Happily, this long run of glorious weather looks set to continue for at least another month. But it’s got me thinking about a favourite analogy that I use in clinic which, oddly enough, relates to subsidence!
Homeowners in London will be only too aware of this pest, which occurs when the ground moves downwards beneath a building’s foundations causing it to sink. It commonly occurs when the clay soil (on which most of the South East is built) shrinks, thanks to an extended period of dry weather and is made worse by the presence of tree roots desperately searching out moisture. Older houses built on clay with minimal or no foundations are particularly at risk.
Interestingly, the first signs of subsidence are not, as you might imagine, in the lower floors but at the top, where small cracks appear and doors refuse to close properly. So, although the problem is under the house, the symptoms themselves appear higher up!
What’s all this about subsidence?
The same is true of the human body. For example, you might have pain in your head or neck, not realising that the real cause of the problem lies in your lower back. I see this frequently. It can be confusing but, with careful and patient detective work, we get to the bottom of what’s going on. One of my patients, 28-year-old DM, came to me suffering with lower back pain but, as you’ll see, from the testimonial below, it didn’t take long to realise that the real problem lay further down:
“Robin was recommended to me by a work colleague after I suffered severe lower back pain on my right side. During my first visit, Robin confirmed my lower back was locking and going into spasm. After giving Robin information about a long term knee problem, he worked out I was weight bearing onto my right side to avoid pressure on my left knee, which was aggravating my lower back. I was given successful treatments on my lower back but was told this would be only a temporary solution. Robin suggested we address the main problem – my left knee.
I was very sceptical at first – I’ve had constant knee pain for the past 9 years. I have seen numerous physiotherapists, none of which have made any difference. I’d almost accepted the fact that I was going to have to live with the pain.
However, Robin started the treatment and to my amazement, very quickly, I noticed a difference to my knee. I started to feel a lot more stable, more confident, a lot less pain – I was even able to walk without my knee giving way. My quality of life has changed dramatically.
I have started skipping, playing tennis and even dancing, which I haven’t been able to do in 9 years. My lower back has also been fine. Thanks Robin!”
So, if in this hot weather you feel that cracks are starting to appear, please do get in touch.