What is Osteopathy?
Is a way of detecting and treating damaged parts of the body such as muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. When the body is balanced and efficient, just like a well tuned engine, it will function with the minimum of wear and tear, leaving more energy for living.
What we do
Most people think of us as back specialists however osteopaths treat many conditions. Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms only but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance. Imagine, for example, a car that has one of its front wheels not quite pointing straight. It may run well for a while, but after a few thousand miles, the tyre will wear out, it will affect the suspension and handling etc.
You can apply this example to the human body, which is why it is so important to keep the body in good balance.
We use a wide range of techniques, including massage and joint mobilisation and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs.
Conditions we treat
The most common conditions treated are:
- Back and neck pain
- Shoulder and arm problems
- Pelvis, hip and leg problems
- Sports and other injuries
This is a very specific subtle treatment, focusing on reducing stressors and tension throughout the body, especially the head. Throughout all body tissue there is a very subtle rhythmical impulse called the involuntary mechanism. This leads to movement of the cranial bones, the involuntary movement of the sacrum and the relationship between the intracranial and spinal membranes.
Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel the subtle impulses, and during these impulses, the cranial bones, (26 adult and 29 infant) can move. Through this movement, cranial osteopaths can address lesions (problems) that may have occurred.
Cranial Osteopathy can help conditions such as:
- Recurrent infections
- Neck pain
Visceral Osteopathy looks at the gastrointestinal system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular and the reproductive system.
Visceral lesions can also be associated with localised issues such as lower back pain (kidneys or bladder), reflux or heartburn (oesophagus or stomach); or global discomfort, such as pain in the left shoulder (spleen) or the right shoulder (Liver).
What to expect from a visceral treatment:
Visceral techniques are gentle techniques. The Osteopath may make deep non-invasive contact within the body; this may be mildly uncomfortable but should not be painful. The contact may feel different to other osteopathic treatments as it is direct to the individual organs. This will then affect the integrity of the whole body.
Visceral Osteopathy can help conditions such as:
- Digestive problems
- Back and neck pain
- Shoulder and hip pain
- Postural imbalances
- Whiplash, or seatbelt injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Stress and/or tension
Osteopathy during pregnancy
Pregnancy presents additional challenges. Depending on which trimester you are in osteopathy can help to ease the extra strain placed on your body. Osteopaths prefer to treat you after week 12 and can support you right up to the day you give birth by ensuring correct pelvic alignment therefore easing the process of childbirth.
Postnatal treatment is normally given from week 6 onwards. Treatment can be given earlier with consent from a midwife.
Osteopathy for babies
Babies can, during pregnancy and the birth process, sustain many stressors and tension. This can lead to unsettling conditions that will often cause the baby to be unhappy.
Osteopathy for sport
An osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries being suffered.
By using knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills osteopathy can help to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance enhanced.
For those of you wishing to keep fit, the osteopath can help you keep supple and improve muscle tone so reducing the risk of injury to soft tissues unaccustomed to the extra work they are being asked to do. Advice on diet and exercise which will help you with your specific sport may also be offered.