Osteopathy is a form of drug-free non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health. The holistic approach of osteopathy is well recognised and accepted world wide. The philosophy of osteopathy is based, in part, on the belief that the body has a built in self-regulatory system that can help heal itself.
HOW DOES OSTEOPATHY WORK?
Osteopaths work to restore the body to a state of balance. This is done using wide range of gentle hands on techniques. Treatment varies between patients depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis, but often focuses on releasing tension, stretching muscles and mobilising joints.
Before you receive treatment your osteopath and you will jointly decide an appropriate and suitable treatment plan. Occasionally osteopathic techniques can result in an audible ‘click’, this is perfectly normal. Research evidence shows that these manipulations can have beneficial effects, especially in the back, helping you to return to normal activity
What conditions can osteopathy help?
- Aches and pains
- Arthritic pain
- General, acute and chronic backache and back pain
- Neck pain
- Headache arising from the neck
- Shoulder and elbow pain
- Joint pains and lumbago
- Muscle spasms
- Sports injuries
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis in association with other treatment for this condition
At the start of your first appointment your osteopath will take time to listen to you and ask questions about your symptoms, diet, general health, activities and lifestyle. This will help to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatments that you can consider.
They will then examine the area(s) of your body causing discomfort, which might include tests such as taking your blood pressure or testing your reflexes. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, so they may examine your whole body. Your osteopath will feel for changes in your muscles and joints and examine these areas to identify problems. They may also assess your posture and the way you move.
Most osteopaths will begin your treatment at your first appointment, but sometimes they may suggest that you seek further tests first, for example blood tests or scans. Occasionally they may suggest that you consult your GP or another appropriate healthcare professional if osteopathy is not suitable for you. You are welcome to bring a chaperone with you to your treatment.
BENEFITS OF OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT
- Patients of all ages can safely receive treatment
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Reduces stiffness and increases mobility
- Improves stability of muscles and joints leaving them less prone to injury
- Can help release obstructions by realignment of the body to ensure good blood, nerve and lymph supply.
- Non invasive and drug free.
- Encourages and engages the body’s own healing mechanism
WHO RECOGNISES OSTEOPATHY?
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends spinal manipulation for lower back pain. Osteopaths are trained to deliver such treatment and offer self-management advice. The General Osteopathic Council regulates the practice of osteopathy in the UK, promoting patient safety by setting and monitoring standards of osteopathic conduct. By law, an osteopath must be registered and comply with strict regulatory requirements, including a minimum of 30 hours continuous professional development each year. This gives patients the same sort of guarantees and protection as those given by doctors and dentists.
NICE guidelines available online at http://www.nice.org.uk/ guidance/cg88/chapter/guidance UK BEAM trial team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ, doi:10.1136/ bmj.38282.669225.AE2004. Licciardone JC, Brimhall AK,King LN. Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta- analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2005;6:43.