Osteopathy is a form of physical medicine. Osteopaths in their 4-5 years training study human anatomy, physiology and pathology in a lot of detail and graduate with a thorough knowledge of the human body and medical conditions particularly musculo-skeletal conditions. They are also trained in manual therapeutic techniques and the diagnosis of musculo-skeletal conditions.
One of the primary skills of an osteopath is the art of palpation in which by finger tip pressure on a patient’s back for instance they can identify tight muscles, twisted joints or bones, inflammation, etc. This, coupled with orthopaedic tests and postural examination enable a diagnosis to be made.
Sometimes X ray or scan results are considered also in diagnosis. Manual treatment is given with the aim of helping to restore the muscles, joints and bones to normal. A lot of soft tissue massage techniques are used plus stretches, mobilization and joint manipulations. After an initial consultation and examination the osteopath will discuss with the patient the diagnosis and the recommended course of treatment which may for instance be a couple of treatments for a simple back problem or a longer course of treatment for a more complex problem. In addition patients are usually given self help advice eg exercises or postural advice.
How can osteopathy help me?
Clifford offers help in a wide range of conditions which affect the muscles, joints and bones:
- Back pain e.g. acute low back or mid back pain due to a strain or injury, longer term or recurring back problems, postural strains, chronically stiff back.
- Neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.
- Headaches and migraines. Clifford has a specialist interest in these conditions, many are related to a neck problem for which osteopathy is very useful.
- Trapped nerves e.g. in the low back causing sciatica in the leg, or in the neck causing pain and tingling in the arm.
- Arthritic aches and pains. These can affect the back, neck or the peripheral joints. Osteopathic treatment can be useful in helping to reduce stiffness and lessen the discomfort. Self help advice is also given.
- Joint sprains and strains e.g. feet, ankles, knees, hand, wrist.