Who Would Benefit?
Most people would benefit from Osteopathic treatment at some time during their life. Patients may be treated for health problems from the trauma of birth to the arthritis of elderly people.
Babies and children can also benefit from these more gentle techniques, helping things such as digestive disturbances when the body is relaxed and working efficiently the immune system can work more optimally too. Patients often report improvement in sleep from improved relaxation and comfort.
Treatment is focused on treating the person and not just the symptoms. Osteopathy guides your body to enable your natural healing energies to bring you to better balance, harmony and health.
Spinal Manipulation was found to be effective in the treatment of low back pain in the BEAM trial (2004) sited in the British Medical Journal (1) and also in the latest Government guidelines osteopathy was recommended for persistent low back pain (NICE 2009) (2).
Patients have also reported improvement with all different aspects of their health by removing tension from the relevant areas of their body contributing to symptoms. The most important thing to remember is that rather than focusing on dis-ease, as an alternative therapy we look to build and improve health.
Osteopathic health check ups are a great way of looking after your body as we grow throughout life. Just as we would have our eyes tested and teeth examined – so the spine is a vital part of our body’s functioning and with gravitational forces, postural strains, patterns can build up which if not released could store up tension contributing to problems later on in life. It is always easiest to correct a spinal misalignment as soon as it has occurred to prevent further compensatory patterns developing. Prevention is always better than cure.
Whilst recognising the importance of the spine in the improvement and maintenance of health, the practice of Osteopathy is now much wider than the mere examination and treatment of the spine.
Most people first consult an osteopath because of back trouble but Osteopathic Manipulation is also of great value in the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions anywhere in the body. Emphasis is placed on the structural integrity of the whole body.
Pain and Stiffness
This can be due to a mechanical strain or sprain, of sudden onset or from long term repetitive movement. The body has an amazing ability to be able to compensate and adapt to the stresses applied to it, however, pain is experienced when the body is no longer able to compensate. Pain is a warning signal to prevent further damage. Inflammation in the surrounding tissues causes stiffness, which can be eased using gentle techniques to improve tissue drainage.
Visiting an Osteopath
When you visit an osteopath for the first time a thorough case history will be taken and you will be given an examination.
As in all healing arts, the prerequisite of successful treatment is accurate diagnosis. Patients will normally be expected to undress down to their underwear in order to complete a detailed examination of posture and to perform a simple series of movements in order to determine the cause of the presenting problem. Changing facilities are available as well as a blanket for your modesty. Stretchy clothing maybe worn but can sometimes inhibit the full scope of treatment.
In some cases, it may be necessary to undertake additional investigations such as x-ray or blood tests in order to arrive at a full diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan for you.
Osteopathy is patient centred so that each treatment is tailored to you as an individual. Treatment emphasis is placed on adjusting the whole body and not just the symptomatic part. It is designed to alleviate the current problem and to help prevent recurrences.