Long Covid – a guide for Self Help

It has been nine months since Covid-19 started to dominate the news. For the last six months it has had a dramatic impact on everyone’s life in the UK especially for the vulnerable and the unfortunate people and their families who became infected and developed symptoms.

Slowly our understanding and knowledge about the conditions and it’s ramifications are building and a lot of unexpected details are emerging. We still are only scratching the surface and the next months and years will no doubt produce more useful information.

One of the many worrying aspects of Coronavirus is the number of people who are suffering from Long Covid. This is development of long term symptoms associated with the condition especially fatigue. I have been supporting patients in my clinics in Newton Abbot and Ashburton for many years suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is also known as Post Viral Fatigue and closely associate fibromyalgia. The parallels with Long Covid are marked and may well be physiologically very similar. There is an excellent and detailed video about Long Covid produced by the BMJ here.

I have for the last few months been approached by increasing numbers of patients with Long Covid asking if Osteopathy can help. Previously energetic healthy individuals, many between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age who have developed troubling long term symptoms. Unfortunately there is little the GPs can do and so they are admirably researching different options and ways of managing their health.

So can I as an Osteopath help and support people with Long Covid? So far I have had a number of patients respond well to my work with them as an osteopath. Of course I make no claim to cure the condition but believe an individually designed course of treatment can support and aid their recovery. Drawing on my many years of experience with ME/CFS this usually involves supporting the fundamental basics of health. I help their musculoskeletal system, advise on diet, mindfulness practise, yoga based exercises, graded exercises, sleep, hydration and supplementation.

If you’d like to discuss what you have read above please call me on 01626 334036 (Newton Abbot TQ12) or 01364 652016 (Ashburton TQ13). More details about my clinics can be found here.

Low Back Opener

This is a wonderful stretch for gently easing stiffness and tension in the low back delivered from my clinics in TQ12 and TQ13! My mission is for everyone to become their own osteopath!

It also helps to bring space to the vertebral joints (apophyseal joints). When these joints get too jammed together from tight, stiff muscles it leads to too much pressure and load bearing on the joints. This then leads to increased wear and tear (osteoarthritis). The symptoms of this in the low back are pain and stiffness especially in the morning.

Doing these stretches yourself is like a form of self treatment. Much of my work as an osteopath is aimed at achieving what these exercises can do. Sometimes, unfortunately, we need some help from an osteopath to start things moving in the right direction. But hopefully, when the pain and stiffness has been reduced in the the low back, then the patient can build these stretches into their own exercise routine.

Feel free to contact me in Ashburton or Newton Abbot for more information, for treatment or for your own bespoke exercise plan. More exercises can be found on the News page. Have you looked at my Core Stability or Daily Routine videos?

Restrictions are easing.

Lockdown restrictions are easing and so now is the time to start easing those restrictions that may have built up in your body.

After a few unprecedented months of being limited by lockdown we now have the freedom to move a little more. We are still living in times of stress and those stresses easily find their way into our bodies. This can cause us to hold pain and tension especially in our neck, low back, shoulders, jaw and even our face and nostrils. This causes pain which reduces our movement which increases stiffness and around the vicious circle goes. Osteopathy can help this!

There are some videos of stretches to do that will help you on News page of my website but sometimes we need a helping hand from an osteopath to get things going again. I’m pleased to say the clinic has been open for a few months now using the appropriate infection control and PPE. So please contact me at Newton Abbot (TQ12) or Ashburton (TQ13) for a chat about how I could help you find the Freedom to Move again.