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osteopathy

Osteopathy

Why Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a brilliant hands-on, holistic, drug-free form of treatment. Osteopaths work on muscle and joint systems, improving performance, flexibility, easing inflammation by restoring normal function. Once the body is working well, pain and illness will often disappear. 

Osteopaths work with their hands using skilled techniques. The Osteopath eases tight muscles, increases joint and spinal flexibility by working the bodies restricted areas. Treatment works by relaxing muscle stiffness, improving joint movement, blood flow and easing nerve tensions. Treatment optimises the body’s ability to function how it should by improving the way it works together. Osteopathy enhances the health and mobility of the body. Osteopaths use hands-on techniques, including touch, physical manipulation, stretching, and massage

Osteopaths believe that the health and well-being of each of us depend on how well the nerves, skeleton, muscles and connecting tissues work in harmony. Osteopathic treatment also assists healing by improving blood and lymphatic flow, enabling the immune system to function more effectively. 

Osteopaths also believe that optimal blood and lymphatic flow is essential as it washes away inflammation and brings oxygen to the tissues. The lymphatic system washes and cleans the body, effectively fighting disease via the immune system. In short, Osteopaths stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms by improving the way our bodies work. Osteopaths believe that if the biomechanical parts of the body are working in harmony, then illness and disease processes are much less likely to manifest. Osteopaths restore your body to a state of natural balance, often without the use of drugs or surgery.

Who we treat

Osteopathic treatment is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Each Osteopathic treatment is dynamic and unique and designed individually for every patient. Osteopathic treatment in healthy adults can be deep and firm, using more vigorous direct techniques on backs, stiff shoulders and overtrained muscles. Osteopathy is tremendously helpful for patients who may have spinal wear and tear and arthritis. Osteopathy is also great for  sore necks, stiff hips, shoulders and certain types of headaches. Osteopaths have similarities to Physiotherapists and prescribe exercises and use electrotherapy. Osteopaths also provide rehabilitation after injury or recovering from trauma or surgery. Osteopathic rehabilitation treatments may help speed recovery by providing exercises to strengthen muscles and the spine. 

Cranial Osteopathic treatment is less direct and often very gentle, suited to adults, babies and children who may need a gentle but effective approach. Gentle styles of Osteopathy can be provided and may also help people who are in a lot of pain, going through illness. Cranial Osteopathy helps balance the body’s fascial tensions by working gently on the head, spine and nerve pathways. Many Osteopaths are trained to promote a mind, body and spirit approach. We believe this is essential as stress is often the predominant factor in the patients presenting condition. 

Osteopathy isn’t generally painful, although it’s not unusual to feel deep pressure during treatment and stiff in the first day or so after treatment. Discomfort is often a sign that the body is adjusting as it heals. Osteopaths are very aware of how you feel; any painful or inflamed areas are treated sensitively, and the Osteopath may use a gentler approach. 

Osteopathy is helpful for patients with wear and tear and arthritis. Osteopathy is also great for easing restricted spinal joints, sore necks, stiff hips and certain types of headaches. Osteopaths have similarities to Physiotherapists and prescribe exercises and use electrotherapy.

What to expect

For many patients that attend, the goal is first to relieve pain. Osteopaths work by removing the barrier(s) that prevent the body from using its innate healing mechanisms. The Osteopath may help correct faulty posture or habits by strengthening muscles and allow people to become aware of patterns that lead to problems and pain. Osteopaths aim to prevent a recurrence of the original injury through awareness and education. Osteopathy is designed to improve your health and quality of life by reducing pain. The Osteopath will make you feel at ease during your consultation and explain everything as it happens. Feel free to ask questions if you are unsure or have any concerns.

Medical Questionnaire
During your first consultation, you may be asked relevant questions regarding lifestyle, family history, medication and previous injuries etc. The questionnaire is specially designed to clarify facts between you and the Osteopath and help rule out other “background” conditions. The consultation provides valuable information about your lifestyle and previous pain or injuries. Osteopaths approach each patient as a unique individual and consider both the emotional and physical aspects of the person. 

Treatment room
During your first consultation treatment, the Osteopath will spend time looking at your presenting condition. The first examination will help the Osteopath understand how your body has uniquely adapted to the emotional and physical stresses that life brings. The analysis helps the osteopath identify areas of your body that are most likely to be causing or maintaining your pain. Clinical checks like taking blood pressure, reflexes, and neural (nerve) tests are often performed for clarity. We will also use gentle movement techniques to palpate and assess any spinal joint or restrictions within your muscle, ligament and skeletal system. Your examination findings and medical questionnaire helps the Osteopath to form a clear and precise medical diagnosis before any treatment begins.

Clinical diagnosis and treatment plan
Once the combined information is gathered and a clear understanding is reached, the Osteopath will formulate a treatment plan. The Osteopath will then carefully discuss your treatment options/methods, along with your agreement treatment goals. The Osteopath may look to improve both your current injury and any long-standing biomechanical problems. A long term approach means there is less chance of the same problem reoccurring over and over.

Aftercare and follow up.
The Osteopathic treatment plan may involve specific deep muscle massage, joint mobilisations, actively resisted muscle stretches, manipulation, posture correction. Sometimes electrotherapy or Acupuncture is used. People often feel much better after treatment. It is usual also to receive further advice and a functional exercise plan. We will set goals that are rewarding and attainable. 

 

Some techniques Osteopaths use:

  • Deep soft tissue release techniques and Osteopathic massage – helps to relax tight, painful or damaged muscles.
  • Joint and spinal Articulation/mobilisation – Joints are passively moved through their natural range of motion, which often improves mobility and balance.
  • Manipulation (cracking or popping of joints) and high-velocity thrusts are short, safe, controlled technical movements. Manipulation is used to improve mobility and increase blood flow in restricted joints of the body, especially in the spine.