What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is an approach to health care that emphasises supporting the body´s own healing processes. It can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of every age. It was the first complementary therapy to have undergone statutory regulation by Parliament. This gives osteopaths a similar status to doctors or dentists and guarantees a patient the equivalent high level of protection. The initial consultation takes up to 1 hour and includes the taking of a full case history followed by appropriate treatment and advice. Follow-up appointments take 30 minutes.
If you suffer an injury, you should:
Follow the RICE procedure.
When injured, STOP! Never try to work or exercise through the pain. This could cause further damage.
This will reduce local swelling. Apply to the injured site for a period of 10-15 minutes every hour. Make sure the ice is wrapped in a cloth to reduce the chance of frost bite. Use cold water if ice is not available.
If the injury is to an arm or leg.
This reduces the swelling. Apply a crepe bandage or tubigrip to the area.
This aids drainage away from the injured area. Elevate.
ICE: This can reduce inflammation and severity of pain. An ice pack or pack of frozen peas must be wrapped in a thin cloth, such as a tea towel, and placed over the injury for 10-15 minutes. This can be repeated every 1 to 2 hours.
GENTLE EXERCISES AND STRETCHES: These can help to disperse swelling and improve mobility. Your osteopath will explain how to carry these out.
ELEVATION & COMPRESSION: This can reduce the swelling and assist drainage from joint and soft tissue injuries in the arm or leg. Have the limb raised and supported on pillows for periods of 30 minutes. The injured site must be above the level of the heart. Use a correct size tubigrip over the joint or damaged soft tissues.
COLD & WARM TREATMENT: Once the injury is out of its acute stage (approximately 48 hours) application of alternating cold and warm to the site can aid blood flow to the area and promote healing. Ice packs or a bag of frozen peas (in a cloth) alternating with a warm water bottle or wheat bag can be used. Start with the cold for 5 minutes, then apply the warm for 5 minutes. Repeat this again and then finish with the cold for 5 minutes.
EVERY PERSON AND INJURY IS DIFFERENT: Therefore your osteopath will recommend the right self help for your specific needs.
What you may experience following treatment
You may go through a period of feeling worse before feeling better. Tissues are sometimes re-irritated during treatment in order to improve and control the healing process. To others the feeling of relief and improved mobility is so great that they attempt more than they should. This can end up aggravating the problem, sometimes making it worse than before.
You may find that the pain moves about to different places. This is probably due to your body responding and readjusting to changes in function brought about by treatment. If you are at all worried Contact your osteopath.Different people react in different ways to treatment. Following an osteopathic treatment some people experience immediate relief, whilst others may feel stiff and sore for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours before the benefits of the treatment take effect.
Osteopaths undergo an extensive four-year BSc degree course including anatomy, physiology and pathology of the human body. This knowledge enables an osteopath to analyse your problems and diagnose your complaints using a variety of clinical skills. If necessary these will be backed up by referral to your GP for x-rays or other tests.
When a full diagnosis has been made, your osteopath will explain the problem and then start treatment. This is often gentle, and may involve a variety of soft-tissue massage, muscle stretching and joint manipulations to adjust or improve function. If necessary you will be given exercises and advised on how to prevent the problem recurring.