What is an osteopath?
Osteopathy is a system of manual medicine where the hands are used to diagnose and treat. There are no harmful side-effects, and osteopaths are taught to use minimal force.
It is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues all functioning smoothly together.
Osteopathy developed in the late 19th century by an American doctor, Dr. A. T. Still, who saw the body as a finely tuned, fully integrated machine, not a collection of parts. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and works with the structure and function of the body.
Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints; relieve muscle tension; enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and helps your body’s own healing mechanisms. Postural advice, stretches and exercises will also be given to aid recovery, promote a return to full health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Osteopaths believe that a problem with the mechanical structure of the body will impair its function, but that the body will heal itself if it is given the right circumstances.
Osteopathic treatment helps the body heal itself, so treatment is a partnership between the patient and the practitioner. What the patient does with their body on a daily basis will either enable a faster or slower recovery, thereby requiring fewer treatments.
Who can benefit?
Everyone can benefit from osteopathy and typical patients include the young, older people, people with physical jobs, office professionals, pregnant women, and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, repetitive strain injury, changes to posture in pregnancy, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, arthritic pain and sports injuries of all kinds.
Common problems that osteopathy can assist with:-