

The purpose of this blog is to try to help patients decide when it is time to see an osteopath and when they should see the doctor for further medical examination/testing. As osteopaths we use a system called red flags. 

Red flags are a list of signs and symptoms that if a patient tells us they are suffering, we need to consider whether there is something more medically serious going on, and decide whether to refer back to the doctor for further tests.

It is very difficult to write a definitive list, as humans are effected by so many different conditions and diseases, and these all present differently in different people. Equally, just because you have something from the list doesn’t mean you are definitely medically ill, it just means healthcare professionals need to consider your problem a little more carefully.

Here are the main ones that make me think a patient MIGHT NOT be appropriate for osteopathic treatment/manual therapy:


A high temperature (fever)- this can be a sign of systemic illness

Unexplained weight lose- emphasis here is on the "unexplained" 

A swelling or a deformity in your back- lumps and bumps anywhere need investigating!

It’s constant and doesn't ease after lying down- this sounds less mechanical

It’s getting worse not better- progressive pain can be a sign of an ongoing process

Pain in your chest- could be a sign of heart or lung problems

A loss of bladder or bowel control (retention or incontinence)

An inability to pass urine or stool 

Numbness around your genitals or back passage 

It's worse at night- although a lot of straight forward musculo-skeletal pain can be bad at night too!

It started after an accident or impact- it could be a fracture

Worsening weakness in muscle groups

Bilateral pain/tingling/numbness i.e. into both arms or both legs

Symptoms all down one side i.e. same sided arm and leg

Rapid change in vision, hearing, taste or smell

Problems talking, swallowing or controlling the muscles of your face

Passing out- losing consciousness


Please remember that just because you have something on the list it doesn’t mean you are necessarily seriously unwell, it just means you should get it checked out!

I hope this list is useful for patients that are considering booking into the practice for treatment. I have shared it in order that patients can make the right choice about where they seek treatment, and get the right care for them.

Please remember that the vast majority of people that suffer pain have simple musculo-skeletal problems which can be easily treated at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice. 

Call us on 020 8298 7122 to book an appointment if you think we can help you.


Anterior Knee Pain

This is knee pain felt at the front of the knee, around the kneecap (patella), and is sometimes called anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain syndrome. Unfortunately this type of pain can be very persistent.

It's not always obvious why this pain develops, but it's been linked to previous injuries or trauma, overuse of your knees, muscle weakness and your kneecap being slightly out of place. When your patella does not “glide" correctly this is sometimes called (lateral..) patella-tracking.

The pain tends to be dull or aching and often affects both knees at the same time. It's usually made worse by sitting for prolonged periods, squatting or kneeling, or using stairs. Strangely going down stairs can sometimes be worse than going up.

You can often treat this yourself using ordinary painkillers, an ice pack and rest. Exercises to strengthen the muscles around your kneecap can also help. At the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice as well as treating the problem, we can advise you about specific exercises to try, and give some lifestyle adjustments that might also help.

If you think you need some help please call us on 020 8298 7122.


Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow should be a self-limiting condition, which means it will normally get better without treatment, it can often last for several weeks or months. This is generally because tendons are thought to have a relatively low blood supply and therefore heal quite slowly. In some cases, tennis elbow can persist for more than a year.

A number of simple treatments can help alleviate the pain of tennis elbow. The most important thing you can do is rest your injured arm and stop doing the activities that causes the problem.

Holding a cold compress, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, against your elbow for a few minutes several times a day can help ease the pain.

If you have tennis elbow, you should (where possible) stop doing activities that strain the affected muscles and tendons. This will often be things that involve wrist/finger movements e.g. clenching a fist/holding tools tightly/excessive keyboard typing or mouse work.

If you use your arms at work to carry out manual tasks, such as lifting, you may need to avoid these activities until the pain in your arm improves.

Alternatively, you may be able to modify the way you perform these types of movements so they do not place as much strain on your arm.

The medical approach to treatment will probably start with painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. If these do not help to resolve the problem they may be followed by a cortisone (steroid) injection. Invasive treatments, such as surgery, can be considered in severe and persistent cases of tennis elbow, where non-surgical approaches have not been effective.

If your tennis elbow is causing persistent pain an osteopath might be able to help. Osteopaths are healthcare professionals who use a variety of methods to restore movement to injured areas of the body, and also take time to consider, and advise upon, predisposing factors specific to an individual.

At the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice we may use manual therapy techniques, such as massage and manipulation, to relieve pain and stiffness, and encourage blood flow to your arm. We can also show you exercises you can do to keep your arm mobile and strengthen your forearm muscles. 

The use of an orthoses – such as a brace, strapping, support bandage or splint-may also be useful in the short term.

If you think an osteopath can help you, please call us at the Bexleyheath Osteopathic Practice on 020 8298 7122.


Plantar Fasciitis

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen an increase in patients complaining of Plantar Fasciitis. It must be marathon training season!!

This painful foot condition presents as sharp pain in the sole and heel of the foot, often at its worst first thing in the morning when walking from the bedroom to the bathroom.

So what is plantar fascia? This is the strong connective tissue on the sole of the foot that acts as suspension to the arch of the foot and reduces impact when walking, running and jumping. When the fascia becomes overloaded it becomes inflamed, hence the ‘...itis.’

Unfortunately, for many of our patients this has been a long standing condition that often returns to plague them again and again. Some have been recommended steroid injections as a means of alleviating symptoms but I feel this should be a last resort, and only used as part of a combined approach to treatment.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment is really straightforward and very successful when performed correctly. If the connective tissue has become overloaded it is either because you are doing more, or perhaps, different overloading work e.g. running, wearing new shoes, different job at work. Sometimes, the other structures in the foot and ankle that regulate shock absorption have stopped working ie. rather than absorbing shock, they are transmitting it to the sole of your foot and the plantar fascia.

The most commonly occurring dysfunction is tightness to the deep calf muscles, in particular a muscle called Tibialis Posterior. Restricted motion to the ankle joint and medial arch can also prevent good shock absorption and therefore increase load to the sole of the foot.

So, how best to fix plantar fasciitis?

1. Massage the deep calf muscles.

2. Massage the plantar fascia by rolling your foot on a rolling pin or golf ball.

3. Mobilise the ankle joints and arch of the foot.

4. Reduce inflammation by resting your heel on an ice pack.

5. Where possible modify your activities to avoid the pressure.

Most of our recent plantar fascia patients have made excellent improvement with no return of symptoms.

If you have been suffering with this condition, follow the above advice or see one of our osteopaths to put you back on the road to recovery. 

Call us on 020 8298 7122 if you think we can help.


© Bexleyheath Ostepathic Practice 2013