How can an Osteopath help me?
This is a common question we get from new patients who have been referred to the clinic for one reason or another.
So how do we work? And what can you expect?
Osteopaths work to understand what is causing pain and assess and treat these tissues using gentle manual techniques to release tension and tightness. We also work to strengthen where there is weakness in muscles and joints causing instability
Often pain can be bought on by:
- Chronic/Acute emotional strain
- Pregnancy or childbirth
We encourage patients to work on their rehabilitation too with gentle stretches, exercises if appropriate, the use of hot/cold application and sometimes supplements.
Some supplements like Omega 3, Magnesium and Zinc have been shown to help improve repair of soft tissues and lower inflammation causing pain.
Several soft tissue types can cause pain:
Capsular, painful arc, pain throughout the range of movement in that joint.
Ligamentous, pain at the end of the range, lax on damaged side, relatively tighter on healthy side. Localised swelling and tenderness on palpation of the affected ligament.
Muscular, weak, ache and fatigue, with ache on use of effected muscle, tender points in the muscle, contracture expends energy and produces heat. Fibrous texture, chronic muscle contracture.
Nerve, often presents as a burning, numb or tingling sensation. Frequently nerve pain travels along its pathway and presents away from the actual place it originates, sometimes pins and needles in the arm actually come from the neck for example.
Osteopathic treatment is by manual means. The purpose of treatment is to encourage the body to restore its capacity to heal itself.
In the presence of pathology, the Osteopath's role is supportive.
Where appropriate an Osteopath would refer to a GP for further assessment and management.
We also routinely send patients for X-Ray or ultrasound particularly X-Ray for spinal injury if it’s not resolving to exclude pathology. We routinely send for shoulder ultrasound which helps the Osteopath focus on the tissues affected and helps the patient understand exactly what is causing the issue and then decisions around, cortisone or very rarely whether surgery is needed.
We seek to reach the patient via their structure/function relationship in the context of the pathology or pain pattern.
We tend to encourage change in pain patterns through the soft tissues and joints using gentle movement, stretch and pressure on the joints, muscles and ligaments. At the clinic, we treat all ages and work with ACC where necessary. The practice also runs a small chronic pain management list with PMRS in town.