Osteopathy is a health care system that lays emphasis on all structural and mechanical elements of the body. The bones, muscles and joints are collectively known as the musculo-skeletal system, and osteopaths are primarily concerned with how this system can function at an optimal and pain-free level. When the structure of a body is functioning correctly, there should be a minimal amount of wear and stress on these tissues.
Our bodies are subject to many kinds of stress (physical and emotional) every minute of the day. We are designed to combat these assaults through tissue repair; a healthy immune system; enough sleep and optimal nutrition. It is only when the stress is excessive or when the body’s normal defense or repair mechanisms are impaired that symptoms and disease occur. This is when treatment becomes necessary.
By taking a full and comprehensive case history and examining the body’s structure and function, the Osteopath first seeks to establish the source of the symptoms. However, treatment will not only be directed at the symptomatic area, but will also aim to address the factors that may have pre-disposed the mechanical dysfunction. The body can then continue its job of self-healing and tissue repair.
Treatment is usually gentle and should not be painful. Most osteopaths use a combination of soft-tissue massage type techniques; gentle joint articulation and mobilisation, and, if indicated, joint manipulation. Advice on life-style, activities and exercise are also given. We have a good working relationship with all GP practices and hospitals in our area, and if a referral or further investigation is indicated, this is done following consultation, examination and discussion with the patient. Every patient consultation and treatment session is strictly confidential, and all registered osteopaths within the practice abide by a strict ethical code of conduct.
On the first consultation the Osteopath will take a case history that will include questions about a patient’s general health, medical history and present complaint. The patient will then be asked to undress to their underwear and examined to see if the presenting problem is suitable for osteopathic treatment. After a diagnosis has been made the patient will be informed of the proposed treatment plan, including an estimate of the likely time-scale. If osteopathic treatment is appropriate it will start at this time. If osteopathic treatment is considered unsuitable the osteopath will discuss this and the best course of action. Learn more about first visits including Frequently Asked Questions at our New Patients Page.
Not Only Backs
Although osteopaths treat many patients with back pain and sciatica, there are numerous other complaints that can be helped by osteopathic treatment. These may include postural and traumatic conditions of the neck, upper and lower limbs as well as the spine. Sports injuries and occupational stresses often respond well to osteopathic treatment, as do many post-operative conditions where immobilisation has occurred (such as joint replacement or fracture repair).
See our Treatments Page for more detail.
The principles of osteopathic diagnosis and treatment lend themselves particularly well to the treatment of sports injuries. Emphasis is placed on rehabilitation and the prevention of injury within the framework of an early return to sporting activity. At the practice we have experience in treatment of athletes at local, national and international levels across a range of sports.
Further information on Osteopathy, Qualifications and the registration process can be found by contacting the following organisations:
BSO – The British School of Osteopathy
BOA – The British Osteopathic Association
GOsC – The General Osteopathic Council