Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine is based on anatomy and physiology and the same knowledge as traditional medicine. The difference is that the treatment is done only with hands. Osteopaths are musculo-skeletal experts, but this does not confine them to only treat the musculo-skeletela system. On the contrary – it allows the deeper structures and tissues to be treated, using the ‘superficial’ muscles and bones. For example, freeing the ribs, the diaphragm, the shoulders and the neck, allows the respiratory system to function better, which in turn improves the circulation and so on. Or the other way around – improved circulation and lymph drainage reduces inflammation in the joints and muscles, and accelarates thier healing.

Using exactly those close connections in the body, the osteopaths strives to improve the functioning of all systems and tissues, associated with a certain complaint and the reasons for it. Thus, osteopaths are qualified to diagnose and treat many different acute or chronic conditions – from sports injuries and arthritis, to the symptoms of digestive conditions, headaches, and sleep disorders.

Osteopaths will diagnose and relieve the symptoms of a wide range of musculoskeletal and systemic conditions. Amongst many other problems osteopaths can treat:

• Joint pain, generalised aches and pains, muscle spasm
• Back and neck pain
• Joint pain such as: hip, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand pain
• Muscle/tendon pain such as: tears, strains, injury
• Neuromuscular conditions
• Neuralgia
• Digestive conditions
• Headaches and migraines
• Inability to relax
• Anxiety and depression
• Sleep problems
• Arthritis
• Rheumatic pain
• Frozen shoulder
• Tennis elbow and golfers elbow
• Circulatory problems
• Cramp
• Sciatica
• Fibromyalgia
• Sports injury and tension

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 finally optimal health.

1) Treatment for pain relief addresses the symptomatic side of your condition or problem

2) Correction aims treat the cause of your symptoms. This may mean you will be referred to other experts, such as for orthopaedic consultation, imaging, or medication

3) Maintenance entails regular treatment to deal with the problems that arise from the everyday stresses of life, or to maintain mobility and a pain-free state from a chronic condition or problem – such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME)

4) Prevention is addressing postural restrictions and dysfunction so that problems do not occur or reoccur

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

These levels of treatment will be incorporated into your treatment plan, which in turn is dependent on how much time, effort, and of course money, that you are able to put into their overall health and wellbeing.