What is an Osteopath?
Osteopaths look for abnormalities in your body's structure and function and correct/optimise them to the best of your body's ability using my hands with any number of osteopathic manipulative techniques.
Osteopaths also try to help you problem solve why it happened in the first place and advise you how best to deal with "cause and effect".
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health.
Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.
Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.
What do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.
What treatment techniques does an Osteopath use?
Osteopaths use a variety of physical manipulative techniques which can include gentle massage, stretch and articulation all the way through to the stronger high velocity thrust (HVT or 'joint clicks') or conversely the extremely gentle cranial techniques.
Can GPs refer their patients to Osteopaths?
Yes. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council and British Medical Association.
How does Osteopathy work?
Osteopathy is the study, diagnosis and treatment of any abnormal structure or function of the human body. The treatment goal is extremely simple to understand in that by returning the body to its 'normal' (or more specifically, to its most 'optimal') physiolgical condition, the body is able to repair itself more quickly and efficiently, not just in the short term, but in the longer term too.
For example, if you injure any tissue, the body repairs itself through the inflammatory process. The inflammatory process however does not repair it to the exact same state that it was before the injury, even when the pain stops, and leaves physical problems such as scar tissue and other altered tissue effects behind.
Osteopaths not only create an environment for accelerated tissue healing, they also optimise and decrease the current and future disability of these affected tissues which would otherwise remain unchanged and potentially render the body susceptible to further problems.
When is it appropriate to consult with an Osteopath?
1. For acute injuries (less than 6 weeks since injury, but the sooner the better)
2. Arthritis and other chronic conditions (lasting more than 6 weeks, often over many years)
3. Checking, preventation and "general servicing" of the human body
How many treatments for an injury are typical and how often?
Every osteopathic patient/client is an individual and will not only respond differently, but will be treated and advised with specific regard to their own exacting needs.
Osteopaths have no desire to treat you any more often than is necessary. The UK national average number of treatments required is said to be approximately 2-6 visits. In acute conditions you may be seen twice in the first week, but usually it is no more than once per week or fortnightly whenever possible.
A significant number of osteopathic patients/clients return for check-ups, on-going treatments or "servicing" to help prevent recurrence of old injuries or new. This can range from being once per month to every three months or longer.
As we all know, having no pain does not mean that our body is running perfectly efficiently and normally. If you plan on living to a ripe old age, you are guaranteed to develop musculo-skeletal problems that should normally respond to Osteopathic treatment.