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Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy. This means after assessing the problem the therapist will use their hands to provide treatment. One of the main principles of osteopathy is that the body can heal itself given the right conditions. Through improving function of joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves symptoms can be alleviated.
Techniques may include focused massage, tendon pressure, muscle energy techniques.
If appropriate, clinically safe and if a person is agreeable, a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) movement ("click" or "thrust") may be used to help relieve symptoms. It is important to note that a very successful treatment can be given without "clicks" or "thrusts".
Your first appointment will involve an interview (history) about the main problem and going through existing and past medical problems.
This will be followed by a physical assessment to diagnose the problem. There will usually be time to provide treatment and advice.
Further appointments if required will involve a quicker assessment and continuation of treatment and advice.
After treatment some people feel some mild discomfort or worsening of their symptoms. Usually this improves over 24-48 hours and a person will subsequently feel better than before the treatment. Occasionally you may feel better immediately after the treatment.
Get in touch with me or seek medical advice if after treatment you experience new nerve problems, visual problems, worsening headaches. If in doubt, it's best to speak to someone.
For the scientists amongst us who may want to see evidence based research there are difficulties getting high quality evidence for osteopathy. It is difficult to do a double blind controlled study (the highest level of research) as a patient will know whether or not they are having manual therapy (compare this to a placebo pill versus a real pill) In spite of this there is good evidence manual therapy such as osteopathy produces physical changes to the body. Manual therapy is now included in NICE (National Institue of Clinical Excellence) guidelines for the management of back pain.
Osteopathy is a protected title.
Only practitioners registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and appropriate training may use the title. In order to remain registered an osteopath has to keep up to date with set standards and provide evidence of ongoing learning.
Find out more at: osteopathy.org.uk
Q: DOES IT HURT?
A: No - it shouldn't hurt, but sometimes may be uncomfortable for brief periods. If the treatment is too intense, tell your osteopath and they will alter their approach.
Q: WHAT DO I WEAR?
A: Sometimes clothing needs to be removed for effective treatment. You are welcome to wear or bring a vest, light T-shirt or light shorts/leggings.
Your comfort and dignity are paramount therefore if you do not wish to remove coverings or clothing for any reason let me know and we can work around it.