"We have been treated by Laurens on a number of occasions for shoulder and lower back problems. Each time, after one or two short treatments, the pain and restricted movement has been resolved. The last episode involved a slipped disc and muscle spasm that meant I could not get up or walk easily. Both manipulation and acupuncture helped and within 2 days I was able to move properly. We would unreservedly recommend Laurens and have already done so as he is very gentle, clear in what the problem is and how he is going to resolve it, personable and an excellent osteopath."
"To have confidence in a practitioner is fundamentally important to me. I have been treated by Laurens Holve for over 20 years. He is quite simply my first port of call. Always treating whatever problem with great expertise, honesty and constant common sense; with humour never far away."
"Whenever sciatica, tennis elbow, shoulder and lower back pain have bedevilled me my first port of call has always been Laurens Holve. His unique blend of insightful knowledge, gentle humour and well-aimed therapy have quite literally kept me going for years."
"I have known Laurens for thirty years and he is the only person whom I would completely trust with my back and neck problems. Not only is he an excellent, first-rate osteopath, but he also gives great advice on aftercare and maintaining good back health. I have seen a few back doctors in my time, but Laurens is unequivocally the best. I never hesitate in recommending him to all my friends who have back problems. I just hope he doesn’t decide to retire early!"
"As a runner I have consulted Laurens Holve on a number of injuries I have sustained. Always knowledgeable and clear in his diagnosis. He has used both Osteopathic and Acupuncture treatments, which I have found highly effective. I would strongly recommend Laurens Holve to everyone."
"I was under the care of the National Neurological Hospital in central London after losing muscle and strength in my left arm. An MRI revealed protruding discs causing pressure on the spinal cord such that there was loss of muscle/ function and I was due for major surgery through my neck thats associated with a 15% chance of incurring serious complications. Luckily for me, I was introduced to Laurens Holve at his practice in Oakeshott Avenue, Highgate, Laurens performed his initial assessment, taking the more comprehensive perspective that regarded my problem as part of me as a person and not just based on an MRI scan, and after a handful of treatments I regained approximately 50% of power in my arm and thus averted major surgery. I am endebted and totally endeared by Laurens and cannot thank him enough."
"If you have a bad back, a bad neck, a bad leg, or a bad anything else, Laurens Holve is your man. Some osteopaths are osteopaths. Laurens Holve is a magician."
"Laurens Holve is an exceptional health practitioner. Trained and skilled in multi disciplines I am pleased to have had the privilege of working with him throughout my twenty six year career. His knowledge is matched only by his instinct with regard to the structural medicine offered by osteopathy. His experience as an acupuncturist has him, in my opinion, as a leader in a field of invaluable therapeutic benefit. By being able to combine this with osteopathy and his training in traditional Chinese medicine he leaves me with no hesitation in supporting his work through this testimonial. He is a wonderful colleague, friend and human being to whom I have turned both personally and, on behalf of my patients, professionally for both physical ailments and psychological support."
"As an international consultant I have to be in a tip-top condition all the time to give my best to clients, workshop participants, colleagues and suppliers. To give the best, I have to feel great. Laurens fixes backs, necks, arms, shoulders, knees, ankles etc. I default to him for any joint or muscle pain. He accurately diagnoses cause, works on repair and leaves you to do the exercises and activities to complete the job - with an accurate prognosis for healing time. So I feel great - and no tear or minor sports injury stops me from being at the top of my game. And in my spare time? I'm a field archaeologist. Laurens' healing keeps my back supple so I can play my full part digging and trowelling with the team."
"I have been going to see Mr Holve for over 15 years. Whether a serious injury from playing Rugby or a long term back problem from my Cricket, Mr Holve has never failed to either help me heal quickly or cured the condition with minimum fuss. I would never go anywhere else."
"As a fellow acupuncturist, I have been visiting Laurens for many years when I have needed treatment for various ailments. I can thoroughly recommend his professional approach to treatment & admire his dedication to updating his skills through attending relevant courses. Being an acupuncturist myself, I am very careful about who I will let treat me. The fact that I have been Lauren’s patient for many years should speak volumes itself."
By far the most common reason for neck pain is mechanical dysfunction. To put it simply when the neck no longer functions mechanically as it should. This causes localised irritation both to little joints called facet joints, and to its supporting muscular structures. This as opposed to structural changes either congenital or disc that can be seen on MRI scans
Other causes may include:
Cervical Disc Prolapse
A cervical disc prolapse is a prolapse of the soft material within the middle of an intervertebral disc of the neck (nucleus pulposus) that breaks through the outer ring of the disc known as the annulus fibrosis.
The prolapse may press on one of the nerves supplying the arm giving rise to neck pain, numbness and weakness in the arm and then collectively as brachialgia.
Patients who develop symptoms of a prolapsed intervertebral disc within the neck often complain of neck pain and tingling in a specific part of the upper limb depending upon which disc is prolapsed.
The most common discs that prolapse are those between the fifth and sixth cervical vertebra (C5-6) and the sixth and seventh cervical vertebra (C6-7).
Pain goes into specific regions that indicate the level of the prolapse and there is sometimes weakness associated with a particular movement.
From the history it is often possible to diagnose, which of the most common discs have prolapsed.
When patients are examined they often demonstrate reduced sensation in the area of pain and weakness of particular movements. In addition, particular reflexes in the upper limb are lost that can be demonstrated by the examining doctor.
This information gives further evidence of the level of disc prolapse.
The most common special investigation used for a prolapsed intervertebral disc within the neck is an MRI scan. The MRI scan confirms the level of the disc prolapse, the size of the prolapse and the extent of the nerve compression.
Plain x-rays may be used but these are less helpful as they only show the bones and do not show the discs themselves.
Treatments for neck pain
Patients often find that Osteopathy is of assistance. Acupuncture is also very helpful in reducing neck pain, particularly when the neck is too tender to treat physically. Very often trigger points are found in the base of the neck and shoulders which when needled, can bring immediate relief.
Should symptoms prevail after a time, referral will be made for injection of steroid in and around facet joints to help diminish symptoms and avoid surgery.