What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that has been practised for over a century and is now well recognised by the medical profession. This therapy deals primarily with patients complaining of pain, usually in muscles and joints.
Osteopathy is highly regarded and regulated, just like doctors and nurses, and is now included in the register of Allied Healthcare Professional.
Osteopaths are trained not only in the same diagnostic techniques used by the general medical profession, but also diagnostic tests specific to our profession. Crucially, osteopaths also take time to listen to their patients, considering problems that may seem unrelated to the pain but which may, in fact, be central to that person’s wellbeing.
Osteopaths work on the basis that if the structure of the body has been compromised then it cannot function correctly, so we assess each patient to see what’s gone wrong and use our techniques to improve overall function. And this is our great strength, as we consider all the aspects of a patient’s life – and lifestyle – in order to treat. Improving the mechanics of the body ultimately enhances other areas such as blood supply, nerve function and performance of internal organs.
For that reason, osteopathy isn’t simply about treating sports injuries and joint problems; it can play a crucial role in improving a wide range of other conditions such as headaches, circulatory problems, digestive disorders, muscular stiffness (fibromyalgia) as well as the least recognised yet most widely debilitating diseases of the modern age…stress!
Visiting an Osteopath
Your First Appointment
Your fist visit will usually take up to an hour. I will start by asking you lots of questions, mainly about why you have come to see me, but also about your medical and lifestyle history. I will then conduct a clinical examination including posture, mobility, orthopaedic testing and palpation. It may be necessary to remove some of your clothing for me to examine and treat the appropriate areas.
Once I have established a diagnosis, a treatment plan will be developed that will include treatment during this first consultation.
I use a variety of techniques during treatment. Osteopathy is an individualised approach to treatment therefore techniques differ from one person to another. I will use techniques including soft tissue massage, stretching and mobilisation. Sometimes I may suggest that manipulation or acupuncture would be beneficial, in which case i would discuss these options with you during your appointment. All techniques are gentle and effective, and are aimed at reducing pain, helping your body return to healthy function and allow you to return normal life.
By law, osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). To be eligible for registration, they must have completed an Osteopathic degree, an intensive course similar to medical degrees that take 4 or 5 years to complete.
Once registered Osteopaths must continue their education and provide evidence of learning this learning to GOsC. lasting 4 or 5 years at a registered and validated institution. In addition, they must be cleared by the Home Office Data Protection Services.