When Your Leg Pain is Actually Coming from Your Back!

Have you ever felt pain in a specific part of your body, only to learn that the real cause was somewhere else entirely?

This puzzling phenomenon is called referred pain, and it’s an experience that can leave many of us scratching our heads.

To make this a little clearer, let’s dive into a typical scenario: Imagine you’re suffering from persistent leg pain. You feel a nagging ache every time you walk or even while resting. After trying various remedies to target your leg, you decide it’s time to see your osteopath.

To your surprise, they tell you the source of your pain isn’t in your leg at all, but in your back!

So, how does this happen?

Here’s a straightforward explanation: Referred pain occurs when a problem in one part of your body sends signals to a different area. In our example, an issue in your back, such as a damaged disc, irritates nerves that extend down into your legs. Your nervous system gets a bit mixed up, allowing the sensation of pain to travel from your back to your leg. This mix-up happens because the nerves that carry pain signals from your back and leg enter your spinal cord at the same location, confusing your brain about where the trouble really is.

This can be a bit tricky because it means that treating the symptom (leg pain) directly won’t solve the underlying problem (back issue).

Understanding referred pain is crucial for effective treatment. By addressing the real source of the problem, you will get relief more quickly and prevent further discomfort.

That’s why it’s a really great idea to book in to see me!

Osteopaths, like me, are highly trained to not just treat your symptoms, but to get to the root cause of your problem and therefore get a proper resolution to your pain.

I know the right tests to do to make sure I come up with the right diagnosis and when treatment is appropriate, or when you might need to be referred for other tests like an xray or a scan.

The key takeaway? Pain isn’t always what it seems. If you’re experiencing unexplained pain, consider that it might be referred pain. Your body works in mysterious ways, but with the right knowledge and experience osteopaths like me can uncover and treat the real sources of discomfort.

For more help please contact me on 01625 502782 or go to Elizabeth Curphey, Osteopath – Book appointment (cliniko.com)

Running is over-rated…

Running is over-rated, and walking is under-rated.

Yes I know, controversial!

And before the runners get angry, I’m not at alI saying that running isn’t good.

I am saying that walking is super super good for you, and most of us don’t realise that!

I have to be honest, I find running difficult. I did a duathlon back in 2018, which I had to train really hard for. I enjoyed the cycle training, but found the running very challenging.

Walking has so many benefits, so if like me, you don’t like running, or running is just not something you can do, take heart!

Walking takes no specialist equipment apart from a pair of comfy shoes or boots.

You can do it from your front door and it is a great way to keep social.

If you need more convincing, how about these 5 top health benefits to encourage you outside today.

  1. Heart Health: Walking helps improve your cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate and circulation. Regular walking can lower your risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.
  2. Weight Management: Walking is an great way to manage and maintain a healthy weight. It burns calories and can be integrated into your daily routine, an easy option for people of all fitness levels.
  3. Mental health: Walking has positive effects on mental health. It releases endorphins, boosts your mood and reduces feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s great for relaxation and mindfulness.
  4. Joint Health: Walking is gentle on your joints. It can help improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis.
  5. Walking Meditation: A great way to combine meditation and walking! Next time you are out, take a moment to really look around you and see your environment. Be grateful for whatever green space you can see, the hedges and grass, the trees and the birds, the blue (or grey!) sky and the ability you  have to use your legs to walk. Simple yet super effective!

Get outside today for a walk – every part of your body will thank you for it!


What does health mean to you?

Listening to the radio in my car this week, I heard an advert for a very well known health insurance company, which was talking about access to GPs whenever you needed, getting quick investigations like scans and xrays.

The voice-over mentioned how quickly you could be seen if you were a policy member and how quickly you could get potential treatment if needed.

And the advert finished by saying ‘This is Health’, in a very proud way.

I thought to myself – no, that’s not health.

That’s sickness, that’s being unwell, that’s ill health. Tests and GP consultation are of course necessary in some circumstances. But tests and investigations certainly aren’t ‘health’.

It got me thinking – what is health?

What does it mean to you?

I have been involved in looking after people and their health for over 25 years. I guess you could say I know a thing or two about health!

The dictionary definition of health is – ‘the condition of the body or mind and the degree to which it is free from illness, or the state of being well.’

I would go one stage further than that – I would say health is about how you feel every day.

Do you feel vibrant, alive, full of energy and enthusiasm?

Do you feel like you want to do things?

Move your body? Stimulate your mind?

Or do you feel tired most of the time?

Unmotivated and sluggish?

Do you wish you felt better, that you had more energy and that things didn’t ache or hurt quite so much?

Are you secretly worried about your future health?

Then be assured, you are in the right place!

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing with you some ideas, suggestions and easy tips to empower and inspire you to start to lead a healthier, more vibrant life.

From nutrition to easy lifestyle hacks, together we will start to unlock the secrets to a better, healthier life.

I want to transform your health experience to an exciting and remarkable journey, from the point of prevention being better than cure.

Want a quick tip now?

Here’s a super easy one – replace two of your cups of tea or coffee each day with a large glass of water. Most of us don’t drink enough water. We all need water to keep our body hydrated and our brain sharp and clear.

So you see, not rocket science, just sensible, empowering advice that you can easily follow.

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more inspiration.

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Your immune system and your healthy body

I came down with a really nasty cold and cough – no, not Covid!
Having been a health expert for so long I know it’s not just because the cold virus is circulating in Macclesfield and I have been exposed to it.
I believe there is more to it than just that.
Not everyone who gets exposed to a virus goes on to develop it. For example neither of my kids caught the cold.
So why did I succumb?
Truthfully, it’s because my body is a bit run down. Which means my immune system has been asked to do a lot!
I have been running full throttle for a few months now, dealing with all sorts of things in my business, my personal life, and my kids have just got through year 13 and taken their ‘A’ levels.
So how unsurprising when they got their grades on Thursday and got into their first choice of Uni, my immune system decided it could let its defences down and I got ill!
Frustrating, but not unexpected to me!
What’s the take away from this?
I believe our bodies are amazing and will support us, but every now and then they need a recharge too.
And it may be that recharge comes in the form of an imposed rest through illness!
So I rested, I had lots of honey and lemon to drink, kept my fluids up, avoided too much dairy and just ate small amounts so as not to overwhelm my system.
And that worked! I am now feeling tons better, still a bit hoarse, but on the mend.
I am so grateful that I have an amazing immune system which supports and protects me.
If you are interested in looking after your long term health, I have something very unique and special coming next month, so remember to follow this page to get the updates.

My story of hope

My Story of Hope

I remember the moment so clearly.

It was Christmas morning, and I was standing in my parent’s kitchen, the smells of the turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, and vegetables all mingling to create the most wonderful Christmas Day aroma.

My Mum said to my Dad, ‘Time to carve the turkey, Eddie!” and she handed him the carving knife and a large fork.

My father, a retired facial surgeon, took them, knife in his right hand, fork in his left, as he has done many, many times in the past, as if preparing himself to perform a quick surgery on the turkey crown.

I watched him, waiting to put the first slices on the warmed plate to take to the hungry masses in the dining room.

I watched and I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

My father just stood there.

The knife and fork in his hands, staring at the turkey, confusion written all over his face.

He had no idea what to do.

No idea at all how to carve.

This incredibly intelligent, experienced, highly respected surgeon had no idea how to carve a Christmas turkey.

And in that moment, I realised just how terrifying Alzheimer’s disease was.

It had robbed my brilliant father of his capacity to do the simplest things, and it had robbed my family of the man he was.

I quickly took over, saying ‘Why don’t you go and sit down, Dad, and make sure all the grandkids are ok in the dining room?’ taking the knife and fork from him.

He did so, but I saw the look on his face, the sheer panic and anxiety of not knowing.

Since then, I became terrified that the same fate awaited me, that this illness was ‘coming to get me’.

And for a couple of years after his death, I tried to block those thoughts out, believing that such a fate might be mine and that I was unable to do anything about it.

However, the Universe has a strange way of showing a path for you, even though you can’t see it at the time.

In lockdown, as I had so much spare time, I did a lot of gardening, decorating, and baking, and all the time I would listen to podcasts.

I started to discover all sorts of research, information, and tips to not just improve my own health, but possibly to reduce my chances of this awful illness affecting me.

I became obsessed, reading, researching, listening, discovering everything I could about this subject.

From the effects of the menopause on women’s health, to how diabetes and blood pressure are big risk factors in developing a brain disease, and some super useful advice on what I could do myself to reduce my own risk.

Because on both sides of my family there were risk factors – obviously my Dad’s side but he also had Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, my mum’s side there are heart problems as well.

And I began to realise, that their fate didn’t need to be my fate too.

With all the research becoming available, I really could start to take charge of my own health, and not leave it up to chance as to what my future health looked like.

I started to have Hope.

I also realised, that there were many, many others, particularly women, who could be helped with this information.

That is what I want to share with you, and to anyone else who is concerned about their future health.

Like how to get your blood sugars under control so you reduce your chances of becoming diabetic.

How strength training is the key to a long life as whenwe keep our muscles strong as we get older, this reduces our chances of falling and breaking a hip.

Why a full night’s sleep will literally spring clean your brain every night.

Make time for good healthy practice, and you will be rewarded with good health!

It’s not rocket science.

It’s just takes practice, guidance, and a little bit of perseverance.

Let me be your guide and coach to help you on that journey.

If you want to know how you could work with me to improve your own health journey, contact me at therapyrooms09@gmail.com

Overcoming Overwhelm

Picture this: a swarm of buzzing thoughts, tasks, and responsibilities swirling around in your mind. It’s like you’re juggling a million things all at once, and the pressure to keep up is immense. This is what we commonly refer to as overwhelm – the sensation of being drowned in the chaos of life.

When I am overwhelmed, it feels like a huge wave has crashed over me, I don’t know which way is up, which way is down, when I will swim out of it and I can’t catch my breath.

Overwhelm isn’t just about having too much to do; it’s also about feeling like you lack the capacity to handle it all. It’s an emotional state where stress, anxiety, and exhaustion converge into a perfect storm.

It is usually a result of a build up of small things; on their own they wouldn’t be too much to deal with. But when they all merge together, it becomes too much.

Everyone has at some time felt these feelings, but some people seem to deal with it better than others.

There are effective ways to ride this wave, but to start with, try this.

When overwhelm hits, stop everything for a moment. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and ground yourself in the present.

Allow your thoughts to settle.

Take a mental inventory of what’s causing the overwhelm. Ask yourself –

  • Why do I feel overwhelmed
  • Are these tasks urgent?
  • Are they all truly necessary?
  • Identifying the root causes helps you prioritize and tackle things more effectively.

If you are feeling overwhelmed all the time, but can’t put a finger on the cause, then it is time to look at your limiting beliefs.

Here are some more tips to help –

  • Focus on your outcome. If you are a people pleaser, it is hard to say no. You often don’t have proper boundaries and therefore you don’t have a clear outcome. Focus on the result you want, then work out how to get there with practical solutions.
  • Break it Down: Big tasks can be intimidating, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the whole picture. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps. Focus on completing one step at a time. Celebrate your victories along the way; it will boost your confidence and motivation.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Incorporate activities that nurture your mind, body, and soul into your daily routine. It could be as simple as meditating, exercising, or journaling

  • Embrace Imperfection: We often overwhelm ourselves with the pursuit of perfection. Let go of the need to be flawless in everything you do. Embrace imperfection as a part of being human. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that mistakes are opportunities for growth.