Osteopathy is most commonly associated with symptoms of back pain. However, Osteopathy is a complimentary health care that takes into the entire body into consideration when treating. One of the fundamental features of osteopathic treatment is taking into consideration the presenting complaint and looking at factors that may be predisposing or preventing the patients full recovery. This approach can mean working with the bodies musculoskeletal system as well as taking into consideration other aspects of the patients lifestyle i.e. Stress.
Commonly considered to be a holistic therapy the founding principles of osteopathy believe that structure governs function of the human body and that the body has the capacity to heal itself. However, the before mentioned predisposing or preventing factors can be an obstacle to a fully functioning pain free body. Therefore, osteopathic treatment uses soft tissue, fascial release, articulation, manipulation and rehabilitating exercises and stretching break down and assist in removing these barriers to recovery and thus aid healing.
Osteopathy became a regulated primary health care in the UK in 1993 and has since developed its work privately and within the NHS. It’s commonly compared to chiropractic and physiotherapy which is an appropriate comparison. However, it is perhaps distinguished within it’s before mentioned founding principles but also possibly within its approach to treatment. Commonly, a lot more soft tissue and hands on treatment may occur in an osteopathic session however this is a generalisation as there is a lot of cross over between all these manual therapies.
Within an osteopathic appointment as a new patient you can expect a thorough medical case history, this is due to other conditions effecting musculoskeletal presentations which may be needed to be considered in management, but also rules out more sinister conditions that may present to a manual therapist. Following this, a full set of appropriate clinical tests will be carried out leading to a working diagnosis and treatment plan which will all be explained to the patient. Sometimes, a patient may be referred back to General practitioner for further test such as X-rays or MRIs. Following all of the above, treatment will commence to address the presenting compliant and gain an appropriate level of function for that given patient.
Osteopathy is a form of treatment that is tailored to you and tends to be a very personal experience. Each patient is considered as an individual be it that you are training and competing at a high sporting level, a new baby or mum, or even a patient suffering form early osteoarthritic changes we could be able to help.
We hope this answers a few questions about our profession, but if you have any more please do not hesitate to contact us.