Case Histories

(All the case histories are taken from patients who have visited us in the last 2 years although names have been changed.)

John ( 29) - sharp pain in right lower back

John works in an office through the week and plays 5 a side football every Thursday.  

Last week John was bending into the back seat of his car to pick up his kit bag when he felt a sharp pain in his right lower back. He went home to try and rest the back, and even took a hot bath, but over the next few hours the pain became worse to the point where John was struggling to put weight on his right leg, and was even finding getting to the toilet a struggle.

John's GP prescribed a pain killer and anti inflammatories which took the edge off the pain but 3 days later John was still off work, and decided on the advice of a friend to come to see us.

Taking a full history from John we discovered that his back had been aching on and off over the last year and that he’d experienced a few twinges now and then. John spent most of his day sitting at a computer and had to work in a slightly twisted position to use his keyboard. We also found that John regularly ran late at work and often went straight from the changing room to the 5 a side pitch.

Hands on examination showed that John's lower back muscles had been tight for some time and his lower back joints were very restricted. Otherwise John had no health problems.

Our treatment consisted of a short and long term plan.

In the short term we worked on the back to reduce the muscle spasm and improve the joint movement while ice packs helped to reduce the local inflammation. It was clear some of the problems in the back had been building up for some time and that a few changes would make a significant difference in preventing these problems returning in the future. We advised John to look at his posture at work which helped reduce the amount of time he spent in a twisted position and prevented the right lower back muscles from over working all the time. Finally we gave John advice on warm up before, and warm down after his football. This not only gave him more flexibility while playing but helped undo the day to day stresses and strains which tend to build up when we do the same things day after day.

John visited us 3 times for treatment in total, has not required any treatment since.

Paul (12) - sore knee from time to time

Paul is very active, playing lots of football in his spare time. Recently his parents have noticed he has had a sore knee from time to time.

While he is active the pain doesn't seem too bad, but in the evenings Paul seems to be increasingly uncomfortable, and his knee seem to be very stiff after watching tv.

When Paul's parents brought him in examination showed that he was basically fit and healthy, but that some of the muscles in the thigh were overly tight. This put strain on the knee, which in turn was causing inflammation and swelling.

Treatment involved some soft tissue massage work on the tight muscles around the knee and some exercises designed to loosen off the tight muscles and strengthen the others to balance the area up.

Paul had three visits at which point the pain and stiffness had gone. Paul continued with the exercises at home for the next 4 weeks although he was back to playing football after 2 weeks

Margaret, 71 - aches and pains in the mid back and shoulders.

Margaret had been feeling a gradual build up of aches and pains in the mid back and shoulders. Initially she had put this down to "wear and tear" and "old age" but recently the pain has been worse and Margaret has been unable to do a number of day to day activities without considerable discomfort.

Examination did show some signs of wear and tear, however the most striking finding was how tight some of the muscles in the upper back and shoulder area were. We explained to Margaret that it was like the muscles were working all the time and any extra pressure on them caused them to be strained and become painful.

Due to Margaret's age and the medication we did not use some of the more vigorous techniques, but we were able to gently stretch the joints in the upper back and neck, while relaxing the muscles in the neck using soft tissue massage to the point where they were able to function properly day today without a build up of strain. A few specific but gentle exercises were given to keep things flexible day to day and Margaret comes in to see us every 4 months in order to stop thing build up to the point where they cause pain.