Listen to “Osteopathy explained”.
Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive manual therapy that aims to improve health across all body systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.
Manual medicine means that both diagnosis and treatment are carried out with the hands. An osteopathic physician does not concentrate only on the problem area but uses manual techniques to balance all of the body’s systems, to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
Osteopathic techniques include stretching, gently applied pressure, and resistance, also known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.
Osteopathy embraces the philosophy that the body has an innate, natural ability to self-regulate and heal. Over time, the body gradually loses its ability to fulfil these tasks efficiently. This loss can stem from many places, including:
- the ageing process
- surgical scarring
- repetitive activity,
- the prolonged influence of gravity on posture
- the cumulative effects of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual stresses.
Once the nature of a patient’s condition is determined, treatment is directed towards helping the body regain its optimal ability to circulate fluids unimpeded and in sufficient quantity. This restoration of circulation leads to the body’s natural ability to regulate and heal itself.
Is an osteopathic physician the same as a chiropractor?
A chiropractor can also treat the back, but their focus is more on the position of the spine and joints, to improve nerve function and healing ability.
A chiropractor is more likely to ‘pop’ or ‘crack’ the joints, while an osteopathic physician doesn’t usually do this. A chiropractor will focus on a specific problem area, while an osteopath looks at the body as a whole.
Osteopathic treatments can positively impact the nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems to improve the body’s functionality and overall health.
Pain and discomfort can lead to a lack of sleep and restless nights.
These can make it harder for the body to function adequately and reduce the ability to cope with pain.
Osteopathy has been shown to reduce sleeplessness and insomnia, which result from chronic pain. It can also provide relief and treatment for a wide range of other conditions including:
- foot, ankle, hip, and knee pain
- back pain, neck pain
- hand, shoulder, and elbow pain
- postural problems due to pregnancy, sports injury, driving or work strain, or digestive issues
Some osteopathic techniques may enhance lymphatic health and bring about internal improvements in the body without the need for invasive surgical treatment.