During each consultation your Osteopath will ask you a number of questions in order to ascertain what the cause of your pain maybe. After this, he/she will examine the area and more than likely stress the region to further isolate the tissues in question. Nerves are intimately related to the muscular system and so to say that you have a muscle tear, joint maltracting, strain/sprained ligament(s) etc is to say that nerves are to be directly or indirectly involved.
There are cases however that appear to be dominated by the effects of nerve sensitivity, such as Sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome. In these cases a patient presents with varying degrees of nerve conduction interference. This can be mild to severe and it is important to understand which it is as nerves do not tolerate irritation well.
How would I know if I have a nerve problem?
Due to the complexity of the nervous system symtoms and it being a highly organised network of billions of neurones I will endeavour to keep this simple. We will only, for the purpose of this blog consider musculoskeletal nerve involvement. This falls into the bracket of what is called Afferent peripheral nerves, which means signals coming towards the central nervous system from nerves that are related to either the extremities or outside of the spinal cord-these are common place in True Alignment Osteopathy.
The types of sensations you may feel would be things like pins and needles, numbness and weakness. You may notice changes in the hair growth or the condition of the skin in the effected area.
What does an Osteopath do in situations where nerves are being compressed?
Nerves can be irritated in a number of ways, such as direct compression, tensile stresses or chemical irritation. The reason for the sensations and motor changes are due to the interference of the conduction of electrical impulses along those nerve fibres. There are other effects to the peripheral nervous system such as MS that also effect conduction but these will not be covered in this blog.
Your Osteopath endeavours to isolate the effected area to a region and stresses certain tissues/structures. This may, temporarily irritate and lead to an increase in your symptoms. This is vital in order to tailor the treatment approach from both a passive (practitioner) and active (patient involvement) point of view. From here treatment and resolution can begin. There are many angles from which these types of injuries need to be approached. Posture, alignment, strength, supplementation, medication, past medical history, previous operations, previous trauma, activity levels, lifestyle, flexibility, or inflexibility and diet all need to be carefully explored to ensure a speedy resolution of found.