is an established, recognised system of diagnosis and treatment that lays
its main emphasis on the structural integrity of the body. It is distinctive
in the fact that it recognises much of the pain and disability we suffer
stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as
damage caused to it by diseases.
uses many of the diagnostic procedures involved in conventional medical
assessment and diagnosis. Its main strength, however, lies in the unique
way the patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional and postural
standpoint and the manual methods of treatment applied to suit the needs
of the individual patient.
It is the osteopath’s comprehensive approach to healthcare that makes treatment unique. Osteopaths do not look on patients simply as back sufferers but as individuals with their own unique requirements for health. Treatment is designed to correct each individual’s mechanical problems in order to stimulate their own natural healing processes. Osteopaths do not simply treat back problems but look at all the factors contributing to a disturbed state of natural health.
use their hands both to investigate the underlying causes of pain and to
carry out treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques. These may
include muscle and connective tissue stretching, rhythmic joint movements
or high velocity thrust techniques to improve the range of movement of a
joint. Gentle releasing techniques are often used, particularly when treating
children or elderly patients.
The cranial approach also uses very gentle techniques in which the osteopath’s highly trained sense of touch is used to identify and correct mechanical disturbances and limitations, both in and around the joints for the skull and throughout the body.
It can help a wide range of patients with conditions including glue ear, migraine, and dizziness and, for babies, the after effects of difficult deliveries. By gently releasing tension in the baby’s body, the osteopath can often relieve discomfort which might otherwise be attributed to colic or fretfulness.