What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a physical therapy based on a wholistic approach for the treatment of common muscular, joint and visceral disorders, using an established system of clinical diagnosis and manual treatment. You do not need a referral to see an osteopath, and usually there are no waiting lists. Osteopathy has been endorsed by NICE, the Institute of Clinical Excellency as a therapy, for back pain relief.
Most people associate osteopathy with its effectiveness in the treatment of back pain, but this not all. Osteopaths look at the relationship between the different parts of the body. For example the nervous, vascular and muscular systems are interrelated. The function of these systems affect every cell in the body. To help improve function, the osteopath corrects structural, visceral, and postural imbalances, to assist the body's self regulatory mechanisms in healing itself, or to suggest further investigations, such as blood tests, X-R or MRI scan.
Osteopathy for work:
The Health and Safety Executive estimates that in 2013/14, there were 526,000 cases of work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – about 42% of all work related illnesses
MSDs are the second biggest cause of absence from work, affecting over 1m people at a cost to the economy (estimated in 2007) of £7bn.
If you are self-employed, taking time off work with musculoskeletal problems can have a devastating effect on you and your family’s financial security, so getting back to work as quickly as possible is essential. That can seem impossible when you are in pain and unable to complete your usual daily activities, but movement really helps.
The Work Foundation recommend that you work with your employers and healthcare professionals if affected by MSDs, to find ways of returning to work as soon as possible, using a combination of treatment, lifestyle changes and adjustment to working conditions. They also suggest that early intervention is key to recovery, hastening your return to a normal, healthy lifestyle and limiting the negative psychological effects of an extended period of sick leave.
How our osteopaths can help:
• Fast access – our osteopaths are usually able to see you the same day or within a couple of days of seeking an appointment. As osteopaths are primary healthcare professionals you don’t need to be referred by a GP unless you are seeking NHS funded treatment or your health insurance provider insists that you see a GP first.
• Treatment and advice – once they have assessed your condition an osteopath will usually begin treatment straight away. They can also provide advice on how to avoid making the condition worse or re-injuring yourself.
• Inexpensive treatment – Many MSDs can be treated by osteopaths over a few visits. Treatment costs at present are £50.00 first time and follow ups £ 45.00 per session, which compared to loss of earnings or productivity is a worthwhile investment to help you return to work promptly.
• Fit notes – A fit note provides your employer with advice on what they can do to help you return safely to work. This may include adjustments to working conditions, such as reduced hours, a different work station set up, or recommending avoiding activities that may prevent or slow down recovery, heavy lifting being an example. Osteopaths are able to issue fit notes which will give employers this expert advice.
• Onward referral – With your permission, we are/ I am able to share information about your health with other healthcare professionals, such as your GP. If your condition requires the intervention of another expert, we/I can provide a referral letter detailing the diagnosis and any treatment that we/I have been able to provide, which may help you to quickly get the help you need to return to health.
The Art and Science of Osteopathy
The most common conditions that benefit from osteopathy are:
Your first visit:
At your first visit, the osteopath takes a detailed medical history to discuss and ascertain the cause of the presenting problem. Details of your general health, past and present, stress levels, occupation and lifestyle and stress levels are considered. These last two are important, because you could be straining different areas of your body. For example a teacher in charge of infants, over a period of time, can develop chronic back pain, caused and maintained by frequent bending forward.
A desk worker may be prone to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and tension, after spending many hours in front of a bright computer screen.
The osteopathic examination:
Depending on the area being treated, you may need to undress to your underwear. Here we provide a screen, and a towel if needed.
Osteopathic assessment usually includes a series of standard orthopaedic tests. These are for ascertaining the range of motion of the joints, especially those related to your problem. Deep tendon reflexes are taken when necessary.
Postural assessment gives valuable information about your body framework. Here we can find areas affected by injury, disease, overuse and long term misuse of muscles, or congenital conditions such as scoliosis.
Palpation is another valuable osteopathic tool. Feeling with the hands gives valuable information about the tissues, the position of the joints, and the likely cause of the problem.
The Osteopathic Diagnosis:
After gathering all the information, a diagnosis can be made, and the findings explained as to what may be causing the pain; for example herniated discs, pulled or strained muscles, short or strained ligaments. It is important to understand why the problem has developed, why it has become chronic, and the necessary steps to follow to correct it, by osteopathic manipulation, exercise, and addressing postural, lifestyle issues that may be affecting the body.
If treatment is not indicated, then with the patient's consent the osteopath would write to their GP for more information about their health, or suggest further investigations such as blood tests, X-R or MRI scans.Osteopathy for work
Osteopathy is a manual therapy, and the techniques selected are unique to your problem. The choice could be between standard osteopathic techniques such as the traditional osteopathic manipulation or thrust (click) technique for releasing joint problems. The latter is a swift and painless manipulation, which can be effective in freeing a stuck joint on the spine or any joint in the body. In most cases, it reduces the pain and restriction almost immediately.
There are many manual methods to assist and align the body. Soft tissue manipulation, which is very effective in releasing muscles and ligamentous restrictions, articulation techniques, or other forms of manipulation like neuromuscular techniques, muscle energy techniques, traction, strain-counterstrain and harmonic techniques.
The follow up:
After the treatment, it is possible to advise how many treatments may be needed, as well as their frequency.
Based on experience and feedback from the patient the osteopath can suggest a course of treatments to assist recovery. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need several treatments. It is important to follow the osteopath's advice to achieve recovery, and prevent recurrence.
In chronic or recurring cases about four to six treatments might be needed, over a period of six to eight weeks. About 20% of new patients need only one treatment.
Side effects following osteopathic treatment:
Some may experience aggravation of the symptoms, usually for a day. Soreness might be felt around the areas where motion was restricted. In cases of concern, telephone the practice.
Private health insurance - Norwich Union, Simply Health.
The practitioners are:
Mrs Salome Olivia, registered with The General Osteopathic Council, and member of the following associations:
The Institute of Osteopathy
The Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy.
The International Cranial Association.
The British Medical Acupuncture Society
68 Melfort Road
Telephone 0208 684 3888.
Mobile: 079 664 537 96
The General Osteopathic Council
Institute of Osteopathy