What Is Osteopathy
Osteopathy was developed by an American Doctor in the late 1800’s called Andrew Taylor Still. He taught a philosophy of approach which centres on the body being a self healing mechanism. It is the job of the Osteopath to understand what the obstructions to that healing mechanism are and where possible endeavour to remove these obstructions. This is why during your visit the Osteopath they may recommend lifestyle changes such as changes in diet and exercise as well as the manual treatment itself.
A. T. Still taught that the body is a unit therefore one area may be very important on another. This is why often an Osteopath may be examining or treating an area far removed from the area of pain. The Osteopath will explain how these areas are connected so this is fully explained.
A. T. Still taught the rule of the artery is supreme, which means that for health to occur in the body, the fluids must be able to access the cell. This means that oxygen, glucose and a multitude of other molecules can provide each cell what it needs for health. The waste products must also be removed from the cell and this is all achieved through the arteries, veins and lymphatic circulation. Still also said we live in our fascia. What is fascia? Fascia is the tissue which surrounds the muscles and joints. The important fact is that the arteries, veins nerves and lymph glands all sit in the fascia. Therefore when we treat those areas we are aiming to improve the function of the nerves, muscles, ligaments and joints. Through the improvement in the fluid flows in the fascia the body may have profound effects on the overall body function.
How Many Times Will I Attend The Clinic?
On average a typical number of visits is 2 to 6 and generally the sooner we see you after the symptoms begin the quicker you will respond, this is however obviously dependent on the diagnosis. It is the policy of this practice that if you do not respond to your treatment we will discuss other alternatives and try to find an approach that may be more suitable for you, or refer you for further tests or investigations if appropriate either through your G.P. or occasionally through private referral. All medical treatment is dependent on the individual's body. Therefore what may work for one person may not for another. This can occur in complicated cases and the Osteopath may recommend a trial of a treatment which you may then decide to continue if you feel it to be beneficial.
What About Side Effects?
The aim of the treatment is to restore normal function which should have the effect of reducing symptoms. All medical interventions do unfortunately however carry a risk and Osteopathy is no different. Fortunately the side effects related to Osteopathy are usually very mild. Not everybody will have a reaction and typically this lasts less than 48 hours. The reaction often diminishes as the treatment progresses.
Most of Osteopathic treatment has minimal side effects however the most adverse potential side effect of Osteopathic treatment is related to neck manipulation. There is based on anecdotal evidence of an association with neck manipulation and stroke due to the anatomy of the neck arteries at the top of the neck. There has however yet to be a study that shows a direct link to neck manipulation and it is the job of the Osteopath to conduct a thorough case history and examination to identify any warning signs of increased suseptability to this. The possibility of this has been estimated between 1 in 100000 to one in 6 million so therefore a small risk. The Osteopath will discuss any concerns you have if considering this treatment. The Osteopathic profession is currently undertaking widespread research regarding the potential side effects from treatment. As soon as this research is concluded the results will be commented and reported on the website.
Our Osteopaths will endeavour to do their very best to resolve your discomfort and if recommending treatment they will be happy to discuss any usual or associated serious risk with you. Therefore treatment with only be given with your full, and informed consent. Although Osteopaths are experts in the application of specific manipulative techniques we would appreciate any preference you have regarding your treatment. If you would like any further information please email us .