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The Human Mechanic

No matter how old you are, how stiff your joints are or how bad your arthritis is, it is key to try and keep your body mobile. No one knows this better than Rosie Scott who set up Black Swan Osteopathy. Whether it’s beating your personal best in a half marathon or simply being able to put your socks on in the morning, Rosie can help you find ways of retaining as much movement as possible.

Osteopaths look at how...

the body is moving and working, linking the parts together to get a whole picture. This allows us to get to the cause of the issue and find the best route to resolve the problem for good. We work by getting joints moving, blood flowing between muscles, ligaments and the organs by utilising a wide variety of techniques depending on the alignment in order to improve the function of the body. Each treatment is truly bespoke to the patient.

Just as a car mechanic...

looks at how the parts of the car are working as a whole to keep the car moving smoothly, osteopaths look at how the different component parts of the body all work together to keep you moving and feeling great. Likewise with a car, problems that you can’t detect can be picked up in order to prevent bigger issues in the future. This is why we advocate a check up each year to see how things are moving and to tweak any exercise you are doing on a day to day basis.

People take their mobility...

and their joints for granted until something happens to them. My experience tells me that even those in pain live with this for months and sometimes years before they decide to do something about it. Even those patients who are managing chronic conditions will forget about the need to keep their body moving if their pain levels are decreased.

Our top three most common joint complaints...

come from Arthritis - both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, sporting injuries of the knee, hip and back and shoulders and work, particularly desk-related injuries to the neck and shoulders. But every patient often has complicating factors such as the sports or activities they play, previous injuries they have had or other underlying health complaints so no two treatments are the same, even if the pain is identical from one patient to another.

Sometimes you do encounter…

people with things like arthritis who have given up hope of ever moving again properly. Particularly if the pain has been present in their life for a long time. Our job is to help our patients understand the pain and what their body is doing so they can work hard to get themselves moving again. It is not a smooth road and there are often setbacks due to things in life like taking a long flight in a small cramped seat or stress which can exacerbate arthritic pain or even the weather.

Humidity of the climate…

does actually have an effect. The more humid the climate, the more the affected joints ache. Equally when the barometer is dropping the same can happen and our patients will report more aching. It won’t be enough to make them bed ridden, usually just a little more discomfort than normal. It doesn’t actually matter if the temperature is low, just if the pressure is low (or dropping). When it comes to cold weather…keep active. If your metabolism is high you will stay warm, your blood will flow better to the extremities of your hands and feet and keep you feeling warm and limber. A warm shower helps with osteoarthritis too but don’t make it too long as it might cause some local inflammation in the joints.

When you have arthritis…

you have to keep moving. As a tutor told me when I was studying years ago, ‘Use It or Lose It!’ This applies to people with osteoarthritis as well as those without. Moving the body helps to lubricate the joints and get blood flowing to the soft tissues which helps the repair process and also keeps the muscles flexible and strong while strengthening the bones. It’s a win-win.This doesn’t need…to be vigorous exercise. Just get your body moving. Household chores, a walk outside and even carrying shopping home are still classed as exercise. Look to move…little and often, it’s key. Long periods of being sedentary or not moving the affected joint allow for inflammation to build up and the pain and stiffness along with it.

When it comes to painful joints…

each patient is different and what will be beneficial for one patient might not be as beneficial to another. Generally just getting moving, using the stairs instead of the lift, cycling, swimming or taking a nice brisk walk are all great ways to get your joints moving safely.

You can find out more about Black Swan Osteopathy here.

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