WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment designed to identify and treat the causes of pain within the musculo-skeletal system of the body. A gentle form of treatment, osteopathy can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of every age.
WHO RECOGNISES OSTEOPATHY?
Osteopathy is the first complementary therapy to have undergone statutory regulation by Parliament. This gives an osteopath similar status to a doctor or dentist and guarantees a patient the equivalent high level of protection.
HOW DOES OSTEOPATHY WORK?
An osteopath will have undergone an extensive, four year, degree level course, including in-depth study of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the body. This knowledge enables an osteopath to analyse your symptoms and diagnose your problems using a variety of clinical skills, backed up, where necessary, by x-rays and other tests.
During the examination you may be asked to perform a variety of movements in different positions to allow a full assessment of muscle and joint interaction and their likely impact on the rest of the body’s structures.
Your nerves and circulation may also need to be evaluated by using traditional medical techniques. Sometimes you may be referred back to your GP for further tests or to a hospital consultant for their opinion.
When a full diagnosis has been made your osteopath will explain the problem and then suggest a treatment plan.
Your initial consultation, examination and treatment will typically take between 45 minutes and 1 hour with follow up treatments usually lasting 25 to 30 minutes. Treatment is often gentle and may involve a combination of soft tissue massage, rhythmic stretching and joint manipulations to adjust or improve function and to promote recovery of any damaged tissue.
Treatment aims to re-establish or improve the natural balance that should exist in all our bodies, whether disturbance to this has occurred through development, injury, disease or misuse.
Your treatment may involve exercises to retrain or strengthen specific areas of the body, and advice on how to minimise the risk of recurrence.
What about my doctor?
Since statutory regulation, osteopathic treatment has been recognised by the medical profession. In many cases you will be recommended to an osteopath by your GP. Osteopathic treatment, like dentistry, can be given independently or in conjunction with your doctor. It is therefore not necessary to see your doctor before you consult an osteopath, although if you are unsure about it, you may wish to discuss it with them first.
In the same way that you visit your dentist to reduce the chance of serious dental problems, regular checks with your osteopath allow potential problems to be detected and treated before they develop. Many patients who have been treated for painful conditions benefit from checks every few months. Preventative treatment, exercises and advice can be a worthwhile investment in your long term health and comfort.