What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of gentle manual therapy used to treat conditions affecting nerves, muscles, joints and bones. Its focus is on relieving pain, eliminating restrictions and increasing joint range of motion to regain optimal functioning and mobility. Correcting muscular and postural imbalances also play a key role in osteopathic care. The practitioner utilizes hands-on techniques such as osteo-articular joint mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, stretching and strengthening techniques, physiotherapy modalities for pain relief, and home care rehabilitation programs. Lifestyle and nutritional counselling are also provided in an osteopathic treatment session. Osteopathy is a patient centred approach to health care.
Osteopathy is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive manual therapies available for the treatment of nerve, muscle, and joint complaints. Osteopathic manual therapy is safe for the whole family!
History of Osteopathy:
Osteopathy was first introduced by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, in June 22, 1874. His original theory was based on the idea that the normal workings of the body could be disturbed by anatomical abnormalities or displacements. The term osteopathy comes from the Greek word "osteon" which means bone, and "pathos" meaning suffering or disease. According to Still, derangements from different systems within the body can lead to disease and other conditions which can be treated by osteopathic techniques through the musculoskeletal system. He maintained the theory that the osteopath views the body as a whole unit. When one structure in the body is affected it can cause numerous problems physiologically unless the original dysfunction is found and treated.
"To treat the pain is not the sole purpose; it is finding and treating the cause of the pain that should be the focus." - Andrew Taylor Still, MD
The term 'osteopath' carries the connotation of a therapist who works only with conditions and diseases pertaining to bones. This is not the case. The osteopathic practitioner is a musculoskeletal specialist, who works with the muscles, joints, nerves and bones and approaches treatment by looking at the patient as a whole. This includes evaluating the patient`s dietary habits, how active they are and the type of job they have to analyze for negative postural and biomechanial habits. When this information is obtained, the practitioner can help the patient make the right changes in their life to return them to normal functioning.
When to visit an osteopathic practitioner:
You can visit an osteopathic practitioner for most nerve, muscle and joint complaints. Some common conditions that an osteopathic practitioner treats include:
-- Neck and shoulder (rotator cuff) injuries
-- Tennis and golfers elbow
-- Wrist sprains
-- Carpel tunnel syndrome
-- Back pain
-- Hip pain
-- Knee pain and sprains
-- Shin splints
-- Plantar faciitis