The year is 2020, we're in a new decade and yet many people are still unsure about what osteopathy is, or what it can treat. I think it's time to increase awareness and attempt to create some clarity. Please feel free to share this blog!
So what is osteopathy?
Simply put, it's a gentle and effective #healthcare specialty which places emphasis, but not limited to musculo-skeletal dysfunction. Treatments are drug-free and non-invasive. The problem is, it's actually not that simple. The principles of osteopathy focus on total body health and assisting its natural ability to heal. The body is a marvellous machine and it wants to heal itself. Osteopathy looks to improve tissue health, range of movement in joints and overall vitality. For less of a better word, it's #holistic. An osteopath should look at your #biomechanics, general health and work out the root cause of your condition.
The difficulty with trying to create a specific definition rests in the fact that the practice of osteopathy is very individualistic. We don't have fixed treatment programs for set conditions, as each person's biomechanics, reason for illness and pain beliefs are different.
Osteopaths believe that you can't treat one area of the body without having an impact on the rest of it. For example:
Should a patient present with knee pain, the osteopath will assess the knee. They will also consider referral pain from the lower back, hip, ankle and foot.
A lower back treatment may have an effect on the bowels and other local organs due to the movement and increased blood flow.
No need For a GP referral
Osteopaths undergo extensive medical training for a minimum of 4 years at university level which involves at least 1,000 hours of clinical training. Osteopaths are considered primary physicians like GP's. Our training teaches us how to take a complex medical history, assess a magnitude of conditions, create tailored treatment plans and refer to other specialities if a complaint requires further investigation, or falls outside of our scope of practice. Osteopaths work collaboratively with other specialities where required to ensure that patient care is comprehensive.
What we treat
Osteopaths are primarily trained to screen conditions involving bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves and the brain e.g,. #headaches, #arthritis, #tendinitis, #sprains and #fractures, etc. However, what people often aren't aware of is that our training ensures that we are able to safely identify and help manage a magnitude of systemic conditions e.g., Autoimmune conditions (SLE, Crohn's, MS, Rheumatoid arthritis, etc), Parkinson's, Gout, Diabetes, Asthma and much more.
Structural & Cranial Osteopaths
These are general descriptions, but simply put I describe structural osteopaths as using massage techniques, mobilisations of the joints and manipulations (the clicks). Whereas, cranial osteopaths use more gentle techniques, by applying light contact to areas of the body. Cranial osteopathy is more commonly used on babies and the very frail. Some osteopaths blend their practice by using both styles.
Please be aware that craniosacral therapy is not osteopathy. A craniosacral therapist does not undergo the same medical training as an osteopath and can not legally call themselves an osteopath.
An osteopath will review the persons habits and routine, as many things we do in our everyday lives can be the reason why we end up in pain in the first place. They may provide lifestyle advice in the form of #nutrition, #relaxation, habit breaking and #exercise.
I imagine some osteopaths reading this may say I've missed aspects out, but I feel this is a good starting point. It's a fantastic health practice with a lot to offer. It's time we let people know.
If you feel you would benefit from osteopathic treatment, you can book an appointment online at https://www.osteoandrea.com/appointments where I am available Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Saturday.
I hope you found this helpful.