I work alongside two osteopaths and we tend to see a lot of people with musculoskeletal problems. I specialise in this area and have a multi faceted approach to people getting well, or helping them manage chronic problems.

The way I work is from a Traditional Chinese Medical model and use of naturopathic principles. Naturopaths believe prevention is always better than cure, and the more we can look at changes to environment, diet and posture and lifestyle, the more we can prevent symptoms getting worse.

My background is nursing. I have a long relationship with the NHS and have no problem looking on both sides of the fence when it comes to finding a path to recovery that suits my clients. Working within the healthcare sector, I believe the answers to complex health conditions will come by truly integrating complementary and orthodox treatments. NICE guidelines currently recommend acupuncture for neck and back pain.

Sometimes acupuncture alone is enough to reduce inflammation and pain. Often a dietary change may be recommended and use of supplements or transdermal oil, such as magnesium, which is nature’s natural muscle relaxant.

I use massage and often use electro acupuncture (tens). If you are looking for an exercise class, my Tai Chi classes are taught with arthritis sufferers in mind, focusing on mobilising joints and correct posture.

Arthritis research UK in January 2013 finished a commissioned report, looking at the effectiveness of complementary therapies. They discovered that a quarter of the UK population used complementary and alternative therapies (CAMs), over a one year period and 44 percent of the population would use it during their lifetime. However, are they safe and are they effective? Arthritis Research UK looked at the research results and graded their findings.

Acupuncture, Massage and T’ai Chi came out with the most effective outcomes for treatment of osteoarthritis, lower back pain and fibromyalgia. Rheumatoid arthritis was shown to have the least amount of evidence for reduction of symptoms with CAMs. However, this may show that there is not enough random controlled trials for most therapies to show evidence of benefit to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

Factors which influence arthritis

Below are some of the factors I will consider during a consultation.  Through discussion a treatment plan can be formulated.

Obesity is often claimed to be a contributing factor, putting more strain through the joints.  i can help with weight loss.

Lifestyle, including type of work you do, exercise regimes and perhaps lack of exercise contribute. Exercise is a key feature in current advise by GP’s to all arthritis suffers. Work can be a factor. If overuse of joints is a feature, such as a massage therapist or gardener. Smoking can be a factor in rheumatoid arthritis.

Postural problems Poor posture can put undue strain on joints and start a situation where joints are misaligned and wear occurs for example on one side of the knee. Sometimes these postural problems are something you may be born with. Other times, an injury can result in a fracture and surgery or wearing a cast has mended the joint, but the weakness is always there, and later in life it is very common to develop arthritis in a damaged joint.

Poor nutrition over a long period of time can influence the joints. Poor childhood diet can for example cause rickets. The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, is vital to bone health. Anorexia nervosa, a psychiatric disorder, where restriction of food is a feature can impact on bone health. Another feature of anorexia is keeping weight under the weight needed for regular menstruation to occur. This can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. This is because oestrogen is known to prevent against bone loss.

There is some agreement that a predisposition, or genetic link to the disease is often apparent, especially with rheumatoid arthritis, which has a complex system where genes can be switched on or stay off. Genes as we know can be passed on from one generation to another.

Hormones have a part to play in the development of arthritis. Women are more likely to suffer with arthritis. The imbalance of hormones due to xenoestrogens in the environment and foods we eat have increased over the last 50 years and more women are suffering with symptoms of oestrogen dominance.

Stress takes its toll on the adrenals. This has a knock on effect and adrenal fatigue causes the hormonal system to be out of balance. The thyroid often becomes under active and we are then looking at a multi complex endocrine imbalance, which can present as fatigue, aching of muscles and stiffness of joints, with some evidence of cartilage destruction. Stress also increases the circulation of glucose in the blood. Glucose is known to increase inflammation. Inflammation is a known cause of pain in joints.

Medications can sometimes impact on bone health. Steroids for example can undermine bone health and cause osteoporosis. Other drugs which deplete certain minerals can impact on bone health. Health conditions can also have an impact on bone health for example diseases that cause poor absorption of nutrients such as Crohn’s disease or celiac.

Special Offers