Osteopathy Explained

Osteopathy is a statutorily regulated primary health care profession, concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the body and the effects of these disorders on the function of the body and general health.

Common physical problems treated with Osteopathy include:

  • Muscle, Ligament & Joint Pain
  • Back and Neck problems
  • Sciatica, Headaches
  • Shoulder Problems
  • Arthritic Pain
  • Foot, Leg, Hip & Arm Pain
  • Repetitive Strains
  • Sports related Injuries
  • Pelvic Pain

Osteopathy recognises the importance of the link between the structure of the human body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on the body’s skeleton, joint mobility and on the underlying muscles and soft tissues. The aim of Osteopathic treatment is to restore these structures to a state of balance and harmony, so providing optimum conditions for physical recovery.
Osteopathy, Back and neck problems

To explain this more fully; the primary mechanical structures of the body consist of the bones, joints, overlying muscles and soft tissues. Good mechanical function of these tissues is vital to physical health. Problems in these mechanical areas can have a knock-on effect of disturbing the function of the nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels near the areas affected. This may result in imbalances in the optimum function of the nervous, circulatory and immune systems generally, with much broader implications for general health and wellbeing.

With this in mind, Osteopaths consider each person as an Individual and treat the person as ‘a whole’, rather than isolated symptoms. Utilising their highly developed sense of touch, they identify problem areas of the body. Using gentle stretching and mobilising techniques as well as articulating joints, they work with the body to create the perfect conditions to facilitate the healing process.

The effectiveness of Osteopathy in treating back problems and pain has recently been recognised and backed by NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, after many years studying patient response to osteopathic treatment . Current NICE guidelines recommend the referral of patients suffering with back pain to an Osteopath for treatment. NICE specialises in giving guidance on evidence-based medicine and treatment methodologies.

Cranial Osteopathy

Sometimes called cranio-sacral technique, cranial osteopathy is a specific series of gentle osteopathic techniques that has become popular with patients. It can be especially effective on children. The next few paragraphs will explain more about this technique.

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a refined and subtle series of techniques that focus primarily on the head, spinal column and sacrum bone of the pelvis and their interrelationships, and the release of stresses and tensions from these regions. It is a gentle yet extremely effective approach and may be used in a wide range of conditions for people of all ages, from birth to old age.

Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called Involuntary Motion or the Cranial Rhythm.  The movement is of very small amplitude, therefore it takes practitioners with a very finely developed sense of touch to feel it. This rhythm was first described in the early 1900's by Dr. William G. Sutherland and its existence was confirmed in a series of laboratory tests in the 1960's and '70's.

Tension in the body disrupts the cranial rhythm. Practitioners compare what your rhythm is doing to what they consider ideal. This shows them what stresses and strains your body is under at present, and what tensions it may be carrying as a result of its past history. It also gives them an insight into the overall condition of your body, for example if it is healthy, or stressed and tired.