What is Osteopathy?
Manual osteopathy is a health care profession founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew T. Still in the USA, that focuses on disorders of the muscles, bones, nerves and joint systems, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Manual osteopathic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal and joints complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. Manual osteopaths practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care.
What techniques are used for treatment?
Manual osteopathy constitutes many hands-on techniques such as soft tissue therapy (trigger point therapy, myofascial release technique), osteo-articular joint mobilization, therapeutic exercises and muscle energy techniques amongst others.
Is osteopathic treatment effective?
Clinical research has shown osteopathic treatment to be one of the most effective cares available for low back pain, neck pain and other conditions of spine.
Does manual osteopathy treatment require a referral from a medical doctor?
A referral is usually not needed to see a manual osteopath; however, your health plan insurer may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department—or the insurance plan provider directly—to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a manual osteopath.
Is manual osteopathy treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the manual osteopathy treatment is essentially what requires patients to have treatments a number of times. To be treated, a patient needs to be seen by a manual osteopath. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A manual osteopath may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your manual osteopaths should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.
What to expect when you visit?
On your first visit a full medical history will be taken and you will be given a physical examination. For this wear suitable, modest clothes in which you feel comfortable. You will normally be asked to perform a simple series of movements so that the mobility of your body can be evaluated. This biomechanical assessment will be considered alongside lifestyle factors such as work and leisure activities.
Using a developed sense of touch, any points of weakness, excess strain, postural imbalance or specific injury will be identified. The osteopath uses their hands to investigate the underlying causes of pain and to carry out treatment using a variety of non-invasive techniques. You will be given a prognosis and suggested treatment plan that will be reinforced by advice on suitable exercises to speed up the natural healing process.
Who Can Benefit From Osteopathy Treatments?
Whatever your lifestyle, osteopathy can help you make the most of it! Busy days hunched over a computer, running around after small children, or engaging in heavy manual labour can create postural strains and stresses.
Leisure activities can also take their toll. Sports, gardening and other hobbies can lead to acute or repetitive strain injuries. And the stress of managing it all can affect us in many ways, too.
Osteopathy can help relieve:
- Acute / Chronic low back pain
- Acute / Chronic neck pain
- Whiplash Associated disorders
- Joint pains
- Rheumatic pain
- Arthritic pain
- Neuralgia (Trapped nerves)
- Aches and pains
- Muscle Tension / Spasms
- Minor sports injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- General shoulder girdle pain
- Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)
- Tennis / Golfers Elbow
- Knee pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Inability to relax
- Postural problems
- Emotional distress and anxiety