WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
“Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners who recognise the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which facilitates healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.” (http://osteopathsnz.co.nz/) This quote comes directly from our friends @ NZ Osteopaths and is just too perfect a description to disassemble and rework.
WHAT DO OSTEOPATHS TREAT?
Osteopaths treat a wide range of musculo-skeletal or connective tissue dysfunctions that range from simple muscle or joint strains to more complex problems that involve multiple areas of the body. Our aim is to affect the body through a variety of hands on musculo-skeletal techniques that aid in restoring normal function. These treatment techniques vary depending upon the person & the particular problem and consequently people of all ages, from babies to the elderly attend our clinic for a variety of issues. Our Osteopaths are highly trained and will let you know if you present with a condition that might make osteopathic treatment inadvisable, and if this is the case, they we will refer you to an appropriate medical practitioner for further treatment or investigation. As with all forms of hands on therapies considered to be generally safe and gentle, it is a requirement to notify you that treatment may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.
Our Osteopaths treat patients of all ages with many different problems, including sport, work related or car accident injuries, to arthritis, common low back strain or tension head aches.
Back pain is a common complaint treated by Osteopaths & in most cases is caused by overstraining the structural components of the back. Whilst this can be extremely painful, most cases are not serious if treated promptly. At Inner West Health Clinic, we are not interested in just getting you back on your feet again, but providing you with the tools to prevent further recurrence.
Back pain can be a problem during pregnancy when significant postural changes occur. We have treated many women throughout their pregnancies, and find that gentle osteopathic treatment can provide beneficial changes to the musculo-skeletal system, whilst having the added advantage of avoiding drugs.
Osteopaths also treat joints and muscles in all other parts of the body – from the big toe to the little finger! For sports injuries, our Osteopaths treatment is tailored to the individual, so that we may help you reach your optimal level of fitness. Through careful orthopaedic testing, diagnosis and treatment, we aim to promote a quick recovery, with minimal loss of fitness & time away from competition. Our consultations may also include advice on injury minimisation & prevention, further exercise prescription and nutritional or supplemental advice.
When treating employees who have been injured at work, the aim is to reduce time away from work to an absolute minimum through an individualised structured program that enables return to work & modified duty programmes in conjunction with rehabilitation officers. Problems caused by postural strain eg: sitting at a computer all day, respond very well to osteopathic treatment.
Osteopaths also treat conditions where a musculo-skeletal component may be present, for example neck, rib and diaphragmatic tightness associated with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma. Other conditions such as migraines or tension related headaches. Problems in different body organs can produce referred pain in distant areas; conversely, musculo-skeletal problems can cause symptoms which mimic other disorders eg: headaches caused by neck problems & leg pain caused by low back disorders. Our Osteopaths will explain the importance of correct diagnosis and provide treatment most suitable to you and your condition.
WILL I NEED A LOT OF TREATMENT?
Many patients feel significant improvement after only one or two treatments, but it depends a lot on your problem. Factors varying the outcome include general health, age & other lifestyle factors such as occupation and sports interests. It is usually best to allow things to settle for few days after treatment, so initially we may see you on a weekly basis. As your problem resolves, the time between treatments is increased.
OSTEOPATHY – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Osteopaths don’t just assess where your symptoms are e.g. if you have knee pain, an osteopath will first assess whether it is due to tissue damage in the knee itself, or is referred pain from other sites e.g. your hip, low back or even ankle! We will also need to analyse your posture to see whether there is undue stress or strain being placed on the knee from other areas of the body e.g. the foot, in which case gait analysis may be necessary.
It is often other factors that prevent normal healing from occurring, which need addressing to allow a problem to completely resolve. We also identify secondary effects of injury e.g. avoiding weight bearing on the bad knee which can lead to further problems developing in the good knee, hip, back or other areas. It is this whole body, ‘holistic’ approach that has been the basis of Osteopathy’s success over the years.