Osteopathy assesses the patient from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint. The practitioner uses a highly evolved sense of touch to investigate the underlying causes of pain and determine tension and restrictions in the body. These, along with a detailed history of the patient, can help to determine a diagnosis. Osteopathic treatment aims to reduce tension and restrictions, thereby restoring balance and reducing symptoms of pain or stiffness.
This is achieved by a non-invasive, hands on approach using muscle and soft tissue stretching, rhythmic joint movement or manipulation techniques. These help to improve the range of movement of a joint or reduce tension in a muscle. These manual techniques are adapted to suit the needs of the individual.
Symptoms can result from a previous injury, a childhood condition, poor posture, injury, ageing, poor health, stress and tension. The osteopath will observe asymmetry, misalignment and tension in the patient and use this information to help restore proper function during treatment. Osteopathy concerns itself with treating the underlying or predisposing factors that have attributed to the patient’s symptoms, so that some of the treatment is performed away from the site of pain.
A basic osteopathic principle is that the body has the ability to heal itself. Therefore, the aim of the osteopath is to help restore proper structure through soft tissue massage, mobilisations, manipulation of joints and other techniques. Restoring proper structure helps return the body to normal function, leading to reduced symptoms.
Each patient is treated as an individual and given the best possible attention. A personalised treatment plan will be created for you, containing short, medium- and long-term management strategies, such as exercises and general lifestyle advice.
On average, 2 or 3 treatments are all that is needed, for some patients just one treatment can give complete relief. The number of treatments depends on the individual, the type of problem and how long they have had the problem. This can be discussed once the diagnosis has been made.
Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and undergo rigorous training and Continued Professional Development.