When and Why Should You Seek an Osteopath’s Help?
Osteopathy is an evidence-based, natural form of expert manual therapy that diagnoses and manages a variety of problems, including but not restricted to:
Osteopathy uses advanced manual techniques that are clinically more effective than massage therapy or static stretching, which means there could be less time spent in the treatment room. Osteopaths are renowned for their back and neck pain management, however, we specialise in the diagnosis of all joints. I, for one, had a patient with a toe injury for my final exam!
Why Should you use an Osteopath?
Osteopathy boasts better results than simple massage, acupuncture and exercise-based therapy. The way we articulate and manipulate joints creates more of a change than all of their modalities mentioned above. Osteopaths also take time to listen to their patients – at the Movement and Wellbeing Clinic we allow up to 30 mins per appointment, so we can not only get to know the patient but also get to know their specific individual symptoms; each and every person is different and they should be treated this way.
When is the right time to use an Osteopath?
For management of emergency cases
When patients have ‘pulled’ their back and are struggling to walk or function. Osteopathy is great as the first response to these cases. We are equipped with the tools and knowledge that is most appropriate to use at certain times in the process. For example, you don’t want to destabilise an acute disc prolapse by adding too much movement to the joints, so we initially work on pain reduction techniques. Conversely, with an acute lower back muscle pull (which can be just as painful), we appropriately assess and deliver passive movement-based techniques to soften the muscles in the fastest way possible alongside other strong pain reduction modalities.
Management of chronic cases
Chronic cases are when patients have had pain for months and have struggled with exercise-based techniques. With these cases it is essential the diagnosis is correct, as sometimes the problem may not be something which is appropriate for osteopathic management. Once this has been established we can put a holistic management plan in place, which includes modalities such as manual therapy, postural cues/adjustments to ease the pressure over other joints, diet/sleep advice, and appropriate exercises to facilitate a better holistic biomechanical balance to reduce overloading of the joint in dysfunction.
As they say, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Seeing your osteopath every so often (depending on your predisposition to injury) can significantly reduce your potential for serious injury, long-term wear and tear of the joints (e.g osteoarthritis), and help optimise your body.
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BY: Ed Madeley
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