An Osteopath uses their clinical knowledge together with their highly skilled sense of touch, known as palpation, to diagnose and treat people.
Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners with a statutory regulatory body, The General Osteopathic Council . All Osteopaths practising in the UK have undergone rigorous clinical training for 4 to 5 years. They study anatomy, physiology and pathology and clinical subjects to a very high standard. Many go on to pursue post-graduate courses in their particular field of interest or to deepen their knowledge of osteopathy, which is said to take a life time to understand its full therapeutic potential. The complexity of the human body and its ability to self-heal is amazing, so an osteopath commits to a life-long journey of studying.
There are four osteopaths working at Butterfield Osteopathy with a range of skills and experience and we are all passionate about our work and helping the patients that come to us. Please see ‘Osteopaths‘ to see which practitioner might be more suitable for your needs. You are also welcome to call or email the practice if you have any questions.
The aim of osteopathic treatment is to optimise a person’s ability to express health and osteopaths use many techniques and approaches in their treatments.
Often treatment requires soft-tissue techniques, which is like a gentle massage, applied to specific muscles to improve blood flow and drainage from those tissues. This may be combined with articulation, where a restricted joint may be rhythmically moved to achieve a greater range of movement. Occasionally a small but very fast impulse may be put through a joint (high-velocity low amplitude thrust) and a small click may be heard.
Osteopathy aims to work within the pain-free range. Treatment should not hurt, but if you have had a problem for a while you may feel a bit sore afterwards, like the day after a vigorous gym work-out. This resolves within a day or two and you should feel a lot better.
In cranial techniques the tissues are gently encouraged to ease and release their own strain patterns and are particularly suitable for babies and children. They can also be applied to adults if treatment of delicate structures like the neck, head and face are required, or when it is not appropriate to use more forceful osteopathic techniques.
Conditions that we may be able to help with:
- Generalised aches and pains
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise arthritic pain
- General, acute & chronic backache, back pain.
- Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain. headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) / migraine prevention
- Frozen shoulder, shoulder and elbow pain, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculo-skeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences
- Circulatory problems
- Digestion problems
- Joint pains
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to relax
- Rheumatic pain
- Minor sports injuries and tensions
The first appointment with an osteopath involves taking a thorough medical history followed by a physical examination, and treatment, if appropriate. The osteopath will make a diagnosis and discuss a treatment plan with you. Occasionally the osteopath might need to refer you to your medical practitioner or another therapist.
The first appointment takes around one hour and subsequent appointments between half an hour to an hour. Most problems resolve between 2 and 6 treatments, but the longer you have had a problem, the longer it may take to resolve.
After your first appointment and in subsequent treatments there is the opportunity to explore issues of health, lifestyle and diet with your osteopath. Treatment is an active process that requires a close collaboration between you and the osteopath. You are not expected to be just a passive recipient of treatment, but an active participant in your own healing process.
Why am I in pain?
Our modern way of living can often result in neck, shoulder and back pain, or even headaches. It is not uncommon to experience pain as our body tries to cope with repetitive activities or new demands like adapting to a new desk at work, a new bed or even a new bicycle.
How can Osteopathy Help?
Osteopathy can help you in the process of adaptation, remove strains, improve function and reduce pain. Osteopathy can also help with the recovery from accidental injuries or minor sports injuries.
Can osteopathy also help the elderly?
As we get older our bodies show the legacy of all the knocks we have taken over the years. Osteopathy can also help restore lost mobility and reduce pain, and as a result improve quality of life.