Osteopathy is a non-invasive, manual therapy that can help to improve your health through manipulation of the musculoskeletal framework. It focuses on the joints, muscles and spine, helping to positively impact the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. This complementary therapy can be used alongside other traditional treatments to improve your health – but what can you expect from an osteopathy session and who can it benefit most?
What is osteopathy used for?
Osteopathy can be used for a number of health problems – it’s a system of diagnosing, treating and preventing a range of joint and muscle issues, from back pain and postural problems to sports injuries or arthritis. Osteopathy can also be used for pain caused by driving or work, changes from pregnancy, age-related pain and even headaches.
What are the benefits?
With many types of treatments available for muscular or joint pain, what makes osteopathy such a great option? The goal of osteopathy is to treat the patient rather than the disease, which means taking a look at the body as a whole rather than the individual complaint. All parts of the body are interconnected so the function of one area will impact another.
Osteopathy aims to remove the underlying cause of pain, by reducing the amount of stress on your joints and relieving tension in the body, which can also help with tension headaches and migraines. It can also help to adapt the hormonal and structural changes that can occur in pregnancy. Osteopathy is commonly used to alleviate the symptoms associated with chronic illnesses such as arthritis and IBS too, minimising the pain and discomfort these conditions can cause.
As a gentle and relaxing treatment, osteopathy can help to reduce stress on the body and improve blood flow and nerve supply. Many people find that it also works as a preventative treatment, so if you’ve recently recovered from an injury or health concern, this treatment can help reduce the risk of the problem reoccurring.
Can anyone benefit from osteopathy?
Osteopathic patients vary from young children to pregnant women, athletes, manual workers, office professionals and older people. It’s a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that can work for people of all ages. In particular, cranial osteopathy, also known as paediatric osteopathy, is beneficial during pregnancy and for infants as it’s incredibly gentle and sensitive.
How long does it take for osteopathy to work?
Many people experience positive results from their first session, but it depends on the severity of your condition and how well your body responds in terms of how often you should continue osteopathy for. In most cases, to see changes and make progress, it’s recommended that you book your appointments no longer than two weeks apart. Weekly treatments can help with faster progress. If you want to simply manage your symptoms and keep them at bay, booking every three to four weeks can be useful.
Are there any side effects to osteopathy?
Osteopathy is typically regarded as a safe treatment that only causes minor side effects. Some people might notice mild soreness or pain where they’ve had the treatment, as well as fatigue or headaches. These symptoms can develop within a few hours of your session, but they often disappear on their own within a couple of days.
Your osteopath will explain the potential risks of your treatment before you begin your session so you’ll be fully informed of any side effects you might experience.
What should I expect from my first appointment?
Your first appointment will last around an hour – the first half of your session will be spent discussing your symptoms and your general health so that your osteopath can tailor your treatment accordingly. This will be followed by an examination, so your osteopath can assess your posture and ask you to perform some simple movements so they can formulate a diagnosis.
You will then have your treatment and at the end of your appointment, your osteopath will reassess your standing posture and discuss the changes and what needs to be done in future appointments. The length of your treatment and how regularly you need to be seen will vary from person to person, so this is something you can discuss with your osteopath.
Osteopathy can help a variety of people deal with joint or muscular issues in their everyday life. If you’d like to learn more about how osteopathy can help you, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.