How do we treat?
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its physical structure must work well. Treatment aims to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension and enhance the blood and nerve supply to the tissues. To effect change to these tissues we work on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the skeletal system.
A variety of techniques may be used, depending on the patient’s age, diagnosis, medical history and many other variables. We always try and find the most effective way of treating everyone.
One of the phrases used by osteopaths is “Find it, fix it and leave it alone”. We’d like to think that once we have finished treatment, everyone should be able to maintain their improvement and good health without constant maintenance from us. Occasionally however some patients may need a few treatments through the year, this is usually due to the repetitive nature of modern life, be that occupational, postural or sports related.
We all use a variety of osteopathic treatment techniques. Because each patient requires a different approach, each treatment session will vary in which techniques are used. Below is a list of the commonly used techniques:
- Gentle massage
- Deep tissue inhibition on trigger points in muscles
- Stretching and mobilising the muscles and joints
- Manipulation of joints (sometimes known as adjustments, where you may hear a clicking)
- Cranial osteopathy
- Visceral osteopathy (working on improving the function of the internal organs)
- Exercise prescription – could be stretches, strengthening exercises or simple life style and postural advice
What do we treat?
- Neck, upper back and ribs, whiplash
- Low back, pelvic joints and hips
- Sciatica and other nerve issues – pins and needles, numbness
- Headaches and migraines
- TMJ (jaw problems)
- Shoulders, (including rotator cuff strains)
- Elbows (includes tennis and golfer elbow)
- Wrists and hands
- Hips, knees, ankles and feet, (including twisted ankles and plantar fasciitis)
- Children and babies – reflux, problems feeding, bed wetting
- Pain and stiffness from arthritic conditions
- ME/Chronic fatigue
- Post-operative muscle tension and weakness
What to expect on your first visit
History: We like to have a one hour appointment the first time we meet a patient. We take time to listen to you and ask questions about not only the problem that brought you to us, but to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine.
We’ll ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give clues to help our diagnosis.
We may do some orthopaedic tests such as checking your reflexes. We may also take your blood pressure and refer you for clinical tests, such as x-rays, if we think you need them.
Your posture: We will look at your posture and how you move your body. We want to find out what quality and range of movement you have, without making you sore.
Using palpation, we will be able to find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what’s going on So we will feel the skin and muscle tone, how the joints move and assess what we need to do to help you.
When we have done this, we should be able to diagnose your condition and discuss with you how we think we should treat you, what you should expect from treatment. We will endeavour to keep you fully informed during the entire time that we are treating you so that you know what we are doing.
We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your GP or another specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon.