How Does It Work?
Utilising a highly developed sense of touch, Osteopaths identify specific problem areas but focus in on the spine. Working with their hands, they use a wide variety of treatment methods including soft-tissue techniques, rhythmic joint mobilisation and high velocity thrust techniques, all of which are designed to improve mobility and increase the range of movement in a joint.
The movement of body fluids is also essential to the up keeping of a healthy body and your nerves play a crucial part in controlling them. By administering such a broad range of techniques, it helps keep your somatic nervous system in good working order, preventing it from becoming distorted and triggering disease.
To fully assess your condition, you'll normally be asked to strip down to your underwear before being asked to perform a simple series of movements such as bending forwards and backwards, so try and leave your inhibitions at the door; it’ll make the process much easier.
Treatments usually last up to half an hour, and normally between 2 and 6 sessions are required, so your therapist will get used to seeing you in your undies anyway. Many patients also decide to continue having periodic preventative treatments to avoid recurring problems.
Is it for me?
Back, shoulder and neck pain are the most common problems treated by osteopaths, but it can also help with asthma, constipation, Repetitive Strain Injury, glue ear, arthritis, sports injuries, pain and posture changes during pregnancy. It can even be used for babies with colic or sleeplessness.
The treatment should be avoided by anyone suffering from severe osteoporosis, joint inflammation, bone infections, tumours, circulatory problems or a recent fracture and should not be used if you have a slipped disc.
And remember - don’t run before you can walk! For best results, exercise or other treatments are not recommended within 48 hours of treatment.
Good to Know
American doctor, Andrew Taylor Still devised osteopathy back in 1874. He wanted to emphasise the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship between the body’s muscles, bones and joints.