The art and science of osteopathy
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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.
The most common conditions that benefit from osteopathy are:
If you prefer bring some shorts or leggings, you usually need to undress down to your undergarments
Your first visit:
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.
_CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES AND ADULTS
Cranial osteopathy is branch of osteopathy using refined and subtle manual techniques to encourage the body to release stresses, not only in the head, but anywhere in the body.
During assessment, the osteopath will check for restrictions of the involuntary rhythms in the body. The subtle techniques identify restrictions within the central nervous system, and encourage normal movement in the involuntary , as well as in the mechanics of the joints of the body, including the skull.
The skull is made of 26 bones which are interlinked to express rhythmical cycles of involuntary motion. Impacts to the head or to any part of the spine can block and restrict these gentle movements.
Lack of motion may cause a variety of problems, not only in the head but elsewhere in the body.
A cranial osteopath, is trained to feel this involuntary motion in the tissues, and accordingly apply techniques to help the body to correct from within.
Cranial Osteopathy for Unsettled Babies
I routinely receive calls from distressed parents seeking help for an unsettled, screaming baby . Usually, the baby has been assessed by their general practitioner, paediatrician, health visitor, and no reason has been found for the problem.
There is no agreement as to why a healthy child should be miserable and unsettled. What most have observed is that it may be related to feeding, either by either breast or formula.
If breastfed, certain foods eaten by the mother may upset the digestive system of the baby. The digestive system of some premature and full term babies are not mature enough to digest milk, leading to fermentation and gas.
Another reason that might explain why a healthy baby cries or/and gets upset after a feed is lactose intolerance and lactose overload. Lactose intolerance occurs when the baby's gut does not produce the enzyme Lactase to break down the sugars in the milk. Lactose overload occurs when the breastfed baby takes mostly the fore milk , that is low in fat, leaving the hind milk rich in fat. These babies usually feed fast and frequently. In lactose overload the gut is producing normal lactase.
Flatulence is believed to cause discomfort/pain in a baby. A small or premature baby may have a small mouth and have difficulty covering the breast aureola and ends up swallowing air. The advice is to see that the child latches on well and that the lips cover the aureola.
In a premature or small babies or children with developmental problems, suckling may be weak and they therefore get tired after a short time. During the osteopathic examination I often find that the hypoglossal nerves that supply the muscles of the tongue are irritated and therefore latching on is difficult.
An osteopathic examination includes the following:
All the structures related to swallowing, suckling and breathing, including motion of ribs, clavicles and diaphragm, the contents of the abdomen and position of the umbilicus, drainage of fluids from the head, neck, abdomen and motion and position of every vertebra.
Cranial restrictions or tension in individual bones or between the bones of the head, particularly where the skull joins the neck.
Airways need to be open. For example, when breastfeeding with a blocked nostril, the baby needs stop to breathe though the mouth. The problem may be the face, neck or chest.
Osteopathic treatment for children is carried out by applying gentle techniques over the areas relating to the problem.
The most common conditions to help children with are:
1. Possetting or regurgitation
2. Grumpy and tense children
3. Difficult birth
4. Forceps or ventouse used during delivery
5. Teething discomfort
6. Odd head shapes
7. Delayed progress e.g . not crawling or walking at the expected age.
8. Respiratory problems linked to asthma, the chest and neck muscles may be tense.
10.Aches and pains associated with growing.
11. Sports injuries, like young ballet dancing, gymnastics, running etc.
Registered Osteopath Salome Olivia has been treating children since 1993. Registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Holds a Post grad in Paediatric Osteopathy from the Osteopathic Centre for Children and has conducted further studies in Asthma and Reflux in children and adults. Member of The International Cranial Association, The Institute of Osteopathy and the British Medical Acupuncture Society
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
Email: [email protected]
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 £53.00 first time and follow ups £ 48.00 per session, which compared to loss of earnings or productivity is a worthwhile investment to help you return to work promptly.