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Holiday Time

4th July 2016

If you’r lucky enough to be visiting Staffordshire or Derbyshire this summer you will find plenty to do. Whether you visit the larger cities of Stoke on Trent or Derby you will find plenty to keep you entertained, you may want to go to the races in Uttoxeter or visit the Highland games in Ashbourne. St Giles Church in Cheadle Staffordshire is considered one of the finest examples of Pugins work. In Stone you can try some trampolining at Flip Out Stoke.

Keep on running

28th June 2016

By this time of the year , New Years resolutions are a thing of the past. Why not start running? Park runs are free, timed, 5 k weekly runs held in parks around the country. Stoke on trent in staffordshire hosts the Hanley parkrun .While Darley park in derbyshire holds another.At present no park runs are been held in Burton on trent or Stafford.

First Aid In Stoke on Trent

17th June 2016

Once again I find myself in Stoke on Trent. This time I was attending a one day first aid course run by the British red cross. The course was held at the North Staffs medical Institute. Over the years I have been to many such events but this day was by far the best. Many thanks to Bryan for his funny and informative presentation of what sometimes can be an essential but boring day.


17th January 2016

Why not pop over to facebook and give our new page a like? Keep up to date with our latest Osteopath news. We have aimed the page at people living in and around Staffordshire & the Stoke on Trent area.

A day out in Stoke on Trent!

13th January 2016

Stoke on Trent was my most recent GPD outing (osteopathic treatment of abdominal conditions). The course was held in Staffordshire University in Stoke on Trent in conjunction with the college of osteopaths. A small group of osteopaths mainly from Staffordshire and Derbyshire attended the course , which was mainly informal and practical and involve palpating and prodding the visera of the abdominal cavity. For those that may not know, the college of osteopaths in Stoke on Trent provides an extended part time course held in Stoke on Trent in conjunction with Staffordshire University.

This course is recognised by the General Osteopathic Council and afforded students the opportunity to work whilst studying and is the only part time course in the north of England. The College of Osteopaths, as part of the training program provide a teaching clinic where the general public can get supervised treatment at a reduced cost from the students. This clinic is located at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute, Harthshill Road, Stoke on Trent.

On graduating mo of the osteopaths find it easy to get work ,this may be as an associate with an established osteopathic practice or some set up their own practices in and around Stoke on Trent area. So if you are looking for rewarding profession and like helping people, why not contact the college of osteopaths in Stoke on Trent,

All the best for now from Gar Nevin, Osteopath, Uttoxeter

Chondromalacia patella (Patellofemoral syndrome)

12th January 2016

Chrondromalacia patella is damage to the undersurface of the knee and is one of the most common causes of knee pain. Patellofemoral syndrome results from degeneration of cartilage due to poor tracking and alignment of the kneecap (patella) as it moves over the lower end of the femur (thighbone). If the kneecap doesn’t track properly due to poor foot knee and hip biomechanics this can cause friction on the patellas cartilage. Over time this leads to micro tears in the cartilage which leads to chronic inflammation and pain Sports people are at risk of getting patellofemoral pain syndrome, especially theses involved in running or jumping events.

One of the main causes of chrondromalacia patella is overuse, changes in duration and intensity or foot ware can lead to this condition. Even prolonged sitting can be painful once the syndrome has established because of the extra pressure between the patella and the femur during knee flexion Some biomechanical factors have been identified as a primary cause of patellofemoral syndrome theses include Overpronation of the feet (flat feet). This is where the feet roll inwards as they strike the ground, this in turn leads to internal rotation of the tibia and femur which can lead to a tracking dysfunction of the patella. Arch supports or orthotics can help in reducing this overpronation A large Q angle. This is an angle between the pelvis and the femur ,some experts think that the greater the angle the increase chances of getting knee pain( women have a bigger Q angle and are more at risk of getting patellofemoral syndrome).

Tight iliotibial bands can cause external rotation of the tibia ,resulting in altered biomechanics of the knee ,weak quads may also contribute to poor knee tracking .Your osteopath or sports injury doctor will be able to advise what treatment is best for your condition

Headaches, frozen shoulder & tennis/golfers elbow

4th January 2016

The most common types of headaches seen by osteopaths and chiropractors are tension or migraine headaches or a combination of the two. they normally present with a dull aching pain which sometimes can be described as having a tight band around ones head, this may be accompanied by tenderness of the scalp ,neck and shoulders Most tension headaches can be caused by problems in the upper neck (cervical) vertebra. Due to bad posture, previous injury /trauma (whiplash injuries), stress, dehydration.The small muscles that attach the spine to the base of the skull can contract, the upper cervical vertebra can loose their mobility. Tension type headaches respond well to osteopathic treatment. This may involve soft tissue stretching and joint manipulation alongside lifestyle advise. Exercise especially yoga and improved work station ergonomics can greatly reduce the frequency of attacks.

Frozen shoulder.
Also known as adhesive capsulitis is where the shoulder range of movement is lost to such an extent that the patient finds it almost impossible to carry out simple movements of the shoulder. Pain is usually worse at night or when movement is attempted.

Frozen shoulders have three stages. Stage one, freezing. This can last for 8 to 9 months in which the patient has a slow onset of pain and loss of range of motion. Stage two, frozen. While their may be a gradual improvement in pain the stiffness remains. this stage may last up to 9 months. Stage three of frozen shoulder can last anywhere up to two years, defrosting, where movement slowly returns to normal.

Frozen shoulder is rarely seen in people under the age of 40 but peaks between 40 and 70 years of age. Frozen shoulder is much more common in women than men with a ratio of 8:1. Frozen shoulder is more common and severe in diabetic patients, other conditions which increases the risk of frozen shoulders include stroke, rheumatoid arthritis.

Tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition affecting the outside of the elbow, where the tendon (tendons attach muscles to bones) of the forearms attach the outside portion of the upper arm called the lateral epicondyle. This causes pain and tenderness around the elbow and forearm. You may also experience muscle weakness (weak grip) Although racket sports such as tennis can cause tennis elbow, most people who suffer from tennis elbow don’t play tennis. Normally tennis elbow is caused by repetitive movements line twisting and gripping your wrist can cause micro tears in your forearm muscle and tendon, thus resulting in an inflammatory response.

Pain may develop gradually over a few days and may not be associated with the initial injury. If you are a bricklayer, carpenter, plumber, painter decorator or someone who uses computer a lot and between the age of 35 to 60 you are more prone to getting tennis elbow, it normally affects your dominant arm. Osteopaths treat tennis elbow by deep massage of the forearm muscles and manipulation of the elbow and wrist in conjunction with advise on work ergonomics Golfers elbow Golfers elbow is similar to tennis elbow but with the pain occurring on the inside of the elbow, golfers elbow is less common is more often seen in people who play sport involving throwing and gripping (javelin) cricket and golf. Golfers elbow can also be seen on people who use vibrating machines

Achillies tendon injuries

3rd January 2016

The Achillies tendons avery strong tendon that attaches the calf muscle of the lower leg to the heel bone, it is the largest tendon in the body, it allows to run, jump and climb. It is a common sports injury in people especially as they are get older. Sports that are explosive in nature such as tennis, squash, badminton, football and running can cause rupture of the Achilles tendon, this is where the Achilles tendon totally tears. This requires surgery and can’t be treated with osteopathy or chiropractic techniques. However partial tears can be treated by osteopaths, this can take anything from 3 to 6 months, depending in the severity of the tear,the health of the patients ,weather they smoke (extends recovery time). The main symptoms or achilles tendonitis is pain in your ankle, this can be accompanied with stiffness in the tendon. The ankle may be tender to touch and you may feel a ridge or bump on the tendon, sometimes a visible swelling mat be seen on the back of the tendon.

At first pain is usually worst on rising ,or after long periods of inactivity or when you start or finish exercise but goes away whilst exercising. As the condition gets progressively worse you may feel pain while exercising. If this happened the sports person needs to cut back on the amount and intensity of exercise, if you run try to run on softer surfaces ,stretch the Achilles tendon every day,apply ice packs (this helps to reduce swelling) ,never apply ice packs directly to the skin use a damp cloth as a barrier. This prevents ice burns. A small heal raise inside each shoe will also take the stress off the tendon Looking at the biomechanics of the feet can help to prevent re injury overpronation of the feet or poor running technique, as well as running on slanted surfaces can all predispose one to achilles tendon problems.

Rotaror cuff injury

1st January 2016

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of muscles and their tendons that facilitate movement of the arm and shoulder joint, they also help stabilize the shoulder joint. There are a number of conditions that can affect the rotator cuff, one of the most common is tendonitis or the rotator cuff when a tendon becomes inflamed as it passes through the subacromial space. As we get older this space narrowes causing compression on the rotator cuff tendon. This is called rotator cuff impingement ( impingement syndrome). There is also a fluid filled sack in the subacromial space called a bursa, this structure protects the tendon from rubbing against the bone. In some cases this bursa can get inflamed, this is called bursitis.

There are many ways to cause injury to the rotator cuff ,jerking movements( dog pulling on leads). Falling on an outstretched arm. Repeated movements like throwing, swimming (crawl) window cleaning can all predispose to rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff injuries respond well to osteopathic and chiropractic treatment if treated early.

Areas that I service

7th Decemeber 2015

If you feel that you do suffer with any type of back pain and you live in Staffordshire then I am only a phone call away. I treat people from Burton on Trent, Rugeley, Stoke on Trent and Stafford. You can either call me on 01889 560139 or email me at [email protected]

Back Care Tips

4th Decemeber 2015

Back pain can be classified as

Acute back pain

Chronic back pain

Common causes of back pain to name a few

▪ lumbar Disc injuries (slipped disc). Discs are located betiveen spinal vertebras, they act as shock absorbers in the spinal column and also facilitate movement within the spine. Each disc has two portions, an outer tough ring and an inner softer centre. Repeated bending and twisting can cause a weakness in this outer ring which may split causing the inner gel like' fluid to leak out. This is called a slipped or herniated disc. If the slipped disc compresses one of these spinal nerves(sciatica) you may get pain, numbness or pins and needles along the affected nerve, in severe cases you may get loss of power in the muscles associated with the nerve.

▪ Men have a greater risk of disc iniuries especially in the 30 to 50 age range. In very rare cases the disc may compress the nerve roots within the spinal canal (Cauda Equina) if this occurs you may loose bowel and bladder control. This is an medical emergency which needs urgent medical intervention, normally spinal surgery.

▪ Degenerative disc disease of the spine is probably the greatest contributor to back and neck pain. As we age the discs loose the amount of water they contain. This causes the space between the vertebra to narrow. When this happens the discs fail to absorb shocks to the Spine .

▪ Facet locking (facet joint syndrome) facet locking is a common cause of back back pain seen by osteopaths and chiropractors. Facet joints help to move the spine through its full range of movement. Facet joints can got locked when repeated or excessive movement occurs. The locked joint causes a protective muscle spasm resulting in severe pain and inability to move properly. Symptorns normally subside after 4 to 5 days. Osteopathy and chiropractic treatment can speed up recovery time.

▪ Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within the spinal column. It is normally associated with advancing age. Spinal stenosis causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves which leads to pain into legs, numbness, tingling and hot or cold feelings into legs. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid may affect the size of the spinal canal, therefore leading to spinal stenosis. People with stenosis often find leaning forward while walking helps, as does cycling. Lying with knees drawing to ones chest may also help. Chiropractic and osteopathic treatment may be of little use.

▪ Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic long chronic long term condition in which the pelvis and spine become inflamed. Early onset of AS can be difficult to diagnose as it often mimics mechanical back pain. Ankylosing Spondylitis often presents in late teens / early twenties from, most common presentation is a young male with early morning stiffness. Associated symptoms may include eye problems, fatigue, skin rashes, gastrointestinal illness, heel pain. Osteopath and chiropractic offers little help to AS suffers, but exercise involving movement may help.

▪ Osteoarthritis can affect the spinal joints especially joints of the lower neck and lower back. It tends to be more common as we get older, affecting 80% of people over the age of 50 years. Osteoarthritis is caused by the destruction of cartilage which protects the surfaces of bone, in some cases part of the cartilage may break away leaving the bone exposed. Osteopathic treatment is very good at increasing joint mobility whilst reducing back pain.

▪ Sciatica is a name given to any sort of pain caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve as it runs down the buttocks and legs to feet. Sciatica is normally caused by a herniated or slipped disc but other conditions can also produce sciatic pain, these include piriformis syndrome where the sciatic nerve or a branch of the nerve gets compressed by the piriformis muscle which lies deep in the buttock. Sacroiliac dysfunction may also cause sciatic type pain, facet joint capsule swelling or thickening with or without osteoarthritic may also predispose to patients getting sciatic pain. Pain can range from mild to very severe and is often associated with numbness and pins and needles. Osteopaths treat sciatic pain through soft tissue techniques, joint mobilisation, spinal manipulation, postural advise, exercise therapy and lifestyle changes.

Back Care Tips

7th September 2015

1) It's important to look after your back, so here are some tips and reminders that will help you take better care.

2) For back pain, it's better to see your osteopath earlier rather than later.

3) Take regular exercise - your osteopath can say what's right for you.

4) Spending hours in one position can cause problems - avoid 'computer hump'!.

5) During repetitive tasks vary your rhythm and take frequent breaks.

6) Adjust car seats and, on long journeys, take regular breaks to stretch.

7) Pace yourself with heavy work like gardening - don't risk a disc!

8) Watch children's posture - they shouldn't carry bags on one shoulder.

9) During pregnancy osteopathy can help your body adjust to changes.

10) Avoid strain when lifting - particularly small children and shopping.

11) Seek advice on good back care from your osteopath.

Laptop Ergonomics - Basic Tips

2nd September 2015

A lovely animation for when you are working on your computer & how to care for your back.

The 2015 ODG Osteopathic Leadership Programme

25th April 2015

The Osteopathic Leadership Programme is a collaboration between the Osteopathic Development Group (ODG) - a partnership of the leading organisations of the UK’s osteopathic profession- and the Open University (OU). It offers the opportunity for those looking to develop their leadership skills or build their confidence in taking on a leadership role. The programme is aimed at any osteopath who wishes to apply leadership skills in clinical practice, a professional group, education or research.

The programme is built around an existing 25 hour OU distance learning leadership course and a supported work-based assignment, with the addition of two face-to-face workshops led by Judy Armitt of the OU and supported by existing leaders working with the osteopathic profession. The workshops will enable participants to identify their learning needs in the context of the osteopathic profession and to apply their learning in their future professional lives.

(Information taken from

Osteopathy to have new pan-European standards

9th April 2015

Standards of osteopathic care vary across Europe, which has created a need for greater patient protection through effective education, regulation and high standards of treatment.

FORE has been working alongside the European Federation of Osteopaths to jointly fund and develop pan-European standards for osteopathy with the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). The CEN is the recognised authority within Europe for standardisation. Three years ago, National member organisations of CEN voted in favour of creating a Project Committee to develop a European Standard for services of osteopaths.

These standards have only just been agreed and will come into force from 2016. While this Standard will not replace existing laws relating to osteopathy, it will provide minimum standards expected of osteopaths in those countries currently without any form of regulation. The standard will cover what constitutes the education, training and practice expected of an osteopath.

While the CEN standard for osteopathy will not impact on those countries with existing legislation regulating osteopathy, such as the UK, it will provide a benchmark in those countries currently without any regulatory mechanisms.

The positive vote is seen as an important step in the journey to establishing osteopathy at the fore-front of primary healthcare.

(Information taken from