Osteopathy is a hands-on based manual therapy that concentrates on treating the body as a whole unit. Focusing our treatment on the integration between joint muscle and spine, we can also positively affect the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems to achieve whole body health and wellbeing. This idea of the treating “The body as a unit” is one of the 4 founding principles of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still – who pioneered Osteopathy in the late 1800’s. Not just focusing on the problem area, but rather using manual techniques to balance the body and it’s systems as one, without the use of drugs.
What does Osteopathy Treat?
Osteopath’s treat more than you think. Many of our patients come from within our local area of Glen Iris, Hawthorn, Ashburton and Malvern. Presenting with symptoms such as Headaches, Back pain, Sciatica, Shoulder pain, Tennis Elbow, Shin splints, Plantar Fasciitis RSI and many many more. Others come in with digestive issues; Whiplash, postural problems, injuries sustained in the gym, injuries caused by training for endurance events and arthritic type problems are all common presentations to us here at Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic located in the heart of Glen Iris.
It is the Osteopathic philosophy that sets us apart from other allied health modalities. Osteopathy’s key principles tell us, if one part of the body is restricted or in a state of “dis ease” then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate. This adaptation leads to restriction, inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health issues. Osteopathic treatment assists the body to reduce this stress and compensation, providing greater movement and pain reduction to allow the body to heal itself. We do this via a broad range of gentle but effective hands on techniques. Soft tissue massage, stretching, deep pressure, gentle manipulation of joints and mobilization, all designed to improve the health of the individuals body.
We often work in conjunction with other medical professionals, such as your GP, Dietitian or Podiatrist. In our patients who suffer from Arthritis, we can compliment medication given by the GP as well as working with the Podiatrist to ensure good foot biomechanics. Osteopath’s can help eases the pain caused by the muscle and joint stiffness. We can help improve joint mobility and blow flow to these arthritic joints. Education on how best to manage the arthritic symptoms is all part of our treatment and management for our patients.
What are the benefits of Osteopathy?
When the body is in a state of pain or discomfort the Osteopath will intervene. Osteopathic intervention aims to improve the bodies mobility and stability. As this occurs, the other main systems (Circulatory, Nervous and Lymphatic) function more effectively and the body is once again allowed to heal itself, returning to a normal functioning state.
A common side effect of treatment is a good nights sleep. We often see our patients who are in a state of dysfunction report poor sleeping habits. As the body is returned to a pain free and more functional state, sleep quality improves.
Osteopathy and Back Pain:
We seem to be so much busier these days and seem to be spending more time in the car, train or tram and more time siting at our desks, or on devices. As an Osteopath we always offer prevention advice to help combat this increase in sedentary time. Home or office based stretching routines, ergonomic advice for your car and desk are all part of our treatment. We strive to empower our patients to maintain their own health between treatment sessions.
Early intervention when it comes to pain is the key to fast recovery. If we can identify the source of the pain quickly we can hopefully reduce the compensation patterns and reduce the impact your pain has on your body. With less pain and better function you are free to spend your time doing the things you love to do.
What happens in my first treatment session?
Much like any other medical appointment, a complete history of your presenting complaint as well as your past medical history is taken. We will ask questions that relate to your lifestyle, work habits, stress levels, sleeping patterns and diet. This gives us a complete picture of your overall health and wellbeing, as well as any other factors that may be contributing to your current problems. We will then ask you to perform a series of special tests and various movements such as bending or twisting in specific ways. We may also perform special orthopaedic and neurological test. These tests show us how you use your body, and allow us to formulate a diagnosis as to what your problem is. Your Osteopath may refer you to other specialists such as a Sports Physician if the problem is beyond the scope of the Osteopath. With our finely tuned sense of touch or palpation we will assess the spine, joints and muscle, manually identifying any points of restriction or excessive tightness and strain within your body. Treatment is targeted at reducing all these dysfunctions, aiming to once again restore your body to its state of equilibrium. Techniques such as soft tissue massage and stretching which help reduce muscular tightness and improve blood flow are commonly used. Joint articulation, both passive and active and manipulation help to improve joint mobility and flexibility. While other times we may ask you to exert a slight pressure or force, much like P and F stretching to help release certain areas or restrictions,
At the completion of your session, your Osteopath will be able to discuss your treatment and management plan. Because Osteopathy has such a strong emphasis on “self healing” we will prescribe some home based exercises or stretching program to complement our hands on session. We may make some changes to your current lifestyle and work habits. This management plan, is individualized to you and your current condition, and designed to get you back on track as soon as possible,
Why you should NOT ignore pain?
Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is not quite right. If these signs are ignored, the body does it best to adapt and protect itself. This adaptation or protective mechanism takes the form of compensation patterns and guarding spasm. This may lead to pain in other areas, such as neck, shoulder or leg pain. The longer pain is ignored the worse the symptoms become and the harder it is to identify the exact cause of your problem. Other factors, such as psychological issues may also come into play. By seeking treatment early, we can address the exact cause more efficiently and let the body heal itself. Improving overall body health allows you to focus on doing the things you love to do. Spending time with the family, enjoying a walk in the park or playing sport, all pain free.