Osteopathy can help with many things. From lower back pain to frozen shoulder and arthritis to sporting injuries.

But, can osteopathy help with hip and knee pain? In a nutshell: yes, osteopathy can more than likely help with pain felt in this region, as it takes on a holistic approach when it comes to treating musculoskeletal disorders and the general skeletal system.

However, as we’ve spoken about before, pain felt anywhere in your body – including in your hip or knee – could be a case of referred pain.

 

What is referred pain?

Referred pain is pain felt in one area, that’s caused by pain or injury in another part of your body.

With the human body made up of 206 bones, 600 muscles, 900 ligaments and more than 80 billion nerve cells, plus the 12 major organs – it’s perhaps unsurprising that the symptom you present with, isn’t necessarily the cause of the issue.

 

Taking a holistic approach

Osteopath and Naturopath Robin Kiashek, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the sector, takes a holistic approach when dealing with clients.

“I believe in treating the person and not just the problem they present with,” Robin explains. “This helps me get to the root cause of the issue.”

Robin does so by taking a full history to build up a picture of his patient’s routines and habits to discover where things might be going awry.

“Take someone who is suffering with headaches or migraines,” Robin explains. “I would initially review any medical investigations previously undertaken and consider possible ‘red flags’ and if necessary, refer patients for appropriate investigations. After a comprehensive physical examination, I would quiz them about their sleeping pattern, how often they exercise, their stress load and their diet. All the above plays a part in how the body functions.”

And this is no different to knee or hip pain.

 

What causes hip and knee pain?

The causes of hip and knee pain are wide and varied. As stated by the NHS, hip pain could be caused by a sudden injury, joint hip fracture, bursitis, ‘snapping hip syndrome’ – to name a few or a longer-lasting problem, like arthritis. While knee pain could be a result of tendonitis, bursitis, a torn/stressed ligament or fascia, osteoarthritis, or a rheumatological condition.

One’s hip, knee and feet are thought of as a ‘closed chain’ – what affects one, will affect the other. Osteopathy can help in evaluating to what extent one’s knee pain and/or hip pain are inter-related.

 

How osteopathy can help with hip and knee pain

As confirmed by science, osteopathy can help to improve function and relieve pain in the knee. This was seen in a 2018 journal, where researchers concluded that an Osteopathic approach can be used to ‘complement conventional treatment’ of pain in the knee.

Treatment for hip and knee pain generally involves gentle osteopathic techniques, acupuncture, low level laser therapy or a combination of all three.

Robin explains: “Gentle osteopathic techniques can help to increase the mobility of the joints and relieve muscle tension. While low level laser therapy stimulates your cells to repair tissue and reduce inflammation and pain.

Acupuncture can help to enhance the blood supply to the tissues, which in turn promotes the body’s natural healing process.”

Plus, Robin can give you a list of gentle exercises to help aid the mechanics in your hip and strengthen and stretch the muscles in the area, whilst giving advice as to what to avoid and positive things to aid recovery.

 

If you are really struggling with knee and hip pain, book in an appointment with Osteopath Robin Kiashek to see if we can get to the cause of your discomfort and get you back on the road to recovery.

Well, we’re almost through the first month of 2022. I do hope that the year has been kind to all so far.  Much to my surprise, I find myself entering 2022 as a Peloton owner.  So, how did I arrive at static cycling?

Not fit for purpose

For many years, my exercise regime has consisted of regular cycling and swimming. I could be found in the pool at least three times a week doing my 60 lengths. But ironically, I overlooked the fact that what may have been ideal in exercise terms 20 years ago was potentially not quite right as I matured!  As a result, I managed to pick up a nasty knee injury. And, of course, I then continued to ignore my own advice and not take the appropriate time and patience to recover properly.  So, I started the year needing a drastic rethink!

I’m sure I’m not the only one responding with a raised eyebrow to the increasingly frequent Peloton adverts (other bikes are available!).  For me, exercise is important to maintain both physical and mental fitness. But I am far from being a zealot! The motivational shout outs from Lycra clad instructors and opportunities to high 5 others within a static cycling “community” left me rather cold!

Static cycling convert

But, what static cycling does provide is the opportunity to ease into exercise – or the return to it – in a measured and manageable fashion.  It can be low impact and you can stop at any time.  Plus, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  There are numerous options available, from the serious investment to the DIY home conversion kit.  If the latter is something that appeal then this is a useful article about what’s available.  And there are a variety of Apps that provide access to classes.

Despite some misgivings, I decided to take advantage of a New Year sale (and the fact that availability was temporarily improved in the wake of Big’s death) and opt for a Peleton.  And I’m delighted to report that there’s so much more to it than personal bests, fisting pumping and high fiving.  All of which can be extremely motivational to others I do accept!

I’ve discovered the opportunity to ‘cycle’ some beautiful routes.  Highway 101 (pictured) and different parts of Iceland being personal favourites.  The screen provides the scenery and I‘ve found it surprisingly easy to lose myself in the experience and the new sights.

So what’s the moral of this tale?

As with all good tales, there are several:

  • Now that we ‘ve got all the New Year’s Resolution business out of the way, it’s a good time to reassess your exercise regime. Is it still fit for purpose and fit for you?
  • Be open – both to new exercise regimes and to new experiences in general. I’m very pleased that I managed to set aside my irritation at the thought of group exercise from home!
  • Peleton – could we have an advert that leads on the opportunity for scenic solitary rides for those of us less invested in being part of a pack?

I’d be interested to hear from other Peleton owners and static bike users.  All recommendations for scenic rides (and maybe even the odd class) gratefully received.  But probably not with a high five!

Pain Management

When in pain, most people tend to apply heat to the problem area rather than cold/ice compressions. Which is understandable – it feels more soothing.  And who wants to add being cold and uncomfortable to an already painful situation?

“In my 25 years of practicing osteopathy, I’ve only ever encountered one patient treating their pain by applying ice,” Osteopath Robin Kiashek tells us.

But actually, a hit of cold/ice therapy might be a better solution.

What is cold/ice therapy?

Cold water therapy is the practice of using water that’s around 15 degrees to treat health conditions or stimulate health benefits.  While ice therapy is the practice of using ice to do the exact same.

Despite the current buzz around this type of therapy – with the rise of the cold shower trend – this type of treatment has actually been used for thousands of years.

How does cold/ice therapy work?

Cold therapy, or in this case – ice therapy, is sometimes referred to as cold hydrotherapy or cryotherapy.  And it has the power to reduce inflammation in our body.

So, when we are hurt or are in pain, whether it’s through stubbing our toe, spraining our ankle or something more serious – ice therapy slows blood flow to the area by causing vasodilation of blood capillaries.  This expels blood from the surrounding area temporarily. Once the ice (wrapped in a wet tea towel) is removed after five minutes, fresh blood enters the injured area.

This in turn reduces inflammation and swelling that causes pain in the joint or tendon.

It is particularly effective for acute injuries and also if it is put into practice quickly after the injury occurs.

How does cold therapy compare to heat therapy?

Conversely, heat therapy causes blood vessels to dilate by arterial vasodilation which rushes blood flow to the area.  It can feel very soothing.

And heat therapy can definitely help with flexibility issues, tight muscles and damaged tissues. But it’s not a good idea where there is swelling.

The power of cold therapy

Robin saw the power of cold therapy first-hand when his son underwent surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). As part of the recovery process, he was given a Game Ready machine that pumps iced water every 30 minutes, for 30 minutes, around the injured knee.

Robin says: “Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) have long been used to treat acute injury and to help the recovery and rehabilitation process after surgery. It’s something I tell my patients when they come to me in pain.”

But cold/ice therapy can be used for other holistic and physical outcomes.

What are the benefits of cold/ice therapy?

We’ve spoken before about the benefits of cold/ice therapy. But according to the science, cold/ice therapy can:

  • Give your immune system a boost.  A range of studies have proven that doses of cold therapy could bolster your immune system over a period of weeks or months.
  • Ease symptoms of depression.  Research has shown that cold open water swimming could help those suffering with anxiety and depression.
  • Help with muscle soreness.  In a 2011 study, cyclists who were immersed in cold water for 10 minutes had decreased soreness. And a later 2016 study reported the same results.

However, before you plunge yourself in an outdoor lake or ice bath, it’s important to discuss any sudden cold-water immersions with your doctor.  Just to make sure it’s safe for to do so.

Plus, you must never apply ice directly to the skin as it will burn and it should only be used under medical guidance.

If you’re in pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Robin.
Robin Kiashek treats patients suffering from all types of conditions.  Including sporting injuries, musculoskeletal issues and headaches.