So what is this Osteopathy thing?
Osteopathy is a philosophy. It is the Osteopathic way of thinking when Osteopaths treat another human-being. It includes treating the person as a whole, how our individual systems are interlinked and harmonious and how our organs, muscles, joints, blood supply, nerves, and mind all work together towards normal function. Something we refer to as ‘health’.
Yeah but, what does Osteopathy do?!
I couldn’t help myself from being a little bit ambiguous above! It is not particularly meaningful, I know, but something we get taught and told a lot.
Ultimately, for the person on the receiving end, it is a method of diagnosis and treatment, for a range of medical conditions. This often involves using our hands which is why Osteopathy is considered a ‘Manual Therapy’ or ‘Physical Therapy’.
I personally deal with musculoskeletal problems which range from sprained ankles to headaches and anything in between. Using my skills and knowledge, I discuss with you the problem, I assess and rule in/out particular problems and I treat the most likeliest cause of the problem.
Oh, OK. That makes sense. So how do you treat people and what can I expect at the first consultation?
At the initial meeting, I will invite you into my treatment room and I will systematically go through the following:
Take personal details about your work and home life to get a sense of what your body goes through on a day-to-day basis.
I will ask you to ‘tell your story’ about your problem and how it came to be. I will ask questions to ‘fill in any gaps’ so I get a clear picture of what is going on.
I will go through your medical history to understand if there is anything there that could be contributing to the problem and make sure you are safe to treat. This will include any medication, history of operations or injuries and family history. Any information you may have of these will be useful to bring along. E.g. medication prescription, scan reports etc
I will conduct a physical examination. This is to help come to a diagnosis based upon what we discussed previously. This may involve you having to undress to a degree so I can properly assess and treat you. Towels are provided to cover you where appropriate.
I will explain the most likely cause of your problem with as little medical jargon as possible! With this diagnosis we can develop a treatment plan and start there and then!
Throughout the consultation and any future treatments, I encourage you to ask questions. It helps me know that you understand what I am doing and I can clear up any areas you don’t fully understand.
Treatment itself usually involves a combination of things. The treatment can include:
Hands On - manipulation, mobilisation and massage-type work to get your joints moving freer and easier.
Exercise - tailored movement programmes to help compliment the hands-on work and the diagnosis that has been made.
Nutrition and Lifestyle Advice - work/life stress, fast food, low activity, poor nutrition etc can all have subtle negative impacts on your health and can be addressed.
Empathy & Reassurance - sounds kind of silly, but too often I hear people thinking the worst (Thanks Google!). Being listened to patiently and compassionately by a professional and getting reassurance can make a huge difference.
Wow that sounds great. So if I get a bad back I know where to come?
Yeah absolutely! I normally say, if you get any problem that lasts up to or more than a week, it is worth coming in to see me to get it sorted ASAP. What we don’t want is the problem becoming long-term. This goes for any issue, not just backs.
Oh, so what else do you help people with?
Lower back pain is by far the most common thing I see and, sadly, it can be really crippling for some people. There are so many official diagnoses, but the areas I have covered include:
Rotator Cuff Injuries in the shoulder,
General shoulder problems,
Neck strain and headaches,
‘Numb’ feelings, pins and needles and tingling sensations,
Mid back pain and/or breathing problems related to the ribs,
Hip mobility and pain problems,