Osteopathy is a system of manual medicine focusing on whole-body approach. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.
Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerves, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
It is a safe and natural therapy.
Osteopathy specialises in the diagnosis, management, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders.
Treatment is hands-on involving massage of the soft tissues, skilled manipulation of the spine and joints. Gentle stretching and relaxation techniques maybe used to relieve inﬂamed muscles and joints. We may use electrotherapy treatment.
Advice is given on exercise, diet and lifestyle to assist.
What We Treat
Osteopathy is a system of assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing a wide range of health problems.
Osteopaths are commonly known for treating back pain and postural problems including changes due to pregnancy, caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and minor sports injuries.
Listed below you can ﬁnd the common joint and muscle conditions that osteopaths treat.
Patients have also found osteopathy helpful for conditions such as digestive issues, circulatory problems, neuralgia and problems sleeping and for the symptoms of many others.
Osteopathic patients include the young, older people, manual workers, ofﬁce professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people.
Osteopaths are trained to check for signs of serious conditions they cannot treat. In these circumstances, they should inform you of what they believe is the problem and refer you to see your GP or hospital for further investigations.
• Backache, chronic and acute
• Neck and shoulder pain
• Sciatica and disc problems
• Joint strain; Shoulders, hips, knees, elbows
• Foot disorders,
• Sports injuries
• Pregnancy related pain
• Postural weakness
• Post surgery and post natal rehabilitation
• Ofﬁce/overuse injuries
• General stress treatment
What to expect
• Osteopathy is a patient-centred, system of healthcare. A ﬁrst appointment generally lasts about 45 minutes to allow the osteopath adequate time to:
• Listen and ask questions about your problem, your general health, other medical care you are receiving or medication you are taking, and record this in your case notes. The information you provide will be conﬁdential.
• Examine you properly. It is likely the osteopath will ask you to remove some of your clothing. Tell your osteopath if you are uncomfortable about this. You should expect privacy to undress and a gown or towel should be provided. You can ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your treatment.
• Ask you to make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. Because of the body’s structure, pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one part may be linked to a problem elsewhere.
• Examine the health of the joints, tissues and ligaments using their hands and a highly developed sense of touch called palpation.
Because of the physical nature of the treatment, it is not unusual to sometimes feel sore in the ﬁrst 24-48 hours after treatment. Your osteopath will explain any likely reactions that you could expect. If you have any concerns it is important to contact the osteopath and ask their advice. It may require more than one visit before your problem is resolved. The osteopath will review your progress at each subsequent visit and seek your consent to any changes to your treatment plan.
Is referral from a doctor necessary?
Most patients ‘self refer’ to an osteopath for treatment.
Although referral by a GP is not necessary, you are encouraged to keep your GP fully informed, so that your medical records are current and complete. This will ensure you receive the best possible care from both health professionals. With your permission, your osteopath may send a report to your GP with details of your condition and treatment. You can also request a letter for your employer if this is helpful.