Advice on how Osteopathy can treat your low back neck joint pain or sciatica.
What is Osteopathy?
My therapy is available in Bournemouth – and is easily accessible from Christchurch, Poole and Southampton
Osteopathy is an established and highly recognised form of treatment for pain and injury by the British medical profession. Concentrating on the function of the body’s structure, Osteopathy can alleviate pain and suffering caused by the activities of daily living, posture/lifting at work, a sports related injury, through to the chronic pain of arthritis.
Osteopaths don’t just treat backs!
Osteopaths are trained in “differential diagnosis” (understanding of the problem and it’s possible alternatives) – by taking a detailed case history, listening to your story and assessing the way the structures around your painful/restricted area move in relation to one another (musculo- skeletal system). This can determine whether you have symptoms or dysfunction arising from your muscular skeletal system, which may respond well to manual therapy, or if there is a more serious underlying problem that requires further investigation or referral. The Osteopaths examination and palpation may conclude that your symptoms may be musculo skeletal, but are originating from somewhere else in your body, not the site of your pain.
Osteopaths are trained in clinical reasoning and can advise you, as an individual, to help you decide the best action/options to take to improve your symptoms. This may include: advice on lifestyle, exercises, suitable medication, working posture, adaptations during sport and the current efficacy of different supports and strapping or the different treatments/interventions, including the surgical and non surgical intervention options currently available. I will give you support & where appropriate offer options of who and how to contact relevant other practitioners or specialists.
Osteopaths are trained to observe & assess and treat through touch (palpation), the inter-relationship of structures. We ascertain whether there are imbalances and disturbance from normal function within the joints and soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, capsules, fascia and tendons) that support and move us through complex movements of everyday life.
Osteopaths are trained to use a wide range of manual techniques to address the imbalances they find, such as soft tissue massage, mobilizing & articulation of joints. Thes are applied with varying degrees of subtlety or strength, sometimes using direct and indirect pressure and movements.
Answering Questions to Enhance Your Visit
What can I expect from a first visit?
Please feel free to bring a friend or relative with you. For children under 16 it is a requirement that they are accompanied by a parent or legally responsible adult.
I will look at your mechanics and explain what we are finding and how it many be effecting the presenting symptom/s. Then I perform active movement assessments, which are movements of the areas which are affected or associated. E.g. flexing your head forward, backwards, sideways and rotating your head. Then I will perform any tests to clarify the diagnosis (what the problem is) and prognosis (what may happen in the future). Then we can work together to palpate your muscles and joints. At this stage if I am happy with the diagnosis and it is safe to proceed I will continue with treatment. I can use a highly developed sense of touch called ‘layer palpation’ and ‘end feel’ to identify any points of weakness, stiffness or strain you may be experiencing.I use my hands, not machines, to carry out a variety of treatment techniques which include:
- Soft Tissue. (Like Massage)
- Very carefully controlled High Velocity Thrust. (Increases the movement of the joints, Cracks and Pops)
- Other Muscle and joint mobility techniques. (Functional, Counterstrain, Muscle energy, PNF)
What should I wear?
Osteopaths need to see how your spine, joints and muscles behave when stood, walking, and bending
It is important that the Osteopath is able to gather as much relevant information as possible. As part of the assessment you may be asked to undress down to your underwear. If you are uncomfortable with this, you are welcome to change into shorts (if you are a man) or shorts and a sports bra/vest (if you are a woman).
A gown or toweling can be provided on request.
If you are uncomfortable with removing any items of clothing we will respect your wishes and do the best we can, but this may compromise the quality of our assessment and treatment.
How do I understand the Osteopathic Diagnosis (What is Wrong)?
You may see me with a range of problems. My treatment starts with an explanation of what is wrong. Orthopaedic terms like ‘it’s a disc prolapse’ or ‘you have tennis elbow’ are easy to understand. Osteopaths, however, also describe important strains, tensions, restrictions and pains related to ‘Mechanical Dysfunction’. The general public is automatically able to understand the concept, but not it’s significance for help and treatment by the Osteopath. Here are some useful definitions for when I see you.
Mechanical Pain Definition
Mechanical pain is the general term that refers to any type of back pain caused by placing abnormal stress and strain on muscles of the vertebral column. Typically, mechanical pain results from injury, bad habits, such as poor posture, poorly-designed seating, and incorrect bending and lifting motions.
The habits can often be automatically corrected by maintaining proper posture, adapting proper lifting and bending techniques, as well as the use of ergonomic chairs to alleviate back pain. If the pain persists, the pain may not be due to mechanical pain, indicating a reassessment for more serious underlying back problems.
Mechanical Joint Dysfunction
This is the name given to the specific movement restrictions and the effects it can have on the rest of the body. There are many causes: car accidents, falls, occupational duties, lack of exercise, chronic injuries, poor posture, Sports injuries, all can contribute to the weakening of the structural elements of the spine (ligaments) and cause abnormal wear of the spine and related joints. A chain of events can lead to progressive compensations elswhere, and set up new secondary areas of dysfunction.
The main components of Mechanical Joint Dysfunction are:
• Restricted movement of Vertebra and small joints in the spine. This can also occur to other joints.
• Irritation of the sensitive nerves – as a result of the misaligned vertebrae.
• Muscle Spasm – to prevent further damage, but splinting the vertebrae in the incorrect position.
• Localised Inflammation – due to the muscle, tendon, ligament, disc and joint irritation
Treatment of Mechanical Joint Dysfunction
Once your condition is identified, your osteopath will gently, precisely, and painlessly mobilise the vertebrae joints into functioning normally. The manipulation is the procedure whereby the osteopath uses his hands to precisely mobilise the vertebrae, ribs and other joints. This treatment will often have to be repeated in order for the vertebrae to rehabilitate into its correct ways of working. Massage therapy along with exercise rehabilitation will also be considered in order to successfully manage the injury. Once corrected, it is advisable to exercise, correct body use (including posture and ergonomics) and have periodic check ups to ensure the spine is healing appropriately. These check ups will reduce with time as the condition heals.
Do I need to see a Doctor first?
I personally am a medical doctor and a qualified musculo-skeletal physician, but now concentrating on Osteopathy
You do not need to see a doctor first, or need a referral from him/her. Osteopaths are trained to examine and understand health problems themselves. We are also trained to recognise when you need medical attention rather than osteopathic treatment. However you will need to see your GP if you want a referral for your healthcare provider insurance. With your permission I may write your GP to keep them up to date with your progress.
Is it Safe?
I qualified at the prestigious London College of Osteopathic Medicine. I now teach osteopathic treatment there, to doctors from around the world
As well as becoming a registered osteopath I have passed an exam in musculo-skeletal medicine (DipMSMed), and am a Fellow of the London College of Osteopathic Medicine.
By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and it is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered.
Will the treatment hurt?
…And will I feel sore after treatment?
My treatment approach is very gentle and will not be painful. There may be mild discomfort in some circumstances, for example when working on very tight muscles. Any manipulation ‘click’ techniques are always graded to use the minimum necessary force.
Afterwards, as your body readjusts and adapts to the changes that occur during treatment, you may sometimes feel tired or even a little achey (like you’ve over-used a muscle) after treatment. If this happens, such effects last from 6hrs -24hrs after treatment. Should this occur I will be able to advise you on your particular case and address any concerns you may have.
How long does a course of treatment take?
This depends on the nature and complexity of your problem
As a general rule, things that occurred recently will resolve fairly quickly, in one or 2 – 4 treatments. Longer term, more chronic conditions may take longer. I will discuss your individual situation with you on your first visit. My aim is help you get well as soon as possible, so be assured I will not keep you coming longer than necessary.
What if I need to cancel or change my appointment?
It its requested that a minimum of 24hours notice is given prior to cancelling or changing your appointment
Failure to do so will result in the full consultation fee being charged. Please call my receptionist for any alterations.
Do you do home visits?
Unfortunately, I cannot offer home visits as part of my service.
Whilst a home visit can seem appropriate or convenient, it is simply ‘better done’ in a quiet, well-designed clinic; along with the necessary space, privacy and equipment that you would and should expect from your professional.
Do you offer some sort of check-up service for people even if they are not in any pain?
Absolutely, prevention is better than cure!
I am happy to check for disturbances in patterns of movement throughout the body including tension-holding patterns, muscles, large joints, small joints, and spinal segments, as well as checking postural imbalances that could cause problems later down the line. A normal consultation fee applies, because the session includes an in-depth osteopathic assessment, with professional opinion and advice will be given.
What are the preferred methods of payment?
Payment to me at my clinic can be by:
Banker’s card, Cash, or cheque with account card
Card payment – preferably Debit card rather than Credit card (No Amex)
Thank you for your assistance in this arrangement
Where can I Park?
Free parking is available at my clinic at Crantock Grove, and is highly convenient from Castle Lane West
There is also Free parking next to the surgery in Crantock Grove itself
Does the Medical world think that the Osteopathic approach is effective?
Yes it does! And this is in keeping with our multi-method approach to your problem
That is, it’s not all about ‘click and fix’. Think about the lifestyle and exercise advice you receive from your osteopath too!
Here are two recent important documents. Click on images to enlarge.
Firstly, the NICE guidelines – Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management, November 2016. See p452 on the pdf download.
Also, from the BMJ 2004 – United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care
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