The Benefits of Osteopathic Treatment
What we do
Although osteopaths treat many conditions, most people think of us as ‘back specialists’. Back pain is what many osteopaths treat much of the time. Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms only but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms.
Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance We use a wide range of gentle techniques, including massage, manipulation, acupuncture and cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as ‘cranial osteopathy’) and joint mobilization and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs.
Osteopaths assess and treat people of any age from the elderly to the newborn and from pregnant women to sports people.
How we do it
Your medical history
Before we start to treat you, we will make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. We’ll ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give clues to help our diagnosis. We may feel your pulse and check your reflexes. We may also take your blood pressure and refer you for clinical tests, such as x-rays, if we think you need them.
We usually look at your posture and see how you move your body. We will also assess what happens when we move it for you and see what hurts, where and when.
Using touch, we may also find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what’s going on. When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition. We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your GP or another specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations, depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis. We will discuss self help including exercises and rehabilitation advise in order for you to help with your recovery to full fitness.
Treatment is different for every patient but may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints.
Sometimes, when we move joints you may hear a ‘click’. This is just like the click people get when they crack their knuckles.
We may discuss exercises that you can do to improve your posture and movement in your workplace and everyday life.
Conditions we Treat
- Low back, neck and shoulder pain
- post operative adhesions
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Face and jaw pain
- Elbow and wrist strains
- Hip and knee problems
The longer a problem is left, the more complex the body’s adaptation becomes and consequently, the more difficult it is to return the body to a state of wellbeing. Several of the conditions we develop in adulthood can be traced back to birth trauma that has been left uncorrected.
Keeping a healthy spine and joints
When young, the body can adapt easily to the stress and strain it is put under. As it grows older (over 25 years!) it begins to lose some of the elasticity which gives the body the flexibility to cope and adapt. In particular this applies to the discs between the vertebrae and the joint cartilage. These require regular movement to ensure their maximum range and thereby increase local circulation and nutrition to the surrounding fluids and tissues.
1. Keep moving and stretching
2. Take regular exercise
3. Take frequent breaks between repetitive tasks and vary the rhythm
4. Change position – avoid ‘computer hump’
5. Pace yourself when the work is heavy e.g. gardening
6. Adjust car seats, and on long journeys, have breaks and stretch
7. Watch children’s posture – don’t let them carry bags on one shoulder
8. Avoid strain when lifting especially when shopping and with small children
9. Is your bed the right bed or is it getting old?
10. Seek osteopathic advice earlier rather than later
Patients have found osteopathy helpful for many other conditions. If you want to find out more, just give us a call and we will be happy to talk to you.