Osteopathy treatment can help in the following conditions:
- Low back pain – lumbago
- Sciatica (pain down the back of the leg)
- Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain
- General acute or a chronic backache and back pain
- Generalized aches and pains
- Joint pains including hip & knee pain from osteoarthritis
- A headache arising from neck pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Shoulder and elbow pain
- Tennis elbow
- Circulatory problems
- Digestive problems
- Muscle spasms
- Rheumatic pain
- Minor sports injuries and tensions
- Inability to relax
- Headaches and migraines
Cranial Osteopathy is especially helpful in treating babies and children and the frail and elderly where manipulation is not possible.
Suzanne G. Harper is a member of the General Osteopathic Council and her details are available in their register.
What does an Osteopath actually do?
Osteopathy is based on the premise that mechanical imbalances in the musculoskeletal system predispose the body to ill health by reducing the circulation of vital fluids, i.e. blood and lymph. On a practical level, Osteopaths work with their hands, using highly developed palpatory and manipulative skills to get the best possible alignment of the spine and musculoskeletal system. Because their patients are mainly self-referred, their training lays great emphasis on recognizing whether the presenting condition is caused by the organic or functional disease. Whenever there is any doubt, they will always refer the patient back to their G.P. for further testing and investigation. Whilst organic disease does not preclude osteopathic treatment, it does mean that the selection of techniques may need to be modified and/or restricted.
Organic disease refers to conditions where there is demonstrable pathology or infection involved, e.g. kidney stones. Functional disease refers to conditions where there are symptoms but no clear evidence of pathology, e.g. sciatica occurring after a lumbar strain caused by lifting. Osteopaths are specialists in treating musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, and speedy referral usually ensures more rapid results, whilst, at the same time, reducing the number of treatment sessions required. RCGP guidelines and the Clinical Standards Group on Back Pain both recommend manipulation if symptoms last more than a few days.
Apart from manipulation, what other techniques does an Osteopath use?
Soft tissue techniques and massage, mobilization of joints, positional release techniques and cranio-sacral work, all of which are both gentle and safe, especially for children and the elderly.
How is Osteopathy regulated?
The Osteopaths Bill was passed by Parliament in 1993. Its purpose was to create a system of self-regulation for Osteopaths in keeping with other health professionals.
The General Osteopathic Council was set up in 1997 and is the official regulatory and disciplinary body for the profession.