The osteopathic approach to health-care is founded on the understanding that the health of an individual is reliant on the harmonious interaction and function of all anatomical and physiological systems. The body has its own inherent mechanisms to maintain health, called homeostasis, which includes the immune system. Injury, pain, and disease occurs when restriction and lack of movement between the systems obstructs the fine homeostatic balance. Osteopathic treatment is aimed at balancing and maintaining these homeostatic capabilities via the musculoskeletal system, allowing the body to heal itself.
As pain is purely a symptom of an imbalance to this homeostatic capability, an osteopath aims to diagnose and treat the cause of someone’s pain. Because of this, an osteopathic examination includes testing the movement and function of the specific area of pain, as well as surrounding anatomical structures, and any changes to your body’s biomechanics. Orthopaedic, neurological and systemic examinations are also carried out if required, and referrals to other specialists if needed.
Osteopaths can help everyone. Osteopaths treat adults, children, babies, and pre/post natal women, the old, the young, the healthy and the unhealthy. They treat your sport and recreational injury, chronic and acute musculoskeletal conditions, as well as the symptoms of various systemic conditions. The wide spectrum of conditions and ages treated is due to the variety of techniques and approaches practised by osteopaths, as well as the osteopathic principles themselves: aiming at stimulating the self-healing mechanisms, inherent in everyone.
Not only that, but whether you are injured or not, diagnosed with a condition or relatively healthy, osteopathy can help you by improving your health and quality of life. This is achieved by addressing and treating areas of dysfunction and postural change, which means that your body can be not just healthy, but optimally healthy. In this way you can continue to enjoy the activities you love, pain free.
There are 5 steps to healing: pain relief, correction, maintenance, prevention, and optimal health
1) Treatment for pain relief addresses the symptomatic side of your condition or problem. The first step is reducing inflammation, improving tissue quality and increasing joint movement.
2) Correction addresses the cause of your symptoms: improving mechanics, posture, circulation, and mobility in your whole body. This would probably include specific exercises and stretching.
3) Maintenance entails regular treatment to deal with the problems that arise from the everyday stresses of life – any fixed and repetitive movements and postures can lead to problems.
Maintenance also aims to preserve mobility and a pain-free state of the body from chronic or systemic conditions – such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or degenerative changes.
4) Prevention aims to improve mobility and maintain a pain-free state from chronic or systemic conditions – such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or degenerative changes.
To avoid problems occurring or reoccurring prevention is aided by the body’s flexibility, strength, stability, and movement.
5) Optimal health arises naturally from the fact a person’s body is able to function at its best, so all physiological processes proceed un-inhibited by restriction or loss of motion.