Osteopathy is a diagnostic and treatment method which focuses on the musculo-skeletal system ( joints, muscles, ligaments & connective tissue ) and the way in which this interrelates with the functioning of the body as a whole.
It is nearly as old as modern medicine; started in 1874 by Dr. A. T. Still in Missouri, USA. The first British college was founded in 1917 and the system has increasingly grown in public awareness up to the recent state registration of Osteopaths.
Using his/her hands, which have been trained to a very refined sense of touch, the Osteopath achieves an understanding of structural abnormalities in the body tissues. The loss of this normal mechanical function of body parts may lead to a wide variety of symptoms. Osteopaths then have an equally wide variety of manual techniques with which to diagnose and subsequently apply as treatment to aid the return of normal function and health. This ranges from the gentle cranial and functional techniques, through to tissue articulation and joint adjustments.
The large range and type of manipulative techniques available allow each treatment to be unique to the patient and related specifically to each patient's age, medical state, sex, physical condition etc. As the body changes over a course of treatment the the treatment method may change to.
Techniques include massage to relax muscles, joint articulation, high velocity thrust to restore joint mobility, and gentle release (cranial and functional) designed to 'ease out' trauma to soft tissue - especially suitable for children.
Faults in the body systems can arise as a result of, or reaction to, injury, stress, disease or most commonly due to a backlog of untreated and chronic 'mini' trauma's.
Although Osteopathic treatment is often related to back pain, there are many other conditions affecting the body frame which are accessible to the therapy.
Sports injuries, joint pain, headache, earache, certain eye disorders, breathing difficulties, digestive trouble, gynaecological problems, postural stress, and in fact problems ranging from birth trauma to arthritis are all conditions which may be treated in the osteopathic clinic.