Osteopathy offers a profound contribution to the practice of medicine and is now recognised as a primary healthcare system, and is acknowledged as a well-established method of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of health conditions. It is a drug-free and non-invasive method of treatment and works well with other medical practices.
Each of the parts of the body is reliant on all others and none can function without the presence and health of the rest. The skeleton would just be a pile of bones were it not for the ligaments and muscles joining and supporting the bones. That musculoskeletal system would be immobile were it not for the nerves and blood supply making it living tissue. When they all perform together as they should, the nervous and lymphatic systems, circulation and consequently the whole body can function efficiently, like an incredible complex machine, coping daily with everything your life throws at it.
Occasionally with the stresses and strains of life or trauma the body produces symptoms or illness. If one part of the body becomes restricted, then the rest of the body adapts and this compensation leads to inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
Osteopaths treat pain and discomfort using gentle hands-on techniques of massage and joint mobility to help reduce pain, improve circulation and decrease stiffness. This in turn improves movement, stability and overall function, leading to other systems functioning more effectively.
Remember; Osteopaths don’t just treat backs.You can see from how the body interacts that pain can appear anywhere from head to toe, when the body is compensating.
The Osteopath uses their hands as well as the case history to identify the affected tissues. With a combination of observation of the patient and carrying out a series of movements and tests the osteopath is able to reach a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Patients will usually begin by visiting their osteopath on a weekly basis. The patient may then return for check-ups after the initial visits to ensure that the benefits of treatment have been maintained. Regular treatments can be useful to help maintain good mobility.
Osteopaths’ patients come from all walks of life including children, older people, manual workers, office professionals and pregnant women. They come to osteopaths with varying complaints such as: back and neck pain, shoulder and arm problems, pelvis, hip and leg pain, changes to posture in pregnancy.
You don’t need to be referred to an Osteopath for treatment, but in many cases osteopaths work with GPs to complement their advice.