What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a method of assessing, treating and preventing a wide range of health problems. Osteopaths use a combination of movement, stretching, targeted deep tissue massage and manipulation of a person’s muscles and joints to improve function, relieve pain and aid recovery.
The body has the natural ability to maintain itself and, by helping this process, an osteopath can promote restoration of normal function. The principle of osteopathy is that the wellbeing of an individual relies on the way that bones, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and internal structures work with each other.
An osteopath will take the time to understand their patient, and their unique combination of symptoms, medical history and lifestyle. This helps to make an accurate diagnosis of the causes of the pain or lack of function (rather than just addressing the site of the condition), and from that, to formulate a treatment plan that will achieve the best outcome.
Osteopaths frequently work alongside other health professionals, such as GPs, nurses and midwives as well as alternative medical practitioners. Osteopathy works well to complement other medical interventions including surgery and prescribed medication.
Our Osteopaths are experienced Health Professionals, regulated by The General Osteopathic Council, having completed 4-5 years of intensive training.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises that GPs can safely refer patients to an osteopath for treatment. Osteopathy is available on the NHS in some areas of the UK.
What can Osteopathy can help?
Although osteopaths are well known for treating back pain, the practice of osteopathy can help relieve the symptoms of a wide range of conditions. Osteopaths treat joint pain, neuromuscular conditions, digestive conditions, headaches and sleep 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. Osteopathic patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people.
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.
All our Osteopaths will spend time with you to understand, not only your symptoms, but how they relate to your lifestyle, occupation, sport or leisure time to endeavour to find and treat the cause of the symptoms thereby allowing you to return to health as quickly as possible.
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.
If you want to find out more, our Osteopaths will be happy to talk to you about your health and how you may benefit from osteopathic treatment.
Commonly treated conditions include
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder, arm and hand pain
- Hip, knee and foot pain
- Muscular pain
- Arthritic-like pain
- Work-related strain
- Pregnancy-related problems, including pelvic, pubic symphysis dysfunction, low back pain
- Sports injuries
Osteopathic treatment is usually gentle and should not be painful. Most Osteopaths use a combination of the following techniques:
- Soft tissue massage
- Joint manipulation
- Gentle joint stretching
- Rehabilitative exercise
- Cranial Osteopathy techniques