it for ?
recent survey of osteopathic practices underlined the
wide range of patients treated :
50 % suffer
Most back pains result
from mechanical disturbances of the spine such as postural strains, joint restrictions and spinal disc injuries. Osteopathy,
with it's comprehensive approach to healthcare is a
particularly successful approach to treatment.
Many women are working mothers and combining
both aspects of their lives can give rise to many
problems, from the perennial headache to musculo-skeletal disorders. Many headaches originate
from stiffness and tension in the neck and osteopathic treatment can often bring
relief. Pregnancy can put a strain on the whole spine and osteopathic treatment
can help the body adapt to the many changes it experiences.
25 % are in
Many people are losing fitness at this stage in their lives and are more
prone to injury. Osteopaths consider the whole person, examining posture and the
strength and flexibility of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
designed to alleviate current problems and help to prevent
Many are retired.....
Pain-killers are not the only solution for the aches and pains associated
with ageing. For more permanent relief it is necessary to eliminate the underlying
causes of mechanical pain, a job for which the osteopath is specifically
relate to work.....
Work, whether at a computer
terminal or in heavy industry can give rise to muscle,
tendon and joint discomfort, often in the back, hands and arms.
work and long hours increase the pains.
treat many conditions related to the workplace and can
give advice and preventative exercises.
is it done ?
Osteopaths use their hands both to investigate the underlying causes of pain and
to carry out treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques.
These may include muscle and connective tissue stretching, rhythmic joint
movements or mobilising techniques to improve the range of movement of a joint.
Gentle releasing techniques are often used, especially when treating children or
(see cranial osteopathy)
is it ?
Osteopathy is an established
system of diagnosis and manual
treatment for many conditions and is recognised by the British Medical Association
as a distinct clinical discipline.
G.P. referral is not required as many conventional
diagnostic procedures are used during examination.
In May 2000, osteopathy became the first major complementary health care
profession to be afforded statutory recognition under the Osteopaths Act
). It is now a criminal offence for anyone to use the title " osteopath " unless
registered with the General Osteopathic Council.
Patients have the same safeguards as when currently they consult a doctor or
Most people consult an osteopath because they have back pain, but the
American Doctor who developed the treatment in the late 1800's used it for a far wider range of
symptoms. Osteopaths believe that much of the pain and disability that we suffer
stems from abnormal function of the body structure.
It's main strength, however, lies in the unique way the
patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint and
the manual methods of treatment applied to suit the individual needs of the
happens on my first visit ?
your first visit, a full medical history will be taken.
An examination will be carried out ( you may be asked
to remove some clothing for this ), and you may then
be asked to perform a few simple movements so that the
osteopath can assess the problem.
The osteopath will
use their hands to assess areas of weakness, tenderness,
restriction or strain within your body.
will make a diagnosis and discuss it with you and if
osteopathic treatment is suitable it will be offered
to you. Treatment will be aimed at helping to restore
normal joint stability and function.
start treatment by releasing and relaxing muscles and
stiff joints, using gentle massage techniques, rhythmic
joint movements and muscle release techniques. The osteopath
may also carry out manipulation using short, quick movements
to spinal joints. Other techniques may also be used
depending on your problem.
How many sessions will I need ?
usually last up to half an hour, and normally between
2 and 6 sessions are required. Many patients decide
that they would like to have periodic preventative treatments
to avoid recurring problems.
Many private health
insurance schemes give benefits for osteopathic treatment.
Some companies reimburse the total fee that you have
paid the osteopath, some only a percentage.
What's the difference
between an osteopath and a chiropractor ?
a question of how they handle your bones....
are more similarities than differences between osteopathy
and chiropractic. The differences can be subtle and
many practitioners use the same techniques.
main difference is that chiropractors tend to work mainly
on the spine, using manipulation and massage, while
osteopaths work across the whole body, tending to place
more emphasis on soft tissues and stretching joints.
But each osteopath and chiropractor has their own unique
It is easier to understand if you realised how
these kissing cousins of complementary therapy grew up.
In the late 1800's. Dr Andrew Taylor Still, the founder
of osteopathy, and Daniel David Palmer, the founder
of chiropractic established their therapies in Kirksville
and Davenport respectively. The birth of osteopathy in
chiropractic in 1874 were separated by only three years
and 100 miles.
found their inspiration in the practice of bone-setting
which had flourished in Europe for centuries. Although
bonesetters were either self taught or learned by apprenticeship,
their value was acknowledged by physicians and surgeons.
Bonesetters advocated the swift manipulative treatment
and rapid rehabilitation. Both Still and palmer developed
theory of joint displacements, mainly emanating from
the spine, became known as osteopathic lesion and chiropractic
Britain, osteopathy and chiropractic developed alongside
each other, but while chiropractic stayed close to its
American parent organisation, osteopathy drifted away
from its roots. But that does not mean that the two
disciplines have travelled far apart in the U.K. Infact,
over the years, osteopaths and chiropractors have pinched
one anothers techniques.
an osteopath or chiropractor about which one to see,
and many will say the best thing to do is find a practitioner
who works well with you. If you are happy with a particular
person then stick with them, as long as they are registered
with either the GOsC or GCC
-- a legal requirement.