Osteopathy is a distinct approach to healthcare recognising the relationship between the human body’s structure and its function. If a body is not structurally sound, this may well impact on its function. Also if a body does not function correctly, in time this may lead to certain structural changes.
An osteopath will work on the body using gentle techniques to aim to correct and normalise joint and tissue imbalance and hence restore this vital balance between structure and function.
Many conditions that osteopaths treat are not caused by a single event. Most tend to result from a combination of:
• Poor posture
• Lack of physical fitness
• Stress (both physical and emotional)
• Lack of muscle strength and flexibility
• Occupational posture
These factors may be gradually building up for months or years before symptoms become apparent to a patient. Due to this gradual onset of a condition, management of most musculo-skeletal conditions involves dealing with the acute phase of pain, followed by advice, treatment and exercises to deal with long-term prevention.
Symptoms that are the result of long-term structural imbalances do not resolve overnight. Often patterns of misuse need to be altered, and it is not uncommon for symptoms to take some time to alter and remain in a more balanced state. However, regardless of the duration of the problem we would expect a change in symptoms within 3-4 treatments. The osteopath will advise on this during the first session.
Osteopathy can help to alleviate pain and discomfort from most parts of the musculo-skeletal system by re-balancing and allowing the body to heal itself. Osteopathy in this way can encourage optimal health as the body balance is restored.
Addressing each of these factors in a patient can avoid recurring episodes of back, neck and other musculo-skeletal pains.
Is Osteopathy a recognised form of treatment?
Yes. With the Osteopaths Act 1993, osteopathy became the first of the complementary medical professions to achieve statutory regulation. It is governed by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). This means that when you consult a registered osteopath, you will be afforded the same protection as when you consult a doctor or dentist.
Charles Read & Associates is the best osteopathic practice I have ever used. Whether for an acute problem, or a regular ‘maintenance’ visit, the treatment is excellent and the osteopaths and staff are understanding, supportive and courteous. I have found out more about how my body works from Charles and his colleagues than I ever have from visiting my GP!