Osteopathy Article

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established system of diagnosis and treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal problems, involving the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues.  Osteopaths undertake a 4 year Bachelor of Osteopathy degree and then have to register and be regulated by the General Osteopathic Council before being allowed to practice in the UK. When you visit the Osteopath for the first time a detailed case history is taken, and a simple analysis of your posture, and an examination of the area of pain is carried out by getting you to perform some active movements. 

The findings will be fully explained and a treatment plan is agreed with you before continuing.

How does it work?

Osteopaths take a holistic approach and therefore consider the patient from all viewpoints so in addition to treating the area of pain, we address parts of the body that are functioning poorly - which may be preventing or contributing to its resolution. This aids increase in circulation which helps resolve aches, pains and injuries. This allows the body to function with the minimum of wear, stress and energy.

Osteopathy and chronic pain

Statistics unveil that one in five sufferers admit to being diagnosed with depression as a result of the pain. The prospect that this pain will be with them their entire lives makes many people hopeless, and as physical pain becomes emotional, many fall into the grips of depression. In 2003, the BBC published the results of a survey which revealed that an increased number of people under the age of 50 are suffering from chronic pain. 3,000 out the 46,000 interviewed were from the UK, and the survey looked at the ways in which chronic pain influenced people’s lifestyles. The results made evident that chronic pain impacts people in more ways than one; sufferers find it difficult to complete ordinary tasks, but their relationships were heavily affected, causing some to fall into severe depression. But why does this happen? (http://www.osteopath-help.co.uk/osteopaths/cranial-osteopathy/articles/fighting chronic pain (2003-2012)

Most long term recurrent pain is caused by the degenerative changes to the body's framework. Nobody can reverse this process of ageing however; osteopathic treatment can often ease pain, reduce swelling and improve joint mobility by using gentle manual techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint articulation and mobilisation, stretching etc. Pain control is an important part of the treatment process and we will give guidance on simple self-help measures to use at home to help with pain control at each stage of the treatment. The findings are fully explained in plain English and a treatment plan is agreed with the patient before continuing. This is an important part of treatment as expectations are supported and reviewed as an ongoing process.

While the survey was conducted in 2003, it is still very valid today, as many of my own patients with chronic pain complain that their GP's often do not provide them with a long-term solution for their problem except for strong painkillers.

In fact, two-fifths of the people surveyed by the BBC maintained that their pain was not brought under control, despite having been advised by a doctor. Some have even gone as far as to say that Britain’s GPs are unsympathetic but I feel that they simply do not understand the basis of chronic pain.

Where Osteopathy excels is that it is patient centred, which means each treatment is geared to you as an individual and this is what makes a difference. Having the right diagnosis and treatment plan for each individual is the reason for us being consulted more and more. We find the problem and resolve it where possible.

Kalla Patel

Registered Osteopath

St James Clinic &
Wellingborough Osteopathy
Northamptonshire

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