The General Osteopathic Council states that osteopathy is “a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of the individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together”.
When treating a patient, an osteopath considers not just the presenting symptoms but the patient’s situation as a whole. For example, a patient may present with long term neck pain. They have previously found that massage of the neck muscles provides temporary relief but that the problem comes back. Osteopathic evaluation does indeed find tight muscles and joints in the neck that require releasing, but it is further questioning by the osteopath that reveals the patient spends all day sat working at a desk with the computer monitor significantly off centre. This means that for hours at a time the patient is sat with their neck turned in one direction causing the tight muscles and neck pain. Osteopathic treatment appropriate to the patient would be provided to release the neck and shoulders, but the patient would also be given advice about how to correctly align their chair, computer keyboard and monitor. This will not only relieve the symptoms but also help to provide long term improvement by removing a factor that was causing the symptoms to recur.
The broad range of techniques available to the osteopath means that osteopathy is suitable for patients of all ages
Osteopaths will commonly treat:
- general acute and chronic backache and back pain
- arthritic pain – for example hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise
- neck pain, headache and migraine
- muscle spasms
- frozen shoulder
- limb joint pain – pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands
- relaxation difficulties – including helping to manage the physical expression of stress and emotional anxiety
- minor sports injuries and tensions
“The British Medical Association’s guidance for general practitioners is that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths” – The British Osteopathic Association.
© 2018 Stephen Hipkiss
Please call 01233 640 444
Rainham Osteopathic Clinic
Please call 01634 386 387
Dovecote Centre, Ashford
Please call Stephen directly
on 07592 805 306