14 Dec 2017

We can help you shoulder the burden

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An article in the Daily Telegraph, appearing on Tuesday 21/11/17 claimed that an increasingly popular form of shoulder surgery carried out on more than 21,000 people is almost entirely pointless.

At northlondonosteopaths, Alan Nevies and his colleagues treat many patients with shoulder pain from various causes. They were therefore very interested in this study as while the osteopathic approach is to avoid surgery if possible, it may be in some instances that surgery might be solution to the problem. The surgery in question is decompression, a keyhole procedure to remove small areas of bone and tissue around the joint.

The experts at Oxford University, who conducted the research, questioned why the operation had been allowed to become so commonplace despite no robust evidence supporting its use. This particular study involved a trial of more than 300 patients, published in the Lancet, whereby those who had the operation saw a negligible or clinically insignificant improvement in pain compared to those who were subjected to a mock procedure (placebo).

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths have the following to say on this subject: “Surgery is a last resort and osteopathic treatments are used to improve the mobility of the joint whilst releasing tension. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint and if they are not working efficiently they can prevent the shoulder from functioning properly and restrict active movements. In these cases patients may present with frozen shoulder or other kinds of impingements.”

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths will show patients specific exercises to maintain strength and stability, and recommend other techniques and treatments where appropriate, for example soft tissue massage and acupuncture. In this way at northlondonosteopaths, Alan Nevies and his colleagues aim to enable the shoulder to function normally so that patients do not need to consider a potentially pointless surgery.