“What does an Osteopath actually do?” Is a question that we often hear people ask. Trying something you have never experienced before can be a daunting prospect. This blog aims to demystify Osteopathy and give you a better understanding of exactly what is involved in an Osteopathy consultation.
Osteopaths are trained to treat all the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments in all areas of the body. Anything in the musculoskeletal system is right up our alley! Some of the more common conditions we see in the clinic include:
- Low back pain
- Neck and postural pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Sporting injuries
- Overuse type injuries
- Shoulder, hip and knee pain
Depending on what you come in with, we will ask various questions about your presenting complaint. As an example, “when did you first notice the pain come on?”, “Have you had this before?”, “What helps or makes it worse?” These questions allow us to clarify the specific injury you have and will help us to diagnose your condition.
Secondly, we’ll dig a little deeper into the impact of the injury on your everyday life. Questions such as, “Is it stopping you from doing anything that you want to get back to?” or “What has this injury forced you to give up or miss out on”. These allow us to identify what your overall goals are and what things you’d really like to continue doing injury free.
Also in the initial consultation, we conduct a brief medical history to gain an overall understanding of your health. This is followed by an examination which involves performing some movements to find out the tissues that are restricted or contributing to the problem. Special orthopedic tests as also carried out giving us more insight into which tissues are involved.
Osteopaths take a holistic approach to treatment, so your osteopath may look at other areas of your body, including the ones that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, we may also look at your ankle, hips and lower back in order to gain an understanding of what else may be contributing to your injury.
Then comes the fun bit… Treatment!!! Osteopaths use a variety of techniques including soft tissue massage, fascial release techniques and stretching may all help to ease muscle guarding and offload the painful area. Joint mobilisation or articulation are often used to get restricted joints moving. This technique involves moving a joint through a range of motion repetitively. Dry needling can help to loosen off tight muscles, and we can use manipulation or “cracking” too, to name just a few.
Lastly, we provide every new patient with an individual management plan which details your diagnosis, how much treatment you will need and how long you can expect recovery to take. We may provide you with stretches or exercises to do at home to aid your recovery, or advice on lifestyle factors such as posture. We believe knowledge is power so the more you know about your injury, the better your long term outcome.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what is involved in an Osteopathy consultation and how we treat the body. Should you want any further information, we have loads of useful information on the rest of our website here or please make an appointment today by clicking here!