What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a unique system of diagnosis and treatment that focuses on the structural integrity of the whole body. When the body is correctly aligned, the systems within work more efficiently with the minimum of wear, stress and use of energy, which may reduce pain and disability, and help to bring about a sense of well-being.
A subtle form of touch known as palpation is used to detect muscular strain, tissue congestion, and to assess quality of movement in the spine and other joints. Various manual techniques are employed which may relieve pain and stiffness, relax tense muscles and help to stimulate the circulation, the lymphatics and the nervous system. These include spinal manipulation, stretching and moving joints through their range of motion, and gentle pressures and stretches of soft tissues.
In addition to the treatment we aim to help each patient understand his problem, appreciate why it has occurred and provide him with strategies to speed recovery and help prevent further episodes occurring. These might include exercises, advice on posture, correct breathing, relaxation, positioning at work stations or dietary changes.
What conditions may be seen by an Osteopath?
Osteopathy is widely recognised for its success in treating patients with low back pain,
but may also be effective for patients with a variety of other symptoms/conditions such as:
Postural re-education and ergonomic assessment are an integral part of osteopathic treatment.
Osteopathy is also suitable for those who do not have any specific pains but feel they are developing a poor posture and are generally unfit due to a sedentary job and lack of exercise. The hands-on treatment helps people to become aware of areas of tightness and tension that they have come to consider as normal, and how they might be using their own body incorrectly.
Who is osteopathy suitable for?
Everyone! Osteopathy may help babies, children, adults, the elderly or disabled , pregnant women as well as athletes.
What happens when I see an Osteopath?
On your first appointment a case history will be taken and a physical assessment performed. As part of the physical examination, you may be asked to remove some outer clothing and do a few simple movements. This will provide an overall impression of your posture and build, and highlight areas of stiffness and pain. After a thorough assessment, the Osteopath will explain what he or she believes to be causing your symptoms and will proceed to your first treatment. Problems that have been going on for several months or years are likely to need a series of treatments over several weeks, whereas those which have just developed can often be resolved with one or two treatments.
Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment to encourage the release of tension in the body. This is accomplished by the application of gentle pressure to the head and body and it is suitable for people of all ages, including babies and children. This approach can also be used when treating joint and back pain resulting from postural changes and softening ligaments associated with pregnancy.
Cranial Osteopathy is a safe and gentle treatment suitable for children and babies. Osteopaths do not treat specific conditions but aim to encourage balance within the body to improve well being. Such gentle manipulation could help soothe and relax babies.