Monday, 29 May 2017

Jaw Pain- How Osteopathy can help

You may think of osteopaths treating backs, but we treat a lot of other things too, including jaw pain and headaches. You may have pain in your jaw after visiting the dentist, not because the dentist’s done anything wrong, but because the muscles in your jaw can go into spasm after your mouth’s been held open so long. An osteopath can assess your jaw, treat the muscles spasm and get you out of pain.

You might also get jaw pain from clenching or grinding your teeth, or even from chewing gum. If you also experience clicking or locking of your jaw, this may indicate a problem within the jaw joint itself. On each side of your jaw, the joint contains a disc of cartilage which moves with the joint as you open and close your mouth and provides cushioning as you chew. Muscular imbalances around the jaw can lead to this disc not moving as it should, creating a click as the jaw rides over it (which may or may not be painful), or even locking if it fails to do so. Eventually, this may lead to thinning of the disc, and potentially increased wear to the joint surfaces themselves (arthritis).

At this stage, an osteopath can help reduce your symptoms (pain and restriction of movement), but if this is not enough, your osteopath can advise you on other options, including referral for advice on surgical options. However, addressing the problem early can help prevent things getting to this stage. This might include you changing your habits (chewing gum), using a mouth guard to reduce wear from clenching and grinding, or addressing the causes of any stress in your life, which can be behind these habits. Your osteopath can help with advice and appropriate referral, as well as using gentle techniques to address any muscular imbalances in your jaw, and giving simple exercises to help you manage the problem yourself.

We might also look at postural issues, and relieving muscle tension and restriction around the neck, upper back and shoulders. We often find that people who come to us for neck pain or headaches also have some degree of jaw problem, even if only minor. Jaw problems can sometimes contribute to neck pain and headaches, partly because there’s a mechanical relationship between the muscles and position of the jaw and the muscles and joints of the upper neck, but also because signals in the nervous system from these different areas share some of the same route to the brain - which means that sensitivity in one area can lead to sensitivity in the other. So, we’ll often look to relieve tension and sensitivity in both areas depending on what we find.

Often muscular imbalances around the jaw are simply that, but if you have significant malocclusion (ie your teeth not coming together properly, such as an underbite or overbite), this is something your dentist needs to look at, or possibly an orthodontist. We’ll always advise you if this is the case. Some treatment in partnership with the care they provide may still be appropriate.

If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment, please give us a call 
0131 5572211. 
We’ll be happy to help.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Last week, whilst researching exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee, I stumbled across the Arthritis Research UK website. For those of you who are interested, it is a great tool, with lots of sensible information and advice on many arthritic conditions.

The key message that I took from the website with regard to osteoarthritis, was that when patients are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, they often panic, they stop exercising or doing the things they enjoy, through fear of making the condition worse. This is understandable, but it is really important to remember that although there isn’t currently a cure, it doesn’t necessarily get worse over time, and most importantly, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself, such as:

·         Maintaining a healthy weight, to decrease strain on the joints.

·         Cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercises, to help with weight loss/maintenance, improve cardiovascular fitness and to keep the muscles that surround the joints strong. If you are someone that doesn’t enjoy exercise, perhaps you can build it in to your day, by walking to and from work, walking in and getting the bus home, or simply getting off the bus a few stops early.

      If exercise seems to worsen your symptoms, try something that is low impact, such as swimming or water-based aerobics. The following link will take you to a handy little set of muscle strengthening exercises for patients experiencing knee pain (exercises for other joints are also available on their website). I thought these were great, as they are easy to do and you could even incorporate them into your day, perhaps whilst sat at your desk, or whilst watching the TV at night:

·         Seeking help, be that through your GP or Consultant if you have one, or through supportive interventions, such as the manual therapy offered by osteopaths. Although we cannot reverse the damage to your joints, we can work with  you to maintain or increase joint and muscle flexibility, as well as support any other areas of your body that might be suffering as a result.

If you suffer with any kind of arthritis, you may find the website really useful, here is the link:

 If you have any questions or  would like to make an appointment call 01315572211



Is injury stopping your marathon training?

Training for a marathon is no easy task, especially if injury rears its ugly head.  

Knowing what to do to get to back on schedule is often difficult.  With the right advice, you can hopefully reduce injury time, any long term problems developing and possibly end up a little bit stronger.

Most commonly injuries occur through training errors such as running too fast too soon or too long too early. With the usual areas being the foot, ankle and knee. Inflammation of various tissues around these joints is most often the cause of the pain.  Hot spots are often a combination of minor faults in running technique, poor footwear, muscular imbalances or previous injuries.

Osteopaths are trained in diagnosis and enjoy finding what the problems are and the reasons why you are affected. Through assessment of your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints and of course your story we can treat you. We will work out a plan with you to get you back running as soon as possible.

Osteopaths use a combination of therapies in conjunction with Osteo techniques, including therapeutic taping (Kinesio Tape), needling, cranio-sacral therapy and exercise prescription.

Don’t let injury stop you achieving your goal, there are many ways to maintain fitness and build strength even if you can’t physically get the miles in.  Body conditioning and muscular endurance training can keep you in great condition and will help you get healthy quickly and improve your recovery time post marathon.
Headaches :Did you know one cause can be tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back?

Did you know the most common cause of headaches is tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back?

 It is something that I see again and again. People sitting on chairs that are too low or at desks that are too low. They hunch over and work away bending more as the day progresses. They are so industrious that they don't notice the pain build in their backs and necks.
Does this sound a familiar pattern to you?

 The tension headache

Treatment from an osteopath may help. Tension headaches are often helped by treating tight muscles of the neck and upper back. Sometimes we use manipulation to loosen the joints of the neck and back to relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to headaches.

This is something we can do for ourselves too! Looking back over my past day or week what has lead me to have this headache now? When I ask myself this question I invariably answer, I haven't been drinking enough water and I have been doing some computer work without taking a break. These patterns are different for everyone. If you get headaches back or neck pain an osteopath might be able to help.

If you would like to discuss your headaches or book an appointment for a treatment call now 01315572211 or email www.eyreplaceosteopaths