The Man With His Head In An Invisible Vice

A great column by Dr Phil Whitaker in the New Statesman magazine (22-28 August 2014) (just to be clear, the David in the article is not me):

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David was a patient during my earliest years in general practice: an otherwise fit man in his early sixties who needed an operation on his ear. The procedure went without a hitch but afterwards David noticed that he was markedly off-balance and developed dreadful headaches. His description stuck in my mind: he said it was if one side of his skull was being “squeezed and crushed in a vice”. He illustrated this with his hands, clamping and pressing them against his scalp as he tried to explain.

Initially, I hoped it was something that would settle spontaneously: side effects of the general anaesthetic or the painkillers, perhaps, or some deep bruising that would take a while to resolve. After a few weeks without improvement, I organised blood tests and examined everything my training suggested might be relevant. I drew a blank.

My ear, nose and throat (ENT) colleagues were similarly perplexed when he attended his six-week follow-up appointment. The surgery had been successful, they confirmed, and everything was well healed. They were at a loss to explain his new symptoms. Continue reading “The Man With His Head In An Invisible Vice”

What is the difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy?

This is a question that comes up a lot and it’s one that I find increasingly difficult to answer as I learn more about the wide range of approaches used in my own profession and in osteopathy.

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Similarities

There are more similarities than differences between the two professions. Chiropractors and Osteopaths both believe that many health problems are caused by poor posture and misalignment of muscles and joints. They believe that if the structure of the body can be improved and the spine put back into alignment, many problems will be alleviated and the body’s own healing mechanisms will work to restore good health. Misalignment (or ‘subluxation’ to use the chiropractic term) is usually caused by external factors, such as falls or accidents,  stress, or poor posture.

Continue reading “What is the difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy?”

Migraine and chiropractic

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Migraines are painful headaches accompanied by a variety of symptoms such as visual disturbances, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, nausea and vomiting. Migraine attacks may vary in length and frequency: usually lasting from 4 to 72 hours, with most people free of symptoms between attacks.

‘Classic migraines’ are those accompanied by aura symptoms – neurological signs such as visual disturbance, numbness or tingling, dizziness, speech and hearing defects. Some people report memory changes, and feelings of fear and confusion. Other migraines are referred to as ‘common migraines’.

When taking a patient’s history, the chiropractor will be careful to distinguish migraines from other forms of recurring headache such as: tension, sinus, eyestrain and cluster headaches.

Chiropractic an effective form of Migraine prevention
Studies have shown that Chiropractic can be effective in Migraine prevention.