Osteopathy is a hands-on complementary treatment method that works with the body as a whole. With different techniques the osteopath achieves a change in the tissues which improves its function and hence reduces pain. Muscles, connective tissues and viscera as well as bones and their joints are treated with a variety of different techniques tailored to each individual patient to maximise pain relief. The techniques chosen range from very gentle cranial osteopathy to structural strong osteopathic treatments including soft and deep tissue massage, stretching, articulation and manipulation involving a "click" in the joint.
What to expect when you are seeing an osteopath
Medical History - Your osteopath will ask you about your current pain and also in depth questions about your health and life so far. This is so the osteopath gets a good idea of what your body has been through, and so the examination can be safe and tailored exactely.
Examination - For the examination you may be asked to undress down to your underwear so the whole body can be assessed. Please wear appropriate underwear. As the osteopath is trying to find out where the origin of the pain is the movements and tests performed during the examination can sometimes reproduce your pain.
Explanation - Your osteopath will tell you about the findings of the examination, the likely diagnosis and discuss suggested treatment plans with you. Never hesitate to ask any questions if something is not clear.
Treatment - Your osteopath will treat you according to your body's needs and problem.
Treatment reactions are quite common and can be anything from acerbation of the pain to tiredness and aches in other areas. This usually last for about 24-48hours and then resolves. Ice wrapped into a towel and applied to the area of pain intermittently for ten minutes can ease the ache.
Treatment reactions occur because the body takes some time in getting used to the new posture. It has often been in pain for a long time and assumed a certain comfortable compensatory position.
If you are worried, always ring your osteopath.