What Does Osteopathy Treat?
Osteopathy can be used to treat a range of common complaints with a wide range of techniques available. The aim of Osteopathic treatment is to improve the function of the nerves, muscles, ligaments and joints. Some of the most common treatments include manipulation of joints to relax muscle spasm and pain, soft tissue massage to improve muscular blood flow, specific releasing techniques where the body is taken to a point of movement that allows the tension to subside and cranial osteopathy to allow fluid movement in your body tissues, hydrotherapy to aid blood flow and function or exercises to strengthen the muscles. Osteopaths are trained to use their hands through a highly developed sense of touch for both diagnosis and treatment.
Neck pain is a common occurrence and many of the main neck muscles have their point of attachment at the base of the skull. There are also nerves that supply the head that originate in the upper neck. As a result head pain and headaches are often associated with neck pain. The function of upper back and ribs and even the way we breath can affect the neck. Posture and exercise are considered and used when considering the treatment of neck pain.
Sports injuries can be either due to direct trauma or strain over time. Our Osteopaths wil typically examine the whole body as the body is a unit and linked though the connective tissue. At Rainham Osteopathic Clinic we focus on prevention rather than cure and give sports people advice on warm ups and warm downs, stretching and/or strengthening specifically to their individual requirements.
60 to 70% of us may suffer with an episode of low back pain at least once in our lives in industrialised countries (WHO). The World Health Organisation describes low back pain in this context “…the causes of the onset of low back pain remain obscure and diagnosis difficult to make. " At the Rainham Osteopathic Clinic through examination we endevour to understand your back pain and work together for the best outcome possible for your diagnosis.
The human body is designed to move, it is key to our health. The modern lifestyle unfortunately forces us to sit for prolonged periods of time at desks, in cars, even on the sofa at home. This can cause stiffness and other problems in the musculo-skeletal system such as muscle and tendon injuries, slipped discs etc. Our Osteopaths can assist in improving the range of motion of joints and reducing stiffness.
The process of aging means that our body is constantly changing and that aging results in degeneration of the joints. Symptoms can range from stiffness, mild aching or severe pain. Our Osteopaths identify areas of poor movement within the tissues of the body and improve function to reduce mechanic load on worn or arthirtic joints. Exercises and a management plan can be tailored to the individual.
What About Side Effects?
The aim of the treatment is to restore normal function which should have the effect of reducing symptoms. All medical interventions do unfortunately however carry a risk and Osteopathy is no different. Fortunately the side effects related to Osteopathy are usually very mild. Not everybody will have a reaction and typically this lasts less than 48 hours. The reaction often diminishes as the treatment progresses. If for any reason your symptoms are persisting please ring the practice and ask to speak to your osteopath. Occasionally you may need a check or treatment sooner to alleviate your symptoms sooner. Most osteopathic treatments have minimal side effects however the most adverse potential side effect of Osteopathic treatment is related to neck or spinal manipulation. The possibility of this has been estimated between 1 per 100,000 and 1 per 1,000,000. Major cerebrovascular accidents are between 1 per 120,000 and 1 per 1,666,666 neck manipulations. Lumbar disc herniation is 1 per 38,013 lumbar manipulations and cauda equine syndrome (where the nerves at the bottom of the spine become compressed) between 1 per 3.7 million and 1 per 100 million lumbar manipulations. To put that all in a frame of context death from neck surgery is 1 per 145 operations, death from a road traffic accident is 1 per 20,000 and death from longer term use of anti-inflammatory medication 1 per 1,000. (Figures taken from) “Adverse events in manual therapy: a systematic review, Manual therapy 14(4) pp 355-63 Carnes, Mars, Mullinger, Froud, Underwood. 2010. The Osteopath will discuss any concerns you have if considering this treatment. The Osteopathic profession is currently undertaking widespread research regarding the potential side effects from treatment. As soon as this research is concluded the results will be commented and reported on the website. Our Osteopaths will endeavour to do their very best to resolve your discomfort and if recommending treatment they will be happy to discuss any usual or associated risk with you. Therefore treatment with only be given with your full, and informed consent. Although Osteopaths are experts in the application of specific manipulative techniques we would appreciate any preference you have regarding your treatment. If you would like any further information please email us .
How Many Times Will I Attend The Clinic?
On average a typical number of visits is 2 to 6 and generally the sooner we see you after the symptoms begin the quicker you will respond, this is however obviously dependent on the diagnosis. It is the policy of this practice that if you do not respond to your treatment we will discuss other alternatives and try to find an approach that may be more suitable for you, or refer you for further tests or investigations if appropriate either through your G.P. or occasionally through private referral. All medical treatment is dependent on the individual's body. Therefore what may work for one person may not for another. This can occur in complicated cases and the Osteopath may recommend a trial of a treatment which you may then decide to continue if you feel it to be beneficial.
Are Osteopaths Regulated By Law?
Osteopathy has been regulated in law since 8th May 2000, therefore it is illegal to call yourself an Osteopath unless registered by the General Osteopathic Council (Please visit the General Osteopathic Council website for more information)) (www.osteopathy.org.uk). The regulation is to protect the patients under our care.
How much does Osteopathic treatment cost?
Many private health insurance schemes give benefits for Osteopathic treatment. Some will reimburse the total fee that you have paid, some only a percentage. All insurance companies have help lines to explain your benefits and methods of claiming.