What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use a range of techniques including physical manipulation, stretching, massage and other gentle techniques such as cranial to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood supply to tissues and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring. Osteopaths are trained to screen for medical conditions and will tell you if you need to see another health professional such as your doctor or midwife.
Who and What do Osteopaths Treat?
Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, sciatica, the pain of arthritis, headaches arising from the neck, migraine prevention, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, minor sporting injuries, muscle spasms, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, mechanical neck pain, muscle spasms, inability to relax, digestive problems.
A woman’s body changes during pregnancy with softening of ligaments, weight increase and changes to posture that can lead to additional pressure on joints and general aches and pains including joint and back pain. Osteopathy may help relieve the stresses and strains on your body during pregnancy and after birth.
Osteopaths are qualified to work with babies and children as there undergraduate training includes paediatrics and Penny has taken further postgraduate training in this field. Babies’ skeletons are softer than an adult’s therefore osteopaths use gentler techniques such as cranial osteopathy when treating babies. Osteopathic techniques are suitable for children at all stages of development; Penny will asses your child to see what might help. Gentle manipulation could help soothe and relax your baby.