Pelvic girdle pain may often affect women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby.
But can it affect men too? The answer is yes.
What is Pelvic Girdle Pain?
Pelvic pain is a general term that broadly refers to pain experienced in the pelvic area. The pelvic area includes the groin area, the perineum (the space between the genitals and the anal area), the pubis symphysis and the gluteal area.
The most common causes for pelvic girdle pain in men are of musculoskeletal origin, meaning traumas and/or strains of muscles and joints, find below the three most frequent:
- Direct traumas: footballers and rugby players are two of the most commonly affected categories due to the higher frequency of direct impacts during a game.
- Pubis osteitis: this is a condition that can affect different types of sport players and it derives from an strength imbalance between the abdominal muscles and the adductor muscles. Other possible causes are found in too hard running surfaces and wrong trainers/sole support. Pain is experienced in the groin area and inner thigh due to an increased amount of tension being collected on the adductor muscles.
- Previous lumbar spine disc injuries leading to muscle guarding and spasm of the gluteal muscles and hip rotator muscles. Physiotherapy and osteopathy are the first line healthcare treatments for the above mentioned conditions, either alone or combined with other treatments such as dry needling or acupuncture.
Are there any other causes for pelvic girdle pain in men?
In short, yes and sometimes they can be triggered by much more visceral conditions (non musculoskeletal):
- Chronic prostatitis (or chronic non-bacterial prostatitis) is characterised by a prolonged inflammation of the prostate gland which, as a result, triggers pelvic floor muscles pain.
- Urethritis is an inflammation of your urinary tract which can lead to pelvic floor pain in the same way prostatitis does.
These are conditions that need an appropriate diagnosis by a specialist. In fact, very often musculoskeletal pelvic girdle pain is mistaken or put down to chronic prostatitis or urethritis without this being the case. This is why it is so important to seek professional help when it comes to differentiating between a muscle/joint related pain and a more visceral condition. In either case physiotherapy and osteopathic treatment can be of great help promoting the recovery of the tissues that are in pain whether this is secondary to a prostatitis or purely muscle pain.
If you are concerned about a condition you have then please use the form below to get in touch or call us on 020 7735 6813.
Massage and headaches
This week we are back to our series about headaches as we explore the use of massage to help with headaches.
According to the World Health Association, almost half of the adult population have had a headache at least once within the last year. Not only is headache painful, it is also disabling. Collectively, headaches disorders were found to be the third highest cause worldwide of years lost to disability (Global Burden of Disease Study).
The most common type of headache
How massage can help
A massage treatment will include:
- general massage techniques, to reduce overall tension and increase blood flow to the tissues
- trigger point therapy, to alleviate tension at specific points
- stretching techniques, to further aid relaxation and blood flow
If you wish to read more on this subject, here are links to previous posts in our headache series.
(This week’s post was written by Melissa Andrews, one of our senior paediatric specialists.)
It is often said that children can learn at optimal levels only if they are healthy. So, can pain affect attention span?
Back to school back pains
With summer break coming to an end, lets ensure we kick off term pain free. Back to school for some may result in longer hours sitting static at a desk, not to mention the extra weight of a school bag. Being more static with a decrease in activity and increase load (heavy school bag) can result in all sorts of aches and pains. Addressing the issues early on in term should alleviate pain sooner, not only decreasing the number of visits required but also preventing ongoing concern through term.
How can osteopathy help?
A decrease in activity can lead to less spinal which may result in an increase in muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Poor ergonomics at school desk and while carrying heavy bags to and from school each day will also certainly have a negative impact on optimal functioning of the musculoskeletal system. Osteopathy can help to gently release restrictions and increase joint mobility, as well as provide simple take home tips and advice on how to maintain better spinal health to avoid or manage any further irritations that may arise.
What to expect?
A comprehensive discussion of your child’s past and present history, followed by a thorough examination and open discussion of the diagnosis. If appropriate Osteopathic treatment may include soft tissue massage, stretching and joint mobilisation techniques. You are your child will be continually informed through out the consultation on what to expect and how you can help manage your symptoms at home to maximise comfort and minimise number of visits.
Tips for now:
- Carry bag on both shoulders, rather than across one
- Avoid crossing legs or rocking back on chair in class
- Sit at desk or table to do homework rather than lying in bed
- Avoid slouching in the couch of an evening after school
If you would like to know more or get in touch to book an appointment please use the form below:
Headache series 3
What is acupuncture and how can it help with headaches?
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine and it involves inserting hair thin needles into specific body points to promote the body’s recovery processes.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) has been endorsing acupuncture as a valuable treatment for pain since 1979.
Acupuncture is largely used for the treatment of chronic headache because of the following effects that it is thought it has:
- Balance positive and negative energies in your body in order to trigger a natural healing response.
- Stimulate the nerve endings nearby the needles which helps the release of hormones such as endorphines, fundamental to relief pain and induce feeling of pleasure and euphoria.
- Stimulate your immune system promoting a stronger general health
- Stimulate your circulatory system, facilitating the elimination of waste products of the metabolism and adequate nourishment of all body tissues.
- Reduce inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
The British Acupuncture Council (BAC) is the official regulatory body for acupuncture in the UK and it’s also known to be promoting high standards of evidence based treatments and up to date care. Evidence from the highest quality systematic review in scientific research show that there are clinically relevant benefits of adding acupuncture to routine care of headache and also a statistical advantage of ‘true’ acupuncture over sham interventions (placebo).
Acupuncture treatment for headache can be successfully combined with any other form of headache treatment such as:
In fact there are not absolute contraindications to the use of acupuncture in combination to other therapies.
When looking for a traditional acupuncture practitioner you should expect:
- Highest level of hygiene
- Clear use of sterile mono-use needles
- Appropriate recycle bins for clinical waste
- A practitioner who is BAC registered and able to explain any question you might have
If you wish to read more on this subject, here are links to previous posts in our headache series.
- Can osteopathy help manage your headache?
- Treatments for headache
- How psychotherapy and counselling can help with headache?
Or get in touch to book an appointment or make an enquiry.
Headache series 2
How Psychotherapy and Counselling can help with Headache?
Did you know that more than 10 million adults suffer with headaches, which account for as many as 1 in 25 GP consultations? In fact up to 1 in 50 people may suffer headache from medication overuse. The highest risk is from those taking paracetamol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, either alone or in combination, and for 15 days a month or more.
For some migraine sufferers identifying triggers can be helpful in reducing episodes.
Some Triggers of Migraine:
- Relaxation after stress, especially at weekends or on holiday
- Other changes in habit such as missing meals, missing sleep, lying in late and long distance travel
- Bright lights and loud noise (both perhaps stress inducing)
- Some dietary inputs such as alcohol or cheese
- Unaccustomed strenuous exercise
However they are generally less important than is commonly supposed as many attacks have no identifiable trigger (British Association for the Study of Headache), with dietary triggers affecting no more than 20% of sufferers.
Leading Factors that Predispose to Migraine:
- Depression anxiety
If you suspect stress or depression anxiety are contributing then we recommend that a counsellor or psychotherapist could support you.
Areas a Counsellor or Psychotherapist can Support:
- Helping you to identify causes of stress
- Creating positive change to eliminate unhealthy habits such as skipping meals or sleep
- Assist you in understanding how to manage yourself or environments that aggravate your migraines
- Identify how cravings or addictions might trigger migraines or headaches and establish healthy alternatives
- Help you create a balanced approach to life that supports good habits and reduces bad ones such as heavy reliance on painkillers or anti-inflammatories
Or get in touch to book an appointment or make an enquiry.
Headache series 1
Yes – Osteopathy can help you manage headache
According to the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) headache is a problem likely to affect an estimated 40% of the UK population at some point in their lives. It also represents the most frequent cause of consultation in both general practice and specialist clinics as well as complementary therapy clinics such as osteopathy clinics.
How does osteopathy work?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that uses as a main tool the hands of the osteopath. Osteopaths are healthcare professionals who are medically trained to be able to differentiate different types of headache and rule out possible red flags (hidden conditions that require medical intervention) and treat you according to their diagnosis.
What is an osteopathic treatment for headache like?
Osteopathic treatment often includes the following techniques:
- spinal manipulation to relieve joints’ restriction of movement and relax the musculature around them
- soft tissue massage to gently restore the physiological muscle length of chronically tight muscles
- trigger points’ inhibition to alleviate the muscular tension collected over specific areas of muscles
- dry needling acupuncture to target deeper tissue layers and achieve an overall reduction of pain improving metabolism over the treated areas
- exercise prescription to improve your self management skills at home and give you tools to manage with possible relapses more independently
Who can benefit from an osteopathic treatment for headache?
Literally anybody who suffers from chronic headache and/or migraine can benefit from a visit to the osteopath. In fact, the majority of headaches are found to be caused by musculoskeletal tension and/or postural issues and can be successfully treated by an osteopath.
You may also like our post on treatments for headaches,or get in touch to book an appointment.
Using Massage to Manage Pelvic Girdle Pain
July has been massage month and to finish off our third blog post in the series we would like to raise awareness about Pelvic girdle pain, or PGP (previously known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD). This condition commonly affects women during pregnancy and just afterwards.
It is usually caused by muscular spasm in one or two muscles that attach the thigh, abdominal or low back muscles to one of the pelvis bones (of which there are three).
The consequence of the spasm is the sensation that something is both stuck, and very painful which can be frightening and stressful as well as preventing you from sleeping comfortably with the knock-on effect of feeling shattered!
What are the consequences?
Because the affected muscle is often in the groin, many women will limit their stride to tiny steps because a long stride hurts, which can cause other muscles to fatigue.
Some women will start limping badly by hitching up a hip to avoid swinging a leg too much.
Other women might reduce the amount of swing from both hips, and use their back to create side to side momentum to help swing each leg through when walking causing their back to become strained.
Why does PGP occur?
As your body produces the hormone relaxin to soften your pelvis ligaments in preparation for birth, your hip pubic and back joints open more which this causes the muscles moving the joints to shorten and tighten or spasm painfully.
How can you treat it?
Massage can be extremely helpful to relieve the target muscle strains and spasm in the groin, buttock or back as well as help to lengthen all the other muscles around the pelvis to help your body adapt to the increasing weight of your baby down through your pelvis.
Our massage therapists are both extremely experienced and are highly intuitive when it comes to identifying the strained muscles and using the right amount of pressure to release the muscle without causing you any pain (but providing a lot of relief).
If you would like to find out more about our massage services please contact us using the form below or call us on 020 7735 6813.
Pregnancy body massage is a term that identifies any hands-on treatment during or soon after pregnancy. The changes that women’s body encounters during pregnancy are mainly of two natures:
- biomechanical – to do with the increased abdominal size and change in weight bearing
How can pregnancy massage help?
Unfortunately there aren’t many scientific studies proving specific physiological changes established by massage during pregnancy. However pregnancy massage is thought to have the following beneficial effects:
- reduce back and leg pain
- promote muscle relaxation and reduce tightness and joint stiffness
- improve sleep
- reduce anxiety and stress by lowering the levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine and cortisol
- increase levels of feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin resulting in an overall improvement in mood
By promoting the physiological effects of relaxation massage facilitates well being during pregnancy and helps deal with the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy across all its stages.
Some practitioners would argue that any form of treatment should be avoided during the first trimester for the slightly increased chance of miscarriage. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove any links between massage and miscarriage.
During this delicate phase of a woman’s life is it most important that a qualified massage therapist with a specialisation in pregnancy massage carries out the treatment. They will be able to clinically identify contraindications by taking an upfront case history and discussing your health with you, pointing out the best course of treatment.
When should you see a pregnancy massage therapist?
- struggling with back pain since your belly has started increasing in size
- noticing increased swelling of your ankles at the end of the day (especially in this heat!!)
- suffering from leg tiredness and fatigue
- feeling stressed
- just in need of some feel-good and relaxing time
If you would like to find out more about our pregnancy massage service please contact us using the form below or call us on 020 7735 6813.
How does Sports Massage help with training and injury?
Massage Therapy is a way to keep your body in tip top shape and ticketyboo!
How it helps:
- It helps maintain a good level of nourishment of tissues by increasing the blood supply. This promotes tissue health.
- It speeds up the function of your lymphatic system, helping your metabolism to get rid of its waste products.
- It releases endorphins which have a primary effect on pain signals and are secreted by the central nervous system producing a feeling of well-being and happiness.
- It helps you relax and reduce muscle tension accumulated with bad posture at work or poor self awareness.
Who can benefit from massage therapy?
- commuter cyclists
- football players
- body builders
- yoga practitioners
The “Wunda” chair really does work “wonders”
What is it?
Originally designed by Joseph Pilates himself as one of the comprehensive and versatile pieces of pilates equipment. It is basically a box with pedals attached to springs, providing resistance against exercise. The pedals can be separated and handles may be attached allowing for a myriad of exercises to keep things fun and interesting.
How is it used?
If you have experienced a Pilates reformer the wunda chair (although smaller and more compact) can do much the same plus more. It allows adaptations for people who may be unable to get down on a low reformer (ie elderly or acutely injured) or for those who may experience dizziness when lying down. The wunda chair trains the whole body for strength, flexibility and mobility in an exhaustive number of positions such as seated, standing and lying on or off the apparatus.
How can it help?
The wunda chair is exceptional for retraining imbalances within the musculoskeletal-skeletal system and “core” muscles in those who suffer from:
- back pain
- pregnancy related pelvic pain (PGP)
- neck pain
- posture retraining
- arthritis pain
- and much more
At Kennington Osteopaths and Physiotherapy, we treat a lot of women who suffer from pelvic girdle pain or other pregnancy related pains. The wunda chair has been a revelation for us successfully retraining and stabilising the pelvis to ease discomfort in women with PGP.
Contact us to find out more about how Pilates and the wunda chair may help you on your road to recovery back to doing the things you love again.