Osteopathy is a discrete medical specialty, which concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of complaints involving the body's muscles, tendons, joints, discs, nerves, ligaments and, in particular, how they relate to the body's mechanics, function and posture. In practice, this most commonly relates to musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain.
In response to physical knocks or emotional stress, the body's tissues contract. Any stresses, strains, tensions or traumas, which are unresolved in the body, restrict the body's functioning and may give rise to problems over the years. The effects may be both physical (such as back pain, migraine or digestive disorders) and emotional (such as anxiety or depression).
Osteopaths are trained to feel both the subtle and larger physical motions in the body, and use this to identify areas where there is congestion or restriction. Osteopathic treatment uses hands-on techniques to help restore motion, reduce inflammation and tension, enhance blood flow and lymphatic drainage, to enable the body to return to better function.
A detailed knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human musculo-skeletal system enables osteopaths to identify faults which occur because of injury or mechanical stress, and to treat not just the symptoms but the underlying causes of the problem.
The osteopath's assessment, diagnosis and treatment are patient centred and tailored to you as an individual. Factors such as your job, posture, sports and previous injuries will be taken into account when treating and giving advice. As some patients are on prescribed medications and under the care of a G.P, the assessment also takes this into account. The treatment is then tailored towards complementing orthodox medicine, keeping the GP informed and up to date of all treatment given.
Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head. It is a gentle yet extremely effective approach and may be used in a wide range of conditions for individuals of all ages, from birth to old age.
The human skull and face are comprised of several bones, each bone expressing a small amount of movement along the line where it joins its neighbouring bones. Collectively, the bones move, causing a very subtle, rhythmic shape change that is present throughout the head and body. This is known as the involuntary mechanism or the cranial rhythm. Cranial Osteopaths are trained to feel these movements and use gentle but specific hand holds to release compressions in both the head and the rest of the body.
Babies and Children
The bones of the newborn's skull are made of membrane and cartilage rather than bone as we know it. This material is flexible and deforms under load, like steel making its flexibility part of its strength. The tiny joints between the bones of the head are called sutures and allow even more flexibility to this living structure.
When an osteopath examines a baby, areas of tension are often found in the spine or head, which are indications that the baby is uncomfortable. A baby cannot complain of backache or headaches, and will typically express this by crying and being unsettled or irritable.
After treatment, children can be unsettled for 24 - 36 hours, this is normal. However, if you are concerned please don't hesitate to contact us.
In adults, cranial osteopathy can be used in conjunction with structural osteopathy to treat symptoms sustained in car accidents or falls, cervicogenic headaches, abdominal pain, jaw pain.