What is Osteopathy?

Vitality Osteopaths – Marlow Osteopath Clinic

Osteopathy is a medically recognised and statutory regulated system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of conditions for all ages. It is a system of treatment based on optimising the structure (skeleton, muscles, connective tissue and organs) and alignment of the individual, so that they can function without stress, stiffness and pain in their body.

Osteopaths use hands-on techniques typically a combination of joint mobilisation, massage, stretching, physical manipulation and cranial osteopathy where appropriate. Treatment is tailored to each individuals needs. The aim of treatment is to improve the blood supply and health of tissue, correct postural alignment and support the body’s own healing mechanisms leading to a natural state of balance.

Treatment may also include advice on posture, ergonomics and specific exercises to aid recovery and prevent re-injury. Exercises are typically designed to strengthen certain areas of the body where there is an imbalance and to improve flexibility of muscles, joints and nerves.

Osteopathic Techniques Used:

  1. Cranial osteopathy = very gentle treatment that involves the practitioner applying fine focussed pressure with their hands on part of the body being treated (often the head or sacrum) and allowing a release of tension and restricted movement. This approach is well recognised and suitable for all ages including newborn babies, children and in all stages in pregnancy.
  2. Articulation = Gentle rhythmic movement of joints help improve the range of movement in the joints.
  3. Soft tissue techniques = similar to massage but more specific to certain muscles, tendons or ligaments to relieve tensions in specific areas, such as trigger points.
  4. Myofascial unwinding = performed on all soft tissues including the supporting structures to organs as well as muscles tendons and ligaments and joints.
  5. Manipulation = releasing joints often with an audible ‘click’ this technique is used when clinically indicated, with a clear explanation given prior and only with the consent of the patient.