Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine, which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths classically treat the person and not the condition, we recognise the fact that everybody is an individual, as such treatment is tailed to their specific needs. The human body has an innate ability to heal, osteopaths aim to unlock your own bodies healing potential by removing barriers to health.
Osteopathic healthcare is suitable for all ages, people see an osteopath for neck/back pain, headache, arthritic pain, mobility issues, joint problems, sports injuries as well as for general wellbeing. The treatment is hands on and includes soft tissue massage, stretching, movement, mobilisation and joint manipulation.
By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) each year. To register you must have an osteopathic degree, CRB check, valid insurance and evidence of continual professional development. To qualify, osteopaths must complete a full-time four years undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, but with more emphasis placed on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare professionals and have the same duty of care as doctors. It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered. Treatment is so effective at resolving aches, pains and injuries, because it looks at the source of the problem; not just at the problem itself. Osteopaths are trained to recognise if further diagnostic tests such as blood work or MRI scans are needed. If required we can refer to a GP or private diagnostic centre.
Osteopathy can help with.
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Trapped nerves
- Knee pain
- Sports Injuries
- Osteoarthritic pain
- Tendon and ligaments sprains
- Muscles strains
- Jaw pain
- Wrist pain
- Hip pain
- Herniated disc
- General tension
Most people think of osteopaths as ‘back pain specialists’ although they treat many conditions from head to toe. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that the body will work well, if its in good structural balance. Imagine, a car that has one of its wheels not quite pointing straight. It may run well for a while, but after time, the tyre will wear out. This example applies to the human body, illustrating the importance of keeping the body in balance.
Various treatment techniques are used, it is not just cracking backs. The breadth of approaches listed above, allows osteopaths to focus on every patient’s needs. People of any age (newborn to the elderly) and from pregnant women to sports people can all experience the benefits of osteopathy.
Your first visit
The first consultation will involve a discussion of the ailment. The osteopath will listen and ask questions to make sure they understand the problems and the patients day-to-day routine. A medical history is also taken as some health conditions and medications can relate to the presenting problem or effect recovery.
Examination may include checking posture and movement patterns, assessing muscle tension and joint mobility. In some cases they may perform some medical checks such as blood pressure and tendon reflexes. The examinations received will depend on the presenting problems. At the end of this stage the osteopath will explain the diagnosis and the recommended treatment plan.
At GD Osteopathy & Sports Massage, unless a condition requires immediate medical referral, an extensive and effective treatment is always offered on the first visit. These first two stages are the most important part of the consultation. It allows the osteopath to diagnose and to treat the ailment safely and effectively.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations, depending on age, fitness and diagnosis. Treatment is different for every patient, but may include soft tissue massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and manipulation. Treatment goals vary, but often include improving mobility, relaxing muscles, reducing pain and correcting posture.. The osteopath may discuss exercises that can be done to improve posture and mobility.
Do I need to see my doctor first?
You do not need to see your doctor first, osteopaths are medically trained healthcare professionals. They often have more training and experience in musculoskeletal medicine than GP’s. However, some insurance companies still require you to see your doctor first, only when using private health cover.
Osteopathy or sports massage?
Osteopathy and sports massage are poles apart. Sports massage is not a regulated profession, there is no training in musculoskeletal medicine, orthopaedic examination, neurological examination or differential diagnosis. Because of this sports massage therapists are not primary healthcare professionals; this means they are not qualified to assess or diagnose, are not required to train and do not need to be insured.
Sports massage is excellent for relaxing muscles, muscle sprains and for maintaining healthy muscles when they are being stressed regularly. Sports massage was developed to help maintain athletic performance, osteopathy and physiotherapy is there to assess and treat injury. If you have pain or difficulty moving, an osteopathic assessment will be the most appropriate option. If you want to improve sporting performance, visit the Enfield Sports Massage clinic.
Osteopathy, Chiropractic or Physiotherapy?
These are the three main state regulated professions that deal with musculoskeletal pain. All practitioners will be legally registered, insured and have to complete an on-going professional development program. In reality the type and style of treatment is practitioner based rather than therapy based; however there are a few common differences.
Osteopathy and chiropractic medicine stem from the same source, however chiropractic treatment tends to focus on spinal manipulation, shorter treatments and more frequent sessions. Physiotherapy tends to incorporate a lot more electronic treatment aids and exercise prescription. There is often a little less hands on treatment.