What is Cranial Osteopathy?
Cranial osteopathy is a highly refined and subtle form of osteopathic treatment. It focuses on restoring your body to a state of balance and harmony and is a very gentle method of treatment, relief can be immediate. Cranial osteopathy is especially useful for the treatment of babies, children and the elderly; it encourages the body to release stress and tension.
About Paediatric Osteopathy
For many babies the birthing process is one of the most stressful events they will experience in their entire life. During birth the baby, especially the head, is subjected to enormous forces when the uterus contracts and pushes it against the birth canal; this can cause structural stresses and strains in their body.
During a normal birth, the baby has to turn and twist as it squeezes through the bony pelvis on this short but tortuous journey. The baby’s head has a remarkable ability to absorb these stresses by allowing the soft bones of the skull to overlap. This helps to reduce the diameter of the head enabling it to pass through the relatively small birth canal.
This is the reason many babies are born with irregular shaped heads, this “moulding” will normally disappear after the first few days. However, if the birth has been difficult compressions and strains may remain.
These stresses could cause your baby discomfort that can result in crying, feeding difficulties, sickness, colic, wind, sleep disturbances, recurrent infections including ear infections (glue ear), sinus and adenoidal problems.
If not resolved then these problems may in later life develop into headaches, migraine, neck pain, lower back pain or sinusitis. Releasing these stresses and strains when the baby or child is very young can give immediate relief to both the baby and the parents and help avoid future problems.
There are many causes of headache and during an osteopathic consultation our aim is to screen every person to find out the specific cause and classification of their individual headache. Osteopaths commonly see “cervico-genic” headache, this means a headache caused by problems in the neck, upper back or shoulder region. Muscular/ligamentous strains, trigger points in the muscles, locked and inflamed joints in the upper back and neck, whiplash, poor posture especially associated with desk / computer use and many more similar problems can all lead to this type of headache.
Cervico-genic headaches are often (but not exclusively) felt at the base of the skull and radiate over the scalp to the forehead and occasionally behind the eyes. They can be one sided or often on both sides and can be very regular in their frequency. By easing the strain in the upper back, shoulder and neck cervico-genic headaches can be greatly eased and often cease rapidly.
For other headache questions please ring for advise or speak to your GP as every headache can have a different origin and classification, therefore requiring different treatment. If your GP has already seen you and given you a clean bill of health and you are still suffering with no relief then we recommend that you contact the clinic to see if osteopathy can help you. Many people suffer unnecessarily for many years with headache when something none invasive and painless can be done to help.
This is classified as a neurological condition resulting in severe throbbing/pounding head pain. Usually effecting only one side of the head or face, however can occasionally effect both sides of the head.
Sufferers can expect nausea, occasional vomiting, visual disturbances and a severe pain in the head. Symptoms can last from minutes, hours or sometimes days depending on the severity. Triggers of migraine can vary greatly and can be a reaction to certain foods, smells, bright lights and stress. Research shows that some migraine originates in the brainstem (featuring intercellular transport dysfunction of calcium and potassium ions) and some are genetically disposed. Other research shows that it is a vascular phenomenon caused by over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (the nervous system that controls blood flow, in this case to the brain).
Osteopaths can help isolate triggering factors, calm the nervous system down and ease stresses and strains in the skull, spine and muscles to help reduce and alleviate migraine. Migraine is a very complex subject and everyone’s experience can vary greatly as the triggering factors and symptoms are often completely individual. If you suffer from migraine please contact the clinic for advice or an assessment as advice and treatment are individually tailored to your specific problem.
Whiplash and Road Traffic Accidents
A whiplash injury is classified and a hyper flexion followed by a hyper extension injury to the neck. This is often caused by a rear end collision in a car. The head and neck are thrown violently forwards and then violently backwards onto the headrest. The level of damage is proportionate to the speed and force of the impact, the position of the head rest, the position of the head and neck at the time of impact and previous neck traumas.
Common injuries sustained include strained or torn muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back, neck and upper back joint locking and strains, muscular spasm, cervico-genic headaches, restriction in head and neck movement associated with acute pain. These symptoms can be immediate in onset or in many cases take two to three days to start.
Severe road traffic accidents can often result in many other injuries to the body as well. Shoulders and ribs can often be strained due to the seatbelt and the lower back is often injured as the whole spine sheers forwards as the pelvis remains fixed by the lap belt. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident please contact the clinic as our osteopaths are very familiar with these types of injuries and the treatment costs are more often picked up by the liable insurance company.