Osteopathy is a flourishing healthcare profession in uk with more than 30,000 people consulting osteopaths each day. Regulated by statute under the osteopaths act 1993, UK osteopaths are subject to a clear structure of training, supervision and professional development.
Osteopathy is the first call for a majority of patients GPs increasingly referring patients for osteopathic treatment. Osteopathy emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease. Osteopathy uses a holistic approach and skilled use of a range of manual treatment in the prevention and treatment of various disorders.
The Osteopath should have undergone an extensive four year full-time training including anatomy, physiology and pathology. This helps the osteopath to analyse and diagnose your condition, using a variety of clinical skills, backed up where necessary by X ray examination and other biochemical tests. When a full diagnosis has been made the osteopath will explain the problem and then commence with a treatment plan.
Your first visit
Your first visit will last forty five minutes to an hour. On your initial consultation you will be asked about your presenting symptoms, your general health, your past medical history and any medication you are taking. An examination will be carried out and you will be asked to perform a few simple movements so the osteopath can assess the problem.
The practitioner will than carry out orthopaedic and osteopathic tests.
After going through your medical history and examination he will make a diagnosis and discuss it with you. Osteopathic treatment involves relaxing muscles and stiff joints using various massage and Osteopathic techniques.The Osteopath may carry out manipulation using short, quick movements to spinal joints.
What conditions does an osteopath treat?
- Arthritis (or Osteoarthritis)
- Back pain
- Frozen shoulder and shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Slipped or Herniated disc
- Tennis and golfers elbow
- Sport Injury
- Leg pain (Hip,knee,ankle and foot pain)
- RSI (Repetitive strain injury)
- Back pain in pregnancy
Arthritis or osteoarthritis is the result of normal wear and tear of the joint surface (not to be confused with some case of arthritis that are a result of disease processes affecting the joint surface).
Osteoarthritis is a normal process associated withageing. Osteoarhritis lead to stiffness and restriction of movement of the joints, plus muscular aches and pains. Osteopathic and acupuncture treatment would help reduce stiffness and restore movement of the joint.
Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. From ligament strain to muscle spasm to disc herniations. Eight out of ten adults will suffer from back pain during their life. Due to our life style and lack of exercise muscles in the back become weak. The spine without the support of the muscles is now prone to injury. The strain than falls deeper into the surrounding ligaments and inter-vertebral discs. The disc is now susceptible to strains and herniations. This in turn leads to trapped nerves and weakness of muscles thereby setting up a vicious cycle of pain. In many cases, back pain is a result of the patient overstraining one or more of the structural components in the back. Most cases, whilst very painful,are not serious if seen promptly.
Our advice is to see an osteopath/acupuncturist as soon as back pain starts.He will diagnose your condition and treat accordingly. He will advise you on lifestyle and exercise. Osteopathic and acupuncture treatment will help to reduce muscle spasm and aid recovery.
All the large joints in the human body have muscles and capsules around them. Sometimes the surface of the capsules “stick” to each other and stops the joint from moving freely. This is known as adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. This occurs mainly between the ages of 40- 60 and the causes are unknown. Osteopathic mobilization, acupuncture and electrotherapy together with correct exercises are prescribed to improve the overall function and movement of the joint.
Osteopathy will help mobilize the joint, Acupuncture will help with healing and electrotherapy will reduce muscle tightness. The combination of the above will aid rapid recovery and help you back to active lifestyle.
Headache can affect any part of the head and upper part of the neck. It can be mild or severe. Most headaches are not serious and can be relieved by mild painkillers. A lot of causes are cervicogenic (origins from the neck). The nerve supply to the head comes from upper cervical spine (upper part of the neck). Muscles in the neck can stiffen and tighten which can compress the spinal nerves. Any compression of these nerves can lead to headaches.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A DOCTOR
The onset is sudden and severe accompanied by vomiting and nausea.
A high fever with neck stiffness.
Headaches accompanied by visual disturbance.
Loss of feeling in arms and legs.
Difficulty in communication.
Treatment is geared towards restoring normal function of the spine. Osteopathic spinal adjustment, deep tissue massage, electrotherapy and acupuncture is used to relax muscles and help blood flow.
Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Most causes of neck pain are not serious and can be caused by poor posture at work or from injury. Neck pain can arise from a number of disorders and disease of any tissue in the neck such as muscles, ligaments and nerves.
Most common causes are soft tissue abnormalities due to injury or prolonged wear and tear.In rare cases infection or tumour may be the cause of neck pain. In some cases it may cause pain in the arms and shoulders.
The term sciatica describes leg pain and sometimes tingling along the path of the sciatic nerve. There may be weakness and pain which travels from the low back through the buttocks and into the calf. The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or a herniated disc. This bulge compresses the sciatic nerve causing pain.
Degenerative disc disease can also cause sciatica, while conditions that mimic sciatica include piriformis syndrome and sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. Sciatica can also be caused by mechanical irritation from spondylolisthesis, spinal canal stenosis or arthritis of the spine.
If weakness and numbness is present the nerve may be demaged and you should seek attention from a health care professional.
If there is bladder or bowel incontinence (inability to control bowel or bladder) and /or progressive muscle weakness you must seek immediate medical attention.
A combination of osteopathic mobilization and acupuncture would be recommended for acute, sub-acute and chronic sciatica.
Inter-vertebral discs are protective shock absorbing pads between the vertebrae (bones in the spine). Although they do not slip, a disc may rupture. This allows a jelly like substance to escape into the surrounding tissues. This substance can than cause pressure to the cord or a single nerve root. This condition is called a ” slipped ” or a herniated disc.
Tennis elbow sometimes called lateral epicondylitis is pain on the outside or lateral side of the elbow. It is common amongst tennis players hence the name. It can vary from mild to severe and can last from two months to two years. Osteopathic mobilization and acupuncture treatment has been proven to be a very effective combination for this condition.
Golfers elbow is pain on the inside or medial aspect of the elbow. The flexor tendons can become strained and inflamed at their insertion on the inner side of the elbow. Again the combination of osteopathy and acupuncture is recommended for this condition.
Exercise is good for you but sometimes it can lead to injuries . Poor technique or improper gear can also lead to injuries . Not warming up or not stretching correctly can cause injuries .Our advice is if it hurts stop playing.
Treatment begins with RICE:
The above will help reduce swelling, improve blood flow and speed up healing . Osteopathic and acupuncture treatment, and correct rehabilitation will stop further deterioration of the condition. Whether you are new to sports or a professional athlete you can get injured. Prompt attention would save a lifetime of dysfunctional joints and muscles.