Our Osteopath, Dr Claire Richardson has been active in the media and has commentated and blogged upon numerous topics pertaining to musculoskeletal health. Dr Claire Richardson is part of the Public Relations Committee of Osteopathy Australia.
‘I care about health. I care about people. I care about yummy food and laughing with friends. I find myself exceptionally lucky to be in the job I am in ‘ as an osteopath, I am privileged to know not only my patient’s medical histories, but also their personal histories. I have had patients cry to me when a family member passes away and, conversely, confide in me that they are pregnant, before telling anyone else. I get excited when my patient’s year 12 results come out, or when another becomes engaged. Osteopathy has allowed me to invest in a form of healthcare that I believe to be imperative, but sadly lacking in our community.’
‘We treat all kinds of complaints, including those of the musculoskeletal system, vascular system, nervous system and visceral (organ) systems. The hallmark (overused yet underrated!) catch-cry of a lot of osteopaths is that we are holistic ‘ ie, we treat the whole person. (I’ve personally always wondered why the word holistic gets to drop the w, but I digress.)’
(Or, a brief history of the manual therapies.)
"I must admit, I’ve been avoiding writing this blog post.
"We get it. Lots of people don’t really know exactly what we do. First of all, it doesn’t help that our name is a massive misnomer, a relic of the past where bony ‘alignment’ was emphasised far more than what we know to be useful today. In medical terms, Osteo = bones. Path = disease. Therefore, osteopaths treat diseases of bones right’ Well, wrong actually!" (Click here to view as pdf)
The topic of neuroplasticity gets me really excited. The science is completely fascinating (even if you’re not a nerd!) and there has even been studies that have shown that simply learning about how pain works may be able to reduce it. How cool is that’
"You’ve heard the word thrown around, maybe even assumed you yourself have experienced it. The word ‘sciatica’ conjures up scary images of debilitating pain, limping, bed rest and pain killers. Maybe your friend of colleague has described the aching or pins and needles down one leg that won’t go away. I’m going to let you in on a little secret ‘ ‘sciatica’ isn’t actually a disease."
Vitamin D is very important. It is crucial in maintaining healthy bones, because it facilitates the absorption of calcium into our bodies. Calcium is a mineral which hardens our bones, so without it, our bones become brittle and weak.
"Your back isn’t ‘out’ - This is something I hear almost daily - a patient presents to me after lifting something heavy and feeling a ‘ping’ or ‘crack’ in their back, followed by pain. A lot of people think that this means one of their vertebrae has moved out of place and is what’s causing their pain."
"An MRI or other scan might not always find the cause of your problem.
There has been a number of studies done trying to work out of back pain is linked to findings on X-ray or MRI. What we know is that VERY often, people who have NO pain, have multiple ‘findings’ on MRI or X-ray, such as disc bulges, degeneration or bone spurs."
"In this post, I will explore the responsibilities of the patient in a healthcare setting with particular emphasis on conditions involving pain. So, what IS your job as a patient? I can hear you thinking, ‘What do you mean MY job? I’m paying you to fix me!’ Well, that’s not exactly true."
"Here’s my opinion regarding a common misconception about Cortisone (or, Quarterzone as lots of people mispronounce it!) There are a few different types of anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone is just one type."
"Heat and ice are some of the most common non-invasive, inexpensive and harmless ways of managing pain. Some people swear by one or the other, whereas others notice no difference.
From an academic point of view, both cryotherapy (icing) and thermotherapy (heat) have been called in question in recent years."
"We’re not entirely sure what causes ‘stiffness’, because it is difficult to define. Your version of stiffness might be different to mine, and could be caused by different things.
So, how can you prevent that yucky, stiff feeling that hits you after a couple of hours at your desk?"
‘Headaches: the bane of many of our lives. Headaches affect nearly all people at some stage within their lifetime, with some sources stating that about 15 per cent of the population is taking some sort of pain relief for a headache at any given time. Headaches decrease your work productivity, reduce your ability to exercise and worsen your mood. I once treated a young mother who told me that the most awful thing she has ever suffered through was caring for a colicky 12-week-old while in the midst of a migraine!’
‘Acute pain means that it’s new. Usually it’s associated with sprains or inflammation. A sprain is an overstretch of a ligament, the connective tissue that holds your joints together. When you overstretch a ligament, it gets swollen and irritated, and it takes a few days (or weeks if you do a good job of it) to heal. Sprains of the spinal joints are very common. I reckon I see upwards of 10 per week.’
"Chronic low back pain - what is it?' Generally the term ‘Chronic’ means that a condition has been hanging around longer than three months. (Arbitrary yes, but diagnostically useful most of the time). Chronic pain is a bit weird. We know a lot more about the changes that occur to our body when we have long lasting pain now than we did 5 years ago, and tonnes more than we did 10 years ago."
‘I’ve got TMJ!’ - Well yes, you do, but so do all of your friends.
Often, jaw pain, clicking, grinding and clenching is labelled as ‘TMJ’ which is actually just the name of the jaw joint, the Temporomandibular Joint. Long name, yep, but the joint is the union of the Temporal bone of the skull and the Mandible (jaw), so it’s pretty logical.
"I often see people who tell me that they have ‘flat feet’ often after they’ve been fitted for shoes and the sales assistant has told them so.
Sometimes these people try their darnedest to start walking on the outside of their feet to rectify the ‘flatness’ of their feet by lifting up their arch, and sometimes they go and buy orthotics from the local chemist. Do they need to do these things? Maybe not."
"Our society has a problem. A big one. We’re eating more and moving less. We’re sitting more and standing less. We’re pushing more and pulling less. We’re inside more and outside less. Other than the scary side effects of our ever increasingly sedentary lifestyles, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis, sedentary lifestyles contribute to the epidemic of back pain around today."
"Tennis elbow is one of the common injuries I treat in practice. You might be surprised to know that more often than not, it’s not actually tennis that causes it."
"Now, I know I’m an osteopath, but I’m also a foodie. I find the term ‘foodie’ endearing rather than arrogant, (despite many others feeling otherwise), as it sounds a bit like ‘chewy’, ‘gooey’ or ‘nudie’ ‘ all things I like my food to be. (Although, not all at once!)."
"Here’s my weekly two cents on a topic close to my heart (well, nose): hay fever and sinusitis!
Hay fever season is certainly here! With the change in temperature and blustery days, my nose has been blocked most mornings this week upon waking."
"Ergonomics refers to ‘the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment’, but what this really means is how we position ourselves for optimal comfort whilst undertaking daily tasks."
"In one of my last posts, I spoke about how high heels, corsets and handbags could potentially cause aches and pains or injuries. Well, they’re not the only hazardous fashion that we endure regularly!"
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting dressed up. I can spend hours in department stores fawning over handbags, high heels and pretty lacy things. Unfortunately, for us girls, fashion often means pain. Here I’ll discuss the worst trends for our bodies, and which trends are downright dangerous.
"Our job is to help people who come to us with a particular problem, usually being in pain, lack of flexibility, or poor function. Some physical ailments will recover quickly, others will take more time and effort, depending on the nature and cause of the complaint. Most of the time, we can help. We can improve function, reduce pain, get you back to what you want to be doing. But sometimes we can’t."
"Plantar fasciitis is pain felt at the bottom of the heel or through the arch of the foot. It is usually felt on the first step out of bed in the morning or when walking again after inactivity."
"Answers to 4 questions you’ve always had for your osteopath (but have been too afraid to ask)."