Tag: arm

Repetitive strain and musculoskeletal injuries: Carpal Tunnel, Tennis/golfing elbow, neck pain

Much of my work is helping to relieve pain: whether it’s migraine, arthritis or frozen shoulder. But there are a number of injuries predominantly due to overuse: carpal tunnel and lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis/golfers elbow), are the most common but no less painful.

 

I used to see this mainly in office workers who spend most of their time in front of a computer and use a mouse. Poor posture, neck strain, stress and repetitive movements were often the cause. But now I’m increasingly seeing people who do a lot of yoga (including yoga teachers), or go to the gym. Positions such as downward facing dog put a lot of strain on shoulders and wrists, headstands compress the neck and repetitive lifting of weights can cause elbow pain. Technique and repetition is usually the underlying reason, but the root issue is actually neck position and tension.

 

Tamsin was recommended to come and see me by her Yoga teacher suffering from a long term carpal tunnel issue in both wrists, and more recently, tennis elbow. Although she really enjoyed yoga, it was exacerbating her symptoms.  She also suffered from neck pain. I recommended she paused doing yoga or computer work until we were able to get her symptoms under control.

 

I saw Tamsin twice using electro-acupuncture, tuina massage and fire cupping, and Kung, our Thai oil masseuse treated her too. We concentrated on releasing her neck and reinstituting good movement, and treating her upper back, arms and wrists.  But then we went into lockdown – so sadly had to close the clinic. She recently contacted me to let me know how much better she was.

 

Tamsin’s Story

 

I had been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome for approximately seven years on and off and more recently tennis elbow. I really wanted to avoid a steroid injection or surgery, as my doctor had suggested.

 

My yoga teacher recommend Rita at Peachy. Rita was very knowledgeable about her subject and she instilled absolute confidence right from the off, and I knew I was in good hands

 

Symptoms for both have all but vanished after two intensive treatments and one massage, all from Peachy therapists. My carpal tunnel used to flare up on a nightly basis, but I have hardly had it at all since visiting Peachy. My symptoms are 95% reduced. 

 

Kung’s massage was incredible: relaxing but also she has this ability to tune into my pain and my tension which alleviated it in perfect tandem with the treatments from Rita. All of the treatments from Peachy have been effective as they all feel very holistic and joined-up in their approach to treating my condition(s). 

 

Thank you so much, you have not only improved conditions which have been giving me extreme discomfort for a number of years, you have shown me that there is a far better, natural approach to resolving  such matters which do not require surgery or injections of drugs. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Peachy on an ongoing, long term preventative approach to my physical health.

 

Tamsin Hobbs, N8 

When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom… Recovering With Acupuncture

Leigh came to acupuncture at rock bottom (her words). She was in physical and emotional pain and had lost faith in herself and her body and felt completely overwhelmed. She tried her GP but her health issues were varied and complex and although there were medical options, she didn’t feel this would address her needs.

I treated Leigh with a combination of acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, tuina and cupping.

Read Leigh’s Story…

When I came to Peachy, I was a mess.  I was constantly “too hot” and never able to feel comfortable temperature wise.  I could hardly stand up straight without feeling like I was carrying another person around. I would go to bed at night with back pain and wake up unable to get out of bed without help and additional pain.  My arms would regularly fall asleep at night and fingers felt stiff and numb throughout the day, I had been dealing with tennis elbow for about 6 months that was no longer responded to pain relievers and was hardly able to lift a glass of water.  I was experiencing painful menstrual cycles for the past 9 months, and dealing with PCOS/infertility for a decade.  Headaches and the feeling of “something in my ear” was a daily battle.  Beyond the physical issues, on the inside I was so emotionally and mentally constipated that I overwhelmingly upset & angry all the time, frequently forgetful, inattentive and unmotivated.

I regularly “just didn’t feel well”, nothing seemed to make a difference.

Treatments with Peachy Acupuncture has changed my life.  After the first session of acupuncture and Tuina, my posture improved, I was able to and preferred to sit up straight and by the 3rd session, my lower back wasn’t an everyday issue and now it’s very rarely even after standing or walking around all day.  With the back relief, I wasn’t waking up in pain and my days began to improve. I am able to walk comfortably again. I went from barely able to achieve 350 steps a day to easily and comfortably doing 6-8,000 steps daily.

For my ear issues, one session of acupuncture and the uncomfortable feeling was gone and I don’t seem to have as much ear wax and water in my ears anymore.  Sinus issues and headaches seemed to become less frequent after the ear annoyance was resolved.

Rita has worked on my tennis elbow with acupuncture, she’s also focused on my shoulder/neck area with Tuina and cupping.  After 6 sessions, I feel it’s close to normal.  My finger stiffness is gone, and I don’t have issues with my limbs falling asleep frequently anymore. She’s been able to reduce my menstrual cycle pain to a very manageable inconvenience that no longer keeps me from being able to go about my day.

After each session, I’m overall a happier and more relaxed person.  I feel like I am able to process my feelings and emotions better.

I felt comfortable the moment I met Rita. Unlike traditional medicine, Rita really made me feel like my concerns were heard and my feelings/experiences were valid and important. Her space was calm, comfortable, and relaxing. I continue to look forward to my appointments as a place where I regain control of myself.  She’s given me the life I had over a year ago back and motivated to take better care of myself.

Treating Frozen Shoulder – the Acupuncturist’s box of tricks

Treating frozen shoulder with acupuncture and tuina. Anyone who has ever suffered from frozen shoulder will know how incredibly painful and restrictive a condition it is. Stiffness and pain make it hard to sleep; putting on clothes becomes a major task and rotating the arm almost impossible. In short, it’s disabling.

It predominantly affects women between the ages of 40 and 60 years old but men also suffer from it.

The pain and stiffness is usually felt on top of the shoulder, front and back, then external rotation of the arm becomes painful and limited – perhaps 50% of normal movement, and it may be impossible to sleep on the affected side. Pain from the neck, and all the way down the arm are also common. The pain and level of restriction continue to get worse. All the evidence shows it can take from two or five years for it to improve – or to ‘thaw’ – sometimes of its own accord.

But who wants to put up with that kind of pain for that long?!

There are a number of therapies that may help (osteopathy, physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections). I’m going to tell you about how acupuncture, TuiNa and cupping will help…

Acupuncture is so effective for musculoskeletal conditions that osteopaths and physiotherapists are increasingly using needles to support their treatments. This is known as dry needling. However, what qualified TCM acupuncturists do is to also needle energetic points that move energy (qi), reduce stagnation and alleviate pain. It’s a double whammy.

TuiNa is a remedial massage, that using a mixture of massage techniques to manipulate muscles, joints and tendons alongside acu-points that work on an energetic level. It’s a very strong and dynamic treatment.

Cupping, which has been used since 1500 BC is believed to stimulate the flow of blood, lymph and Qi to the affected area. Its uses include relieving pain in the muscles, especially from stiffness or injury, and clearing congestion in the chest, which can occur with colds and flu. It involves the use of a cup which causes a local suction, placed open end down on the part of the body that is experiencing distress. The procedure extracts toxins, releases tension and moves stagnation. Marks resembling bruising may remain, but they are not at all painful and will fade after a few days.

An acupuncturist may also use electro-acupuncture (a machine that emits electrical impulses to needles) and moxa (a herb placed on needles and lit) to further stimulate the acupuncture treatments.

Usually clients will feel some relief on the first treatment, but by the 6th many are pain free and have anywhere between 80 to 100% full flexibility and movement.*

With a box of tricks like that, who needs to wait years to feel better?

* this is based on my personal experience in my clinic.

Read Justine’s story here