Howard Beardmore DO Osteopath

Three Mile Cross Aborfield Reading Berkshire RG7 1HD        

0118 9885293

How the body can react to changes in posture

Changing the posture to help resolve a problem can produce all sorts of interesting reactions.  When a posture has been

'in compensation' for some time there will be quality changes to various body tissues.  As the posture moves away from an easy normal neutral position,  more muscles become part of the postural tone and this builds tension in the whole body.  This is effectively a 'waste of energy' for a start.  It is also a waste of resources.  See how long you can stand on one leg with your arms out.

If most of the blood in the body is now being used to stand and move because of 'postural demand' other systems have to react to this.  If the posture is really poor,  long term muscle contraction can lead to fibrous changes and stiffness in the body generally. The digestive system can also suffer as a result and this is easy to demonstrate.  If one eats a large meal and then immediately goes for a run you will probably be sick.  This is because the sudden demand for blood in the arms and legs is at the expense of where it is needed to digest the food.  The body cannot have undigested food sitting in the digestive system so it will 'eject it'.  An analogy for a more chronic pattern would be to eat Christmas dinner and then stand on one leg for an hour!  It is easy to predict 'indigestion'.

Why might I be tired or possible sore after bodywork?

Muscles that have been in contraction for long periods can become saturated with waste.  In lay terms this means lactic acid, carbonic acid and urea.  Osteopathic treatment can result in a sudden release of this waste when the posture relaxes and the circulation improves.  Some people will just feel tired and some people may have more elevated symptoms like a general soreness. It is no different to sitting on a horse for a day on your first riding lesson as new muscle groups have to get used to the sitting position.  After a couple of days the 'readjustment  stops complaining' and the reactions will usually settle.

When ligaments are involved in changes,  because their circulation is 'deeper' than in muscles,  the changes can be slower.  The different ways that different tissues react and respond to bodywork can be more fully explained within the context of each case.

Keeping in touch is the key to a good recovery

This is part of good practitioner/patient communications and every patient has access to a mobile phone number that can be called out of hours for advice. You need advice when you need it  - not three days later!

So changing the posture with osteopathic treatment can provoke homeostatic 'reactions' which are part of the natural recovery of the body.  This is entirely dependent on each case so for a fuller idea of what to expect call the number below.