As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, the incidents of colds and coughs increase.
On average adults can have 2-3 colds a year and children up to 6-10 a year, presenting with symptoms such as sore throat, runny or blocked nose, sneezing and coughing, fatigue, headaches and even swollen lymph nodes.
The common cold is caused by viruses which can affect the linings of the nose, throat, sinuses and bronchial tubes. The viruses can inflame the cells of the linings and irritate the sympathetic nerves. These nerves may cause the production of mucus causing blocked nose and sinus problems and tightening of the muscles of the neck and back. The resulting congestion of blood and lymphatic fluids can cause further systemic congestion.
The reflex of coughing and sneezing uses respiratory muscles that can become increasingly sore and fatigued. If this is prolonged, the muscles can become tight and pull on ribs causing strains in the ribcage.
There is no cure for the common cold; however, Osteopathy may help alleviate the symptoms and speed up recovery by looking at the causes. Stimulation of the lymph and blood circulation and improving immune function response can help. Treatment may consist of soft tissue massage, muscle stretching, joint mobilisation and lymphatic drainage techniques.
Treatment releasing spinal joint restrictions aims to normalise the function of the nervous system, reduce muscle spasm pain and mucus production. This can help with congestion by improving venous and lymphatic drainage and help the body to return to a more optimal level of health.
Osteopathy can also help support the innate self-regulating healing processes of the body as well as aiding a greater sense of well-being and relaxation.
Additionally here are a few ways to help you – Have more rest, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol if you have a temperature.