What conditions do osteopaths treat?

At the Maxwell Clinic we help with various physical conditions.
Most commonly problems in the back and neck, but we help with many other areas like the knee or the shoulder.
Patients with symptoms like tension, stiffness and pain or sensations like pins and needles and headaches.
Often this is combined with difficulty moving normally.
Very often patients have physical symptoms related to things like stress and tension.

Low back pain

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help you recover from and try to prevent low back pain. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

People with low back pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers.  These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

You may be reading this because you have developed back pain – you’re not alone. 80% of people will have this at some point in their life. It’s an experience that can have many different forms and severities, it can be quite a shock and alarming.  

The good news is that it is rarely serious, it can be resolved naturally, quickly and can even be the catalyst to make changes to improve your health. Pain in the lower back is particularly common.  

You can gain a better understanding of what’s happened and why, and be guided to take steps to limit or prevent future episodes. 

Not knowing what’s going on, reading or being told the wrong information can lead to confusion and worry. This can delay healing or even make things worse.  It can make simple conditions become chronic.  

Getting a good grasp and understanding of the causes of your pain is one of the best things you can do to manage and resolve it as quickly as possible. 

Lower back pain is felt in the area between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the legs. It’s the most common type of back pain. Symptoms can vary from dull to very sharp and painful.

Symptoms arising in the back are not always felt there but can project out, into the buttock and leg like sciatica.

Symptoms can be triggered by things like bending awkwardly, lifting incorrectly, standing for long periods of time, slouching when sitting, and driving for long periods.

Many symptoms can be attributed to some type of physical activity, something a bit too demanding or beyond what you are used to doing. Perhaps combined with being in a hurry, under pressure, when a bit stressed or when a bit run down or tired. 

Other conditions have been quietly accumulating over time, then some trivial activity or movement sets them off. Putting on your socks, leaning forward or sneezing is not especially dangerous  and yet regularly associated with the sudden onset of back pain.  

Low back pain can be very severe and yet the vast majority are not serious and can be resolved quickly.  X-Rays, scans or blood tests are very rarely needed.


Neck pain

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced to help you recover from, and prevent, neck pain. We can provide specialised individual treatment and advice. 

Neck pain refers to pain experienced in the area from the base of the skull to the shoulders. This can include stiffness, tightness, as well as sharp pain. It can reduce the movement of the neck and head. Neck pain can also cause headaches.

People with neck pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can be seen quickly and answer these questions. Combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, can help you recover quickly.

You can gain a better understanding of what’s happened and why, and be guided to take steps to limit or prevent future episodes. 

Not knowing what’s going on, reading or being told the wrong information can lead to confusion and worry. This can delay healing or even make things worse. A good grasp and understanding of the causes of your pain is one of the best things you can do to manage and resolve it as quickly as possible.

Pain in the neck

Most muscles in the body relax when they’re not being used, but many muscles in the neck are permanently tensed to support the head.

Neck pain can sometimes be the result of excess strain on the neck. This could include slouching, sleeping in an awkward position, or working at a computer for long periods of time.

Neck pain can also develop as the result of an accident. Perhaps the best known is whiplash, an injury sustained as a result of the head being thrown forward and backwards in a car accident.

Neck pain is rarely the result of a serious injury and will often improve within a few weeks. Try to keep moving – neck collars are best avoided – and maintain your normal routine as best you can. 


Stress and tension

Osteopathy at the Maxwell Clinic can play a role in helping symptoms related to stress, tension or anxiety. These are psychological factors that can result in a physical response.

Osteopathic treatment like massage and joint mobilisation can have a soothing relaxation effect that can relieve feelings of tightness, tension or anxieties.  

Osteopathy can be a good way to identify and help you understand the cause of your physical pains and stiffness.


Upper and middle back pain

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help you recover from and prevent upper and middle back pain. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

The upper and middle back is the section of the back between the base of the neck and the bottom of the rib cage.

People with middle back pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. 

Pain in this area may be the result of a problem with the muscles or ligaments in and around the spine. It may be related to prolonged or strained postures.

Often the strain may involve the ribs. Pain may be felt in the front of your chest  and is often worse at night, when we turn or even on taking a deep breath. 


Headaches

Many types of headaches are related to the muscles and joints of the neck. They can respond very well to osteopathic treatment that involves massage and movement to soothe and release tension and tightness.  

Tensions and tightness in the muscles and joints of the neck can send symptoms into the head. Pains or aches can be felt in the back of the head, across the forehead, in the temple or around the eye. This can worry people who may tense up even more. 

Osteopathic consultation at the Maxwell Clinic will give you an assessment, a diagnosis and treatment. This is in combination with advice and guidance to help you understand, resolve and manage your symptoms and try to prevent further episodes.

Very often just recognising that your headache is associated with the muscles and joints is therapeutic. It is recommended to get a professional opinion and not self diagnose

Migraine type headaches can involve neck muscles, and improve when the muscular component is treated,  but migraine is also a neurological condition and may require help from other specialists as well.

Check out our blog post about cervical headaches.


Posture problems

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can give you individual treatment and advice that can help you understand, look after and promote healthy postures

Everyone is very concerned about their posture. The internet is often blaming our poor posture for our symptoms and is awash with offers with quick and absolute fixes, or gimmicks that can cure us. Information on this website is based on many years of experience, study and combined with a good anatomical physiological understanding.

Understanding posture

Posture is not one single position but more dynamic, involving many postures, positions and movement habits.

Posture is largely shaped by genetic factors, but it is also gradually adapting and responding to many other factors throughout our lives. Lifestyle factors like our work, how active/inactive we are, our weight and even influenced by emotion and mood. 

Our repeated poor postures, combined with lack of activity,  may affect the slouched, hunched shapes we are gradually adapting and remodelling into. This may lead to irreversible tissue changes confirming that “use it or lose it” is a biological truth.  

Underused lazy muscles will weaken and wither. Overworked muscles may shorten and tighten. Joints that rarely or never go through their full range of movement can eventually stiffen. The tissues and joint capsules may contract and shrink as flexibility and movement is lost. This can affect alignments in the joints or spinal column. 

Poor posture doesn’t have to mean painful posture

There are lots of people with excellent posture and with pain and terrible looking postures in people who feel just fine thank you. The reason here is that there are many other factors that may be involved in pain .  

However, I would say that there are some postures that may cause pain. Strained or awkward postures can irritate muscles and tissues and lead to pain. Extreme end of range positions involving high or lazy levels of tense muscle tone, very flexed (imagine the couch potato look) or very extended (sitting bolt upright). 

These postural habits can overwork or strain muscles unhealthily squeezing, stretching tissues, fatiguing, choking the blood flow, compressing nerves and statically loading spinal discs. 

Does this sound terrible? Listen to your body. Prolonged or awkward postures with little or no movement will lead to muscle and tissues that will tell you they want to move.

Check out our blog about constantly changing muscle and joint imbalances.


Sciatica and slipped discs

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can explain and help you understand symptoms of sciatica, trapped nerves and injuries to the spinal discs. 

Our specific treatment, advice and guidance can help you recover. The vast majority of these conditions can resolve naturally without having to resort to more complicated and invasive treatments, like injections or operations.

People with sciatica, trapped nerves and disc related injuries want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover, and as quickly as possible.

Not knowing what’s going on, reading or being told the wrong information can lead to confusion and worry. This can delay healing or even make things worse. It can make simple conditions become chronic.  

The vast majority of back pain is not of a serious nature, even when it involves severe pain. Despite less than 1% of back pain having an unusual or serious cause it’s important to have this assessed by a healthcare professional such as an osteopath.  See “urgent symptoms

Buttocks and leg pain (sciatica)

Sciatica is pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, and runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks and down both legs, ending at your feet.

When something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain, numbness and a tingling sensation that travels from your lower back down your leg.

The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped (or prolapsed) disc. This occurs when one of the discs that sit between and cushion the bones in the spine is damaged and presses on nearby nerves.

Most cases will pass in a few weeks or months, although it may come and go over time. Treatments such as staying active, painkillers, and back exercises or stretches often help. In rare cases, injections or surgery may be needed.    

More on discs, sciatica and trapped nerves

A disc is a soft, rubber band-like substance that is sandwiched between the bones of the spine. They are soft, gelatinous, rubber type material so when you jump up and down, the bones don’t hit each other. It is a shock absorber, along with muscles and ligament, it holds the bones on top of each other, and it also acts as a spacer. That space is necessary to spread the bones apart from each other to allow the nerves to come out from the middle of the spine into the arms and legs.

But, the discs do wear out over time.

There is minimal blood supply to the disc, and blood brings healing nutrients and oxygen to damaged structures in the body. This means that the spinal disc lacks any significant reparative powers.

Find out more about slipped discs in our blog post.


Shoulder problems

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help with diagnosis, treatment and provide you with helpful advice for shoulder pain. 

People with shoulder conditions want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

Shoulder pain and stiffness. Strains around the shoulder may present in association with neck symptoms but careful examinations may reveal that the shoulder is affected on one side. Some shoulder conditions can take time to heal, commonly over several months! A frozen shoulder can take much longer than that, but it’s often misdiagnosed. A true frozen shoulder  (aka adhesive capsulitis) may need an X-Ray to exclude other conditions but is primarily a diagnosis that can be made from the history and on examination.  An experienced osteopath is able to do this.

Shoulder conditions

Shoulder pain, stiffness and weakness. 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are able to identify, treat and guide you to recovery from conditions with the shoulder joint.

Strains around the shoulder may present in association with neck symptoms but careful examinations may reveal that the shoulder is affected on one side. Some shoulder conditions can take time to heal, commonly over several months! 

A frozen shoulder can take much longer than that, but it’s often misdiagnosed. A true frozen shoulder (aka adhesive capsulitis) may need an X-Ray to exclude other conditions but is primarily a diagnosis that can be made from the history and on examination.  


Knee strains or injuries

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced to help you recover from knee pain. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

People with knee conditions and pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

Knee strains or injuries. Osteoarthritic joints cannot be cured by osteopathic treatment but we can give some symptomatic relief and some simple advice to help people manage these conditions. Helping keep the knee healthy and strong.  

Osteopathy can assess and diagnose and treat many knee injuries. It is part of our clinical experience and expertise to know when osteopathic care will not be suitable and someone may need referring on for a specialist opinion and treatment e.g. severe cruciate or meniscal tears may require surgery.

Knee conditions

Knee pain, strains or injuries   

Osteopathy at the Maxwell Clinic can assess and diagnose and treat many knee injuries. After we have made an assessment and diagnosis one of the most important things we do is to show  you how to keep the knee healthy and strong.  

Some knee injuries can be severe, it is part of our clinical experience and expertise to know when osteopathic care will not be suitable and someone may need referring for specialist care.


Tennis elbow

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help you understand, manage and resolve tennis elbow. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

Tennis elbow can grumble for months. People with tennis elbow and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? 
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly. Tennis elbow is something many patients over 50 years old have a bit of, and for others it can be severe and a burden on day to day function. It’s not an easy condition to resolve, especially once it’s set in, but seeing it early can get better results.

Elbow and wrist conditions

Osteopathic care at the Maxwell Clinic can diagnose and treat conditions of the elbow joint. By far the most diagnosed and misdiagnosed elbow condition is tennis elbow.


Plantar fasciitis (plantar pain)

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help you understand, manage and recover from plantar fasciitis pain. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

People with plantar pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers.  These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition we diagnose and treat regularly at the Maxwell Clinic.

It is by far the commonest foot condition we see. This is a sharp painful condition in the sole of the foot. It can have various causes and contributing factors. There are several different treatments and strategies to help resolve it. What’s important is to recognise different treatments suit different people.


Cranial osteopathy for babies

Cranial osteopaths use a highly trained sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality in the living anatomy of the whole body, and to diagnose areas of strain or dysfunction.

Cranial osteopathic treatment is quite different from the more regular or “structural” osteopathic techniques.  It is more gentle and more applicable to babies and toddlers.

To discuss or make a booking regarding cranial osteopathy with Paige, please contact us on 01992 443026.


Hip conditions

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help diagnose, understand, manage and resolve a variety of hip conditions. We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

People with hip pain want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers. These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

Hip pain

Osteopathy from the Maxwell Clinic can help diagnose and treat many conditions related to the hip joint. 

From soft tissue conditions like a painful bursa, or detecting an osteoarthritic hip. Keeping pain and stiffness controlled can allow the muscles to stay active and strong.

Many patients tell me it is their hip and point to their buttock but often this area relates to the low back. Commonly hip conditions present as pain in the groin.

Hip conditions tend to have an effect on the function of the low back, so the two conditions co exist. I’ve seen many people present with a low back complaint only to discover the root of their symptoms is from the hip.

From soft tissue conditions like a painful bursa, or detecting an osteoarthritic hip. Just as with an arthritic knee joint I cannot reverse this, I have helped people manage this up until they have had a hip replacement, keeping pain and stiffness controlled can allow the muscles to stay active and strong.


Sports related injuries

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic are trained and experienced. We can help with diagnosis, treatment and recovery and allow you to return back to full sporting activities.

We can provide specialised individual assessment, treatment and advice. 

With sports injuries it is the diagnosis and understanding the causes that is key. Really good assessment and understanding our patients is vital.  

Sports related conditions may involve any part of the body and treatment may involve sports massage, sports taping, osteopathic manipulation, ultrasound therapy and exercise therapy.

We can help with muscle strains, pain, and tears (often involving the calf, hamstring or hip muscles), knee injuries, Patello-femoral pain and shin splints.

People with sports injuries want to be seen quickly and want more advice and treatment other than just taking pain killers.  These are some of the questions they have:

  • What has happened to me? Is this serious?
  • How long will this go on for? Will this ever get better? 
  • What is the best treatment?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What can be done to prevent this from happening again?                                                 

Osteopaths at the Maxwell Clinic can answer these questions and, combined with a variety of treatment skills and advice, help you recover quickly.

Sports taping 

Here at the Maxwell Clinic we often use sports taping. If you’ve watched a volleyball game or competitive bicycle race, you’ve probably seen it: strips of colorful tape splayed in patterns across shoulders, knees and backs. That’s kinesiology tape: a therapeutic tape that’s applied strategically to the body to provide support, lessen pain, reduce swelling, and improve performance.

Kinesiology tape is really stretchy made with a blend of cotton and nylon. It’s designed to mimic the skin’s elasticity so you can use your full range of motion. The tape’s medical-grade adhesive is also water-resistant and strong enough to stay on for three to five days, even while you work out or take showers.

When the tape is applied to your body, it recoils slightly, gently lifting your skin. It is believed that this helps to create a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues underneath it.

Sports taping can be used to:

  • Change signals on pain pathways
  • Improve circulation of blood and fluids
  • Treat injuries
  • Support weak zones
  • Re-educate muscles
  • Enhance performance

Unusual or serious causes of back pain

The vast majority of back pain is not of a serious nature, even when it involves severe pain. Despite less than 1% of back pain having an unusual or serious cause it’s important to have this assessed by a healthcare professional such as an osteopath. See “urgent symptoms” below. 

Unusual or serious causes

Conditions that may be too severe or present in an unusual way will not be treated by an osteopath but will be referred for specialist care.   

These conditions are less than 1%. We ask questions to screen patients to make sure they have no signs or symptoms that may indicate these. 

Urgent symptoms

There are a number of warning signs that may indicate that your back pain is more serious and may require medical help.

These urgent signs include:

  • numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
  • difficulty peeing
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • unexplained weight loss, a history of cancer
  • a swelling or a deformity in your back

Maxwell Osteopath Clinic Hertfordshire

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