WHAT IS IT?
Osteopathy is a distinctive and complete system of health care, which aims to establish the source of and solution to a wide range of bodily problems. It focuses on the musculo-skeletal system (joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia), and considers the links between all structures and organs in making up a fully functioning body. Osteopathy deals with problems relating to all parts of the body, although it is best recognised for its ability to alleviate back and neck difficulties.
WHY USE IT?
Osteopathy is applicable to all age groups, from babies to the elderly, and can have beneficial effects on almost all types of injury and pain, from trauma and sporting causes, to those related to posture and work (both sedentary and active).
HOW IT'S USED
On a first visit, usually lasting one hour, the osteopath endeavours to establish a clear picture of the individual. This is achieved by taking a thorough case history giving the patient a chance to tell their “story”. It would also include medical history, lifestyle information and anything else that may be pertinent to the presenting symptoms. This is followed by medical testing and examination of relevant systems, and a complete osteopathic examination, based on an expert knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, ultimately leading to a diagnosis and explanation of what is going on. Consideration will be given to your individual needs and abilities, and appropriate advice may be given at this time. This may include remedial exercise advice, dietary and lifestyle suggestions or if appropriate, referral to a more suitable specialist (G.P., podiatrist, Pilates etc).
Examination and Treatment
Joints and tissues are examined for their quality of movement and texture, for evidence of inflammation or misalignment, which may be responsible for stiffness, immobility or pressure on nerves, causing pain.
Osteopathic treatment approaches are extremely variable, based primarily on what is observed in examination, coupled with feedback and reporting from the patient. Age, medical conditions and fundamental patient preference are all considered when choosing an appropriate style of treatment. Treatment techniques range from the robust and strong, such as joint manipulation (“Thrust” techniques to realign skeletal structures, or alleviate built-up pressure in localised areas of the body) or deep tissue massage, to the gentlest traction or craniosacral techniques.
Follow-up treatments will usually last 30 minutes, although this can be flexible, based on the needs of the patient and their condition.
TREATMENTS MAY INCLUDE:
• Spinal and joint manipulation
• Deep tissue and Myofascial release
• Cranial Osteopathy
• Remedial exercise advice
• Occupational health advice
• Sports injury care
• Pre/postnatal and infant care
• Dry needling
• Kinesio taping