What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine, which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions and its inert ability to heal itself. Osteopathy focuses on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Osteopathy was first developed in America in the 1870′s by a medical doctor, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, it has now developed to the point where it has become widely recognised throughout the world as one of the most scientifically validated & effective complementary therapies.
The main aim of Osteopathic treatment is to restore normal function to the whole body, so you can benefit from Osteopathic treatment for any ailment you may be experiencing. Treatment is not a ‘cure’ or a quick-fix. Treatment assists your body to achieve its optimum health so it will be better able to deal with the problems it is experiencing.
Because of its holistic approach, osteopathic treatment is suitable for people at all ages and stages of life, from the very young right through to the elderly too. Osteopathic treatment can also assist in preparing the body for surgery and in the rehabilitative stages after one is discharged from hospital.
What does an Osteopaths do?
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, certain dysfunctions can be identified in your body. Osteopathy does not only address the individual injury or disorder but furthermore focuses on the underlying cause to avoid future recurrence.
Osteopathic manual practitioners commence treatment by taking a comprehensive case history, accompanied by detailed physical examination incorporating postural and movement assessment, along with specialized orthopedic muscle and joint tests, as needed. Using a highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, the osteopath uses their hands to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body.
Osteopathic manual practitioners do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but use manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body to provide optimal health and wellbeing. Ultimately, there is reduced pain and greater mobility which allows the body to heal itself.
Osteopathic treatment is tailored to the requirements of the individual patient, and techniques are selected which are appropriate to the patient’s needs. Osteopathic techniques may include soft tissue massage and mobilisation (muscles, tendons and ligaments), gentle joint manipulation and articulation, muscle energy techniques and varied indirect osteopathic techniques. All techniques aim to restore balance and function to the body allowing healing to occur quickly.
What can Osteopaths treat?
Osteopathic manual practitioners treat a broad spectrum of musculosketal and other conditions. Some examples we commonly see include:
- Low back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Headaches / Migraines
- Postural problems
- Disc prolapses and associated pain
- Nerve related injuries
- Jaw pain
- Sports injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also known as Overuse Injury
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Shin Splints
- Knee pain
- Ankle, foot and heel pain
- Shoulder pain, including Frozen Shoulder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Conditions arising in pregnancy and the postnatal period
When should I see an Osteopath?
The best time to see an Osteopathic manual practitioner is when you first start to experience any type of pain or discomfort. Rather than leaving things for weeks or even months, it’s a good idea to get things looked at sooner. Sometimes those annoying niggles can evolve into injuries and from there into something more chronic. Once conditions become chronic, it can be a more lengthy process to restore normal functioning.