Abbigail Langstone- Wring. BSc FETC MAR FHT MCThA.
Mrs R phoned me to ask for an appointment for her husband who was suffering with Lumbago, a term that I had not heard used in a long while. My father, an osteopath often used this term in the past for pain in the muscles and joints of the lower back. Mr R arrived in a car driven by his wife who after parking on my driveway proceeded to cautiously help her husband out of the car. It was obvious that he was experiencing a great deal of pain and walked with great difficulty into my surgery. Mr R told me that he had been painting the outside of his house and had been stood on a ladder for a considerable number of hours. When he descended and tried to walk his calves went into spasm and his thigh muscles felt very weak. Bending forward to rub his lower legs he found he could not stand back upright. His back had gone into spasm. He then told me that this had happened once before over 30 years ago when he had been stood on a ladder for a while replacing guttering. He visited an osteopath ( in Lansdowne Square ) who worked with acupuncture who diagnosed lumbago and put him right. That was my father, what a small world ! I explained how Clinical Reflexology works via the nervous systems in the body. He was somewhat surprised when I told him I would only need him to remove his socks and shoes as I would be working through his feet. His wife removed his footwear and between us we helped up onto my treatment couch, once comfortable ( as he could be ) I began to relax his very rigid and painful feet, paying particular attention to specific trigger points that related to muscles in his lower back. Mr R experienced discomfort in his foot when I applied pressure to the reflex area on his foot relating to his lumbar spine. The lumbar region, or lower back, consists of the lumbar spine L1 –L5. The nerves exiting this area of the spine affect the colon, upper leg, sex organs, bladder, knee, muscles of the lower back, sciatic nerve, lower legs, ankles and feet. It became clear to me that there was a link between how his weight had been distributed through his legs into his feet and the positioning of his feet on the ladder, to the calf muscle spasms, weakness in the knee and thigh muscles and the lower back muscle spasm. Whilst the lower back bears a considerable amount of the body’s weight, it also allows free movement at our waist, enabling us to bend and reach. This action, if awkward or prolonged can sometimes be too much for the structures, such as the muscles, ligaments and tendons to cope with. Resulting in mechanical problem in the joints and muscles of our lower back. Causing some form of disruption to the way joints in the area work, leading to inflammation and pain. Apart from trauma, wear and tear can be another cause of lumbago. Less common causes include rheumatoid arthritis, infections, assorted bone disorders and cancer. Lumbago can be categorized as acute – lasting less than six weeks. Sub-acute – lasting six weeks to three months and Chronic- lasting longer than six months. After using advanced reflexology massage techniques, nerve reflexology and acupressure trigger points Mr R’s feet became more relaxed and flexible. His calf muscles softened and he remarked that his whole back seemed to feel more comfortable. Getting off the treatment couch, his legs felt stronger and his feet felt wonderful. Standing upright he began walk easier and the pain although not completely clear was 80% better. My aftercare advice was to drink plenty of water, soak in an Epsom salt bath, keep warm and keep mobile. Use Arnica externally or internally. Tiger Balm is an excellent anti-inflammatory for external use and Turmeric and Vitamin C internally. Am always governed by patient feedback. If the symptoms clear within the next 4-5 days great, if not call back as you may need another treatment. As reflexology often acts as a catalyst to healing the beneficial extent of the treatment can be experienced several days after the treatment. Mrs R rang me a week later to let me know that her husband was now in “full working order” and that they were going to let their son climb the ladder to finish the painting. ©AW/2017