Osteopathy is a form of non-invasive, hands on manual therapy that focuses on the total health of the body by treating the musculoskeletal framework (bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue). This is in order to positively affect the natural function of multiple systems of the body, which may be causing a wide range of symptoms.
Osteopaths are trained to recognise structural imperfections and restrictions in mobility which are sometimes of very small magnitude, and may be overlooked by other types of practitioners. Sometimes these structural imperfections can be corrected by simple stretching or manipulating of the soft tissues. In other cases they require mobilising techniques for their correction.
These osteopathic manoeuvres are usually gentle and seldom painful depending on the restriction.
“Osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance where possible, without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms occurring.”
The osteopath sees the body as a whole; no single part being independent of the remainder. If you attend an osteopath with neck pain, they will examine your entire structure and may end up manipulating the base of your spine, pelvis or even your feet!
Patients of all ages can benefit from osteopathy, each treatment is tailored entirely to the individual.
- Arthritic pain
- Lower back pain (+/- Sciatica)
- Neck and upper back pain
- Joint pain, including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
- Frozen shoulder/shoulder and elbow pain/tennis elbow arising from associated musculoskeltal conditions of the back and neck
- Muscle spasm
- Sports injuries and tensions
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
- Rheumatic pain
- Stiffness associated with ageing
- Nerve pain (neuralgia)
- Digestive problems
- Circulatory problems
- Migraine prevention
- Inability to relax
- Musculoskeletal symptoms associated with chronic conditions. e.g. Osteoarthritis and Asthma
What our patients say
“I am grateful to the osteopaths that helped me with my lower back, it seized whilst I was moving a pot plant and I was terrified I would have to take a lot of time off work. But the osteopaths understanding, reassurance and treatments helped to get me back to me!”
Mr Mitchell, West Sussex
At the beginning of your first visit, a full medical history is taken. Your current condition will be discussed to help understand your presenting problem, as well as questions about your general health, lifestyle, work and activities. The questions asked will help make the correct diagnosis and ensure whether osteopathic treatment is appropriate.
At this point we will run through a physical examination. You may be asked to get undressed down to your underwear, or if you would feel more comfortable, you are advised to bring shorts/leggings and a top. Your posture will be observed and we will assess how the different parts of your body are working together. Other relevant testing such as reflexes and blood pressure will be done at this point.
After examination the Osteopath will explain their findings, diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. If for any reason they feel that osteopathic treatment is not appropriate for you, then they will refer you to your GP or another appropriate specialist. Your Osteopath will try and provide an idea of how many treatments may be required and over what period. However it is not always possible to be precise, particularly if the condition has been present for many years.
The rest of the consultation will involve hands on treatment tailored to your individual requirements. Treatment generally consists of soft tissue manipulation and stretching of the muscles, ligaments and joints. Dry needling techniques may be used if appropriate, as well as manipulations (HVT’s) to ease any restrictions in the joints.
Following this, exercises and stretches may be recommended to be done at home, or your Osteopath may offer advice on posture, work and seating ergonomics.