Osteopathy could be described in simple, lay terms as "holistic manual medicine". Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment where gentle techniques are used to release and realign the body. Osteopathy is a system of health care that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of the physical body’s structure in order to optimise physiological functioning. Manual palpation and Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) are used in conjunction with biomechanical, orthopaedic and neurological clinical assessment.
Osteopathy is best know for treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders such as back and neck pain, sciatica, sporting injuries and postural strain. Put simply, optimising structural balance allows the physiology to perform optimally.
Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still was a Missouri medical physician who had become frustrated with what he saw as the ineffective nature of remedies at that time. He believed that the doctor's role in fighting disease was to restore the body' s proper musculoskeletal function. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy in Missouri in 1892. The school taught manual manipulation, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications rather than surgery and drug therapies.
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still believed that many disease or illness began with structural problems in the spine. Long nerves connect the spine to various organs in the body. According to Dr. Still,when there is a problem with the spine, the nerves send abnormal signals to the body's organs. Still called these spinal problems "osteopathic lesions" ("osteo" for bone and "pathic" for diseased), and created osteopathic manipulation techniques (OMTs) to treat them. These treatments, he believed, would return the nerves to their normal function and allow the blood to flow freely throughout the circulatory system. With structure restored, the body's own natural healing powers would be able to restore full health.
Benefits of Osteopathy Treatment
Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders and the effects of these on patients’ general health.
Osteopathy is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It offers an approach with gentle non-invasive techniques. An osteopathic assessment is so refined that the osteopathic manual practitioner can detect dysfunction without necessarily even having the benefit of a specific complaint, often difficult to obtain from young children.
Osteopathy can be a complement to medical care for women throughout their pregnancy and to mothers immediately after the delivery. In fact, osteopathy can be very effective in assisting the mother’s body to restore and resume function in the post-partum period.
Osteopathy assists patients to "manage" their own health so that "good health" is restored and maintained whenever possible. The philosophy of osteopathy promotes ‘health’ as opposed to ‘illness’, teaches people to learn to appreciate a quality of life and encourages opportunities to live it to the fullest.
What can we help with?Osteopathic practitioners treat a variety of common conditions including:
Migraine and tension headaches
Sports and work related injuries
Disc injuries, nerve pain: sciatica, tingling, numbness
Jaw (TMJ) tension, clicking, clenching
Joint dysfunction: hip, knee, etc
Occupational overuse syndrome
Whiplash and accident trauma
Discomfort associated with pregnancy and preparing for labour