Osteopathy

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Osteopathy is a "whole body" system of manual therapy, aimed at restoring an individual’s natural ability to heal, by using a combination of bio mechanical correction, lifestyle improvements, and healthy nutrition.

Osteopathy is provided for all age groups and osteopaths aim to treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. We aim to encourage patients to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which leads to improved overall health, with less time and money spent on treatment in the long term.

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Osteopaths view the way the human body operates in much the same way as a machine operates, with all parts interrelated, and with structure and function being closely related. As with machines, injury or disease to one part of the human body can cause problems elsewhere in the body.

Osteopaths believe that the human body has the ability to attain, and maintain, optimal health. An in-built repair system if you like which enables us to recover from disease and injury. As with any system in the body, this in-built repair system functions best when the machine is operating soundly. Osteopaths use techniques that promote blood flow to help maintain optimal function of the internal organs. This in turn promotes and maintains the body’s balanced production of natural chemicals.

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Osteopathic treatment is most commonly sought for musculo-skeletal problems such as:

-back and neck pain
-sciatica
-headaches/migraines
-joint pain
-postural and/or mobility problems
-sports-related injuries
-motor vehicle accident related injuries
-repetitive strain/workplace related injuries
- tongue tie, torticollis ad plagiocepahly in babies

Osteopathy can also play a significant role in pain management in arthritic conditions, and when used in conjunction with medical treatment, may be of value in reducing the severity of symptoms in conditions such asthma, pregnancy, gynecological dysfunction and chronic fatigue.

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Osteopaths appraoch each patient as an individual. On your first visit the osteopath will spend time taking a detailed medical history including important information about your current problem, previous injuries, family medical history, as well as information on your general lifestyle and diet.
You will normally be asked to undress to your underwear at this point (gowns provided). A series of simple movements and tests are then carried out in order to correctly diagnose your presenting complaint (sometimes further testing may be required eg. x-rays/blood test/ultrasound). At this point a full diagnosis is made if possible, and a treatment plan devised according to your specific needs.
Treatment usually consists of a combination of techniques aimed at facilitating the body's ability to heal itself. They include (but are not limited to):

- soft tissue massage
- stretching
- joint mobilsation/manipulation
- exercise prescription
- myofascial/visceral and cranial techniques
- diet, posture and lifestyle advice is also discussed in an attempt to fix a problem and prevent its recurrence

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Osteopaths treat the body as a whole, rather than in its individual parts. They work on the underlying principle that all of the body’s systems are interrelated. Therefore, a number of areas are usually treated within any one session. Osteopath's also place a large emphasis on their ability to palpate (feel) the problem areas and treat as required without the use of machines.

Example: You've injured your wrist

Your Osteopath will do much more than just examine and treat your wrist. They will want to know exactly how you injured it in order to determine what structures are injured, and whether there may be any involvement of other areas bio-mechanically related to the wrist, such as the hand, elbow, shoulder, neck and upper back.

Your Osteopath will then try and determine if there are any secondary effects as a result of the injury. For instance, you may be "avoiding" the bad wrist because it hurts, and as a result over-using the other wrist and arm. If this is compensation continues for some time it can lead to problems developing in the neck or"good" wrist.

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