What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a safe, natural, and effective approach for the treatment and management of pain, injury, stress and disease. Using their hands, various tests and visual assessment Osteopaths attempt to identify the root cause of the problem (which is often not the actual site of pain or injury) and using a great variety of techniques facilitate the body's innate ability to heal itself. Osteopaths assess and diagnose by using palpation (highly developed sense of touch), movement analysis and visual assessment of:

  • Bones - position, and fluid dynamics.
  • Joints - position, degeneration, stress, strength, alignment, movement
  • Fascia (the connective tissue which covers all parts of the body) - fluid dynamics, tension, and capacity.
  • Muscle - tone, strength, size, and imbalance. Osteopaths have detailed knowledge of all the muscles of the body including how to test for dysfunction, and how to get them better!
  • Ligaments - tension and imbalance
  • Viscera (organs) - by assessing the fascial and ligamentous attachments - looking for tension, torsion, and position.

Involuntary Motion (IVM) - this is palpated for using Cranial Osteopathic techniques and is analogous to the involuntary mechanism of breathing, but pertaining to the movements of fluids, connective tissues and bones in the body. Osteopaths treat problems by working on these structures to improve your body’s function, and vice versa. This in turn decreases the likelihood of poor function, wear and tear and pain. The combination of current up-to-date medical and scientific knowledge with Osteopathic treatment methods results in a safe, natural, and effective approach for the treatment and management of pain, injury, stress and disease. This way of thinking is what makes Osteopathy unique, and the correction and balancing of the musculoskeletal system is our main aim in practice.

Osteopathy literally translates as osteo- (bone), -pathy (disease and dysfunction). However, Osteopathy is not just about bones as its name suggests. In fact the name Osteopathy was not meant to taken literally by its founder A.T. Still, but is a metaphor to signify the usefulness of the body’s external structure as a way of highlighting disease and dysfunction both within the external and internal functioning of the body. Whether you have a long-term chronic low back pain or have just woken up with a sore neck, we have the time to listen and the professional skills needed to provide the best course of treatment.

What does treatment aim to achieve?

Osteopaths work to achieve a state of dynamic equilibrium and balance for an individual at any given time. This optimal balance leaves you with increased energy and vitality to get on with the things you enjoy most in life. It also minimises wear and tear so that future problems can be prevented. Osteopaths have indepth knowledge of the Anatomy & Physiology, Diagnosis and Pathology related to the human body, hence are ideally suited to improving the structure and function of your body. Concentrates on getting you better and putting in place all the things needed for optimum health. Therefore, due to the holistic approach used, things which may have been deemed unimportant at the time of occurrence may be enquired about. Treatment is gentle, effective, and very often painless. The aims can be summarised as:

  • Getting you better
  • Identification of the underlying causative factors
  • Provide advice and support
  • Enable the patient to have greater control over their health
  • Reduce the symptoms i.e. pain. Improve the health and quality of life
  • Prevent recurrences
  • Prevent problems elsewhere arising from the impaired and altered function due to the original complaint

About The Osteopathic Professsion

Britain's Osteopaths provide in excess of 8 million consultations a year, providing effective solutions to peoples health issues. Osteopathy often helps rapidly, with the average number of sessions varying depending upon a multitude of factors but is often between 2-6. Hence, some people need more and some less. The Department of Health recommends patients don't delay in seeing a practitioner for the prompt treatment of back pain.

The Osteopathic profession and the title of Osteopath is governed, protected and maintained by The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), in the United Kingdom under the 1993 Osteopaths Act. All Osteopaths in the UK have to be registered with the GOsC. The British Medical Association’s guidance for general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths.

Techniques used may include:

  • Mobilisation - of joints and viscera
  • Harmonic mobilisation
  • Joint Manipulation / Thrust techniques
  • Myofascial, Fascial, and Musculo-tendinous Release
  • NMT - Neuromuscular Technique
  • MET - Muscle Energy Techniques
  • PNF - Proproiceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
  • BLT - Balanced Ligamentous Tension
  • STT - Soft Tissue Techniques / Massage
  • Strain / Counterstrain
  • Functional technique
  • Visceral Osteopathy
  • Cranial Osteopathy
  • Lymphatic treatment (including manual lymphatic drainage) - increasing drainage of congested waste materials, nutrients, and
  • fluid flow.
  • Exercise Prescription - appropriate exercises designed to suit your individual needs, such as: stretching, advice on cardiovascular
  • exercise programmes, muscle strengthening, addressing muscle imbalance.
  • Hydrotherapy - the use of hot, cold and contrast packs or water, wraps, towels to applied to the body.
  • Trigger / Tender point therapy
  • Kinetic myofascial (muscle and fascia) chain work
  • Rehabilitation from injury - using combination of Osteopathic techniques, Naturopathy and exercise therapy.
  • Postural assessment and exercises
  • Biomechanical assessment
  • Gait Analysis
  • Ergonomic advice - at work or during leisure / sporting activities

Conditions Treated Using Osteopathy

Osteopaths treat a variety of common conditions including:

  • Aches and Pains e.g in the Spine (Neck - Cervical, Mid-back-Thoracic, and Low-back-Lumbar, Ribs, Sternum (breastbone), Cranium (head), Shoulders, Arms, Elbows, Forearms, Wrists and Hands, Pelvis & Hips, Thighs, Knees, Legs, Ankles and Feet;and associated tissues.
  • Arthritic Pain
  • Backache / Back Pain
  • Biomechanical problems
  • Changes to posture in pregnancy
  • Circulatory Problems (Poor Circulation)
  • Digestive Problems
  • Fibromyalgia (Fibrositis)
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
  • Ilio-tibial band syndrome
  • Inability to relax
  • Joint Pain
  • Ligament sprains and injuries
  • Lumbago / Lower back pain and stiffness
  • Muscle Strains, Spasms, Cramp
  • Muscular injuries (i.e. Rotator Cuff shoulder problems)
  • Nerve Entrapment Syndromes
  • Neuralgia
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Posture related problems
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Rheumatic Pain / Rheumatism
  • Disc injuries including Sciatica
  • Sports Injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Tension e.g. in the neck and shoulders
  • Work related stresses and strains

Patients have found Osteopathy & Naturopathy helpful for many conditions. If you want to find out more please phone 07941012514 and Matthew will be more than happy to advise you as to whether he can help.

"Osteopathy is the approved primary approach for many acute and chronic problems including low back pain".

Don't put up with injury, pain and sub-optimal function - phone us today to see if we can help!