What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a way of detecting and treating damaged parts of the body such as muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. When the body is balanced and efficient, just like a well tuned engine, it will function with the minimum wear and tear, leaving more energy for living.
What do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopaths treat a variety of common conditions including changes to posture in pregnancy; repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and sports injuries.
- Commonly treated symptoms include
- Back Pain
- Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Arthritic Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- General Aches and Pains
- Hip and Knee Pain
- Sports injuries
What to expect at a treatment?
Osteopaths consider each person as an individual. On your first visit, the osteopath will spend time taking a detailed medical history including important information about your lifestyle and diet. You will normally be asked to perform a series of simple movements; this will allow a full diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs. You will then also receive a treatment; with their hands the osteopath identifies abnormalities within the human body structure and function. They then facilitate the body’s ability to heal itself through a variety of stretching, mobilising and manipulative techniques. With added exercises and health advice, the Osteopath will help to reduce your symptoms and improve your health and quality of life.
Within an Osteopathic treatment, the practitioner may use Ultrasound. Therapeutic ultrasound is a modality that has been used by physiotherapists since the 1940s. Ultrasound is applied using the head of an ultrasound probe that is placed in direct contact with your skin via a transmission coupling gel.
Therapeutic ultrasound has been shown to cause increases in:
- healing rates
- tissue relaxation
- tissue heating
- local blood flow
- scar tissue breakdown.
The effect of ultrasound via an increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation, and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing. The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect. A greater power density (measured in watt/cm2) is often used in cases where scar tissue breakdown is the goal.
The most common conditions treated with ultrasound include soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis (or tendinitis if you prefer), non-acute joint swelling and muscle spasm. Most muscle and ligament injuries can benefit from therapeutic ultrasound.
The ultrasound waves are generated by a piezoelectric effect caused by the vibration of crystals within the head of the probe. The ultrasound waves that pass through the skin cause a vibration of the local soft tissues. This vibration or cavitation can cause a deep heating locally though usually no sensation of heat will be felt by the patient. In situations where a heating effect is not desirable, such as a fresh injury with acute inflammation, the ultrasound can be