Osteopathy tailored for your needs
Osteopathy provides effective, safe and natural treatment for problems affecting the mechanics of the body – the muscles, joints, ligaments and skeletal structure.
Common conditions that respond extremely well to osteopathic treatment are:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Knee pain
- Chronic and long-term aches and pains
- Mechanical problems experienced by expectant mothers.
Osteopaths take an holistic approach to examination and treatment, taking into account the structure and function of the whole body, as well as external factors like work position.
Osteopathic treatment is hands-on and takes the form of massage and stretch to the muscles, tendons and ligaments and mobilisation and articulation of joints.
What is Osteopathy?
The term ‘osteopathy’ was first used by a Dr Andrew Taylor Still in America to describe his approach to the treatment of disease. He took a natural and holistic perspective as opposed to the orthodox view at the time, which involved poorly researched and often dangerous drugs and crude surgery.
Dr Still felt that the structure and function of the whole body and a good, uninterrupted circulatory system were vital for good health and he developed a system of treatment involving massage, stretch and mobilisation, together with advice on diet and activity.
Osteopathy in its modern form gained approval from the British Medical Association since 1992 and achieved full statutory recognition in 2000. It is described by the General Osteopathic Council as “an established, recognised system of diagnosis and treatment that lays its main emphasis on the structural integrity of the body. It is distinct in the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.”
On the whole, osteopathy deals with problems affecting the mechanics of the body – anything from painful low backs to frozen shoulder, ankle sprains to tennis elbow. It always applies the same basic principles whereby the whole body is assessed to ascertain the various stresses and strains affecting the musculo-skeletal system as well as the influence of posture, work, sport and general health and their impact on the presenting complaint. The General Osteopathic council says: “Osteopathy uses many of the diagnostic procedures used in conventional medical assessment and diagnosis. Its main strength, however, lays within the unique way the patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint and the manual methods of treatment applied to suit the needs of the individual patient.”
What to expect
When consulting an osteopath the patient will be asked questions specific to their presenting condition as well as any history of other problems. Questions will also be asked about general health and well-being, past medical history and the function of the body’s various systems – cardiac, respiratory, digestive.
With information gained from these answers and certain relevant tests (such as neurological and cardiovascular examinations) the osteopath must decide whether it is appropriate to treat the patient or whether he/she needs to be referred on to their GP or another discipline.
If the problem is within the scope of osteopathy, various hypotheses as to the cause of the symptoms should now be developing. These can be tested with a full physical examination of the structure and function of the whole body as well as further, specific examinations. As this will probably require the patient to undress to a certain extent, it is recommended that suitable clothes (e.g. cycling shorts) are worn.
Armed with all relevant information, the osteopath can then proceed with treatment that is appropriate and tailored to the patient and their condition. This can vary from very gentle and subtle techniques to a more rigorous approach. Occasionally, where indicated, manipulations may be performed which can result in a click from the joint. Exercise and advice are also offered to help the patient help themselves through their recovery.