Cranial Osteopathy and Trigger Point Therapy
OK, so as promised, here is my second post, all about cranial osteopathy and trigger point therapy (which I totally forgot to mention in my initial blog!) and why I think they both helped/help me. Again, the boring bit, these therapies may not help everyone so please don’t ‘yell’ at me if you try it and it doesn’t work – thank you :)
Going back to before I had Menieres, I had a horse and used to compete. One day she jumped a fence and I didn’t and I ended up whiplashing my neck. Back in 2004 when I was in the car accident, I sustained another whiplash then as well as a smashed head on my tricep in my left arm. During the course of pursuing the medical claim, I asked the doctor if my worsening vertigo could be as a result of the whiplash. He said no given that I had been unofficially diagnosed with Menieres. I took his word for it. However since both of those accidents I have suffered neck problems and continue to do so to some extent today.
Part of the reason for seeking out the cranial osteopathy was because it helped a friend with her neck issues. I found a lovely lady based in Ascot in England. As I’ve mentioned previously CO involves some chiro moves like cracking the neck and doing manipulations to get displaced bones back in place. It also involved gentle, almost invisible manipulation of the head and face to get the cranial fluid moving. The treatment lasted about 40 minutes and afterwards I would feel quite lightheaded but the Menieres symptoms would be diminished (it helps sinus issues too!) and my hearing slightly better. I initially went every week and then once a month for maintenance. As I mentioned previously this helped lessen the vertigo and also helped with my ever-present neck pain and stiffness in my neck. So because of this, I do think that my neck issues are a contributor to my Menieres symptoms. I was hoping that I didn’t have Menieres and I would be cured once and for all but I still have all other symptoms like the fullness in the ear, dizzies, tinnitus and gradual hearing loss. My right ear is now probably 75% deaf.
I then read about Trigger Point Therapy or TPT and decided to learn this technique for myself. This is not a complex therapy to do but it is quite complex to figure out where the trigger points are and it takes a bit of practice to get it right. It is based on pressure on trigger points which are all over the body, similar to acupressure. So, what is a trigger point? Trigger points, also known as trigger sites or muscle knots, are described as painful spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns which associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere. Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The idea of trigger point therapy is to break down these nodules which in turn, inexplicably to me, stops the pain in its tracks.
If you press gently along the edge of the neck down to the shoulder and you feel a painful spot, that’s a trigger point. The therapy involves pressure on those sore points for a number of seconds until the pain level goes from a 7 to a 3 say and then you press even deeper, let me tell you it hurts if you find a good one, or a bunch in one spot! Eventually the pain stops and that’s when you have gotten rid of the trigger point. Sometimes you can even feel them like a pea if you have a bunch close together. Anyway this is what I use on myself to ease the everyday dizzies. I also stopped vertigo in it’s tracks twice with this before my long remission! I’m not going to go into how it’s done here as I don’t want to inadvertently cause anyone injury. So I would recommend that you buy this book if you are interested in learning more:- The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies. There’s a whole series of them but I use the broad guide to self treatment. It’s also great for tennis elbow and headaches too! Alternately if you don’t want to do it on yourself pay a visit to a TPT therapist.
There is also another chiropractic treatment that I tried last year called NUCCA which is readily available in the US but only on Harley St in the UK! I had high hopes for this treatment and was really excited to try it as I had heard excellent reports about it and how hearing was restored and symptoms totally banished. This technique involves manipulation of the atlas bone which lies just behind the ear. Sadly this method did nothing for me apart from level up my shoulders! I was really disappointed as I so wanted it to work. Wouldn’t you just love to feel 100% well again? I would!!
So there you have it and right now I have a really bad sinus headache so once I finish typing this email, I shall be fiddling around at the back of my skull to find the trigger points and add some relief!