Osteopathy is a form of healthcare involving the detection, treatment and prevention of health problems through the manipulation and massage of a person's muscles and joints. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners trained to evaluate and identify important types of body dysfunction that require osteopathic treatment.
In Australia, the practice is regulated by the Osteopathy Board of Australia. Practitioners must have completed accredited university training in the relevant healthcare subjects, including osteopathic techniques.
Osteopaths adopt a holistic approach to treatment. Their techniques are based on the principle that wellness is hinged on the ability of the bones, muscles and ligaments to work together. Their methods utilise physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension and improve blood supply to body tissues in order to enhance healing.
Many people are referred by their doctors or health practitioners, but patients can schedule an appointment with an osteopath without a referral. Most osteopathic treatments do not cause undue pain or discomfort but mild soreness may occur a day or two after treatment if hands-on treatment is required in an area of the body where painful or tender injury had occurred.
The initial consultation is similar to that undertaken by a general practitioner. A complete medical history is obtained, including a record of medications if applicable. Patients may be required to perform simple movements to enable the osteopath observe mobility and posture. A full osteopathic examination may also include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests.
Arthritis, sports injuries and posture related problems are some of the common conditions attended to by osteopaths. Persons with persistent or recurring low back pain are most likely to consult an osteopath. According to the National Health Service (NHS) U.K, 'there is evidence that manual therapy performed by osteopaths is an effective treatment for persistent low back pain'.
Massage helps relieve pain by stimulating nerves which send signals into the spinal cord. These signals crowd out pain messages travelling through pain fibres, leading to a reduction in pain sensation. Massage also helps in reducing the build-up of fluid in the tissues and in lowering the activity of painful trigger points in the muscles.
Osteopaths help in treating and preventing sports injuries. They facilitate return to function after injury and prevent the occurrence of compensatory strains. Soft tissue stretching techniques are employed to improve elasticity, mobility and performance. They provide advice on warm-up procedures before exercising or playing sports to avoid injury. People also consult osteopaths for assistance with problems relating to the neck, back, shoulder, pelvis, hips and legs.Share
12 July 2017
When I first started noticing veins protruding from my lower legs, I did my best to ignore them. However, I knew they were likely varicose veins, as both my parents have had varicose veins for several years. Eventually, I went to see my doctor due to experiencing leg swelling and red patches of skin, which turned out to be varicose eczema. I was prescribed the usual treatment, and my doctor discussed surgery to strip out the damaged veins, but I decided to postpone surgery and look at managing the swelling and protrusion of veins naturally. I started this blog to share my own experiences of trying complementary therapies, such as homeopathy, herbal medicine and massage, to manage my symptoms. I hope you find my posts useful and interesting.