What is Osteopathy and How Can it Help?

Osteopathy is a complementary therapy that uses a drug-free, non-invasive form of manual medicine that focuses on the overall health of the body.

It uses ‘hands-on’ techniques to correct altered biomechanics and improve circulation, based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the muscles, skeleton, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

An osteopathic physician believes your structure must work well in order for your body to work well. Osteopaths use manual techniques that include gentle pressure, stretching, and resistance.

Many osteopaths are also trained in internal medicine, family medicine, and paediatrics.

How can Osteopathy help reduce back pain?

In today’s world of digitisation, most people, on average, spend 11 hours per day in front of a screen. This sedentary lifestyle means poor posture and musculoskeletal problems.  

Poor posture not only produces pain in the back but also causes symptoms elsewhere, such as legs, arms, hips, etc. Back problem can further lead to dizziness, jaw problems and recurring headaches.

Osteopaths use manual manipulation techniques to reduce back pain and prevent it from coming back. The treatment involves subtle and gentle massage, especially of the muscles and soft tissues.  

If there are signs of other serious conditions like a displaced disc, the osteopathic physician may recommend some imaging tests and direct the patient towards conventional treatment.

The osteopath may also suggest changes to workplace ergonomics, such as seating and desk position, and dietary modifications. Prevention advice may involve:

  • Lifting techniques
  • Stretching exercises
  • Posture
  • Breathing
  • Stress reduction

All these techniques along with gentle massage can help improve posture and reduce back pain.

How can Osteopathy help get a better night’s sleep?

Severe pain and discomfort can cause disruptive sleeping patterns or lead to restless nights. A lack of sleep can make it harder for the body to function properly, and cope with pain.

Various studies have shown that osteopathy can help reduce sleeplessness and insomnia resulting from severe pain.

Experts of osteopathy in London use osteopathic manipulation to improve the rhythm of sleep. They gently massage the soft tissues which relieves the stress and tension that makes it harder to sleep. Simultaneously, this process also improves the blood flow around the musculature and enhances the healing of the body. All of these factors help to improve the quality of sleep.

How can Osteopathy help with common sports injuries?

Athletes and individuals who play sports are more prone to developing sports injuries like tennis elbow, strains, ankle sprain, fractures, knee injuries, dislocation, etc.

Sports injuries can occur due to various reasons:

  • Overtraining
  • Under training or poor training practices
  • Not stretching or exercising enough

Osteopathic physicians treat the structure of the body to make it function more efficiently. This means they are skilled enough to treat common sports injuries and to improve sports performance.

Treatment goals include:

  • Relieving pain quicker
  • Improving performance
  • Reducing scar tissue formation

Osteopaths identify the biochemical causes of the injuries and diagnose injured tissues.

Osteopathic treatment may include:

  • Joint mobilization and manipulation techniques to increase the increase the range of movement
  • Heat and/ or cold therapy
  • Gentle tissue massaging to reduce tissue adhesion, relax tight muscles, decrease swelling, and relieve pain
  • Exercise prescription to enhance balance, coordination and to strengthen muscles
How can Osteopathy help during Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, there are many physiological developmental changes that the mother’s body undergoes to accommodate a growing fetus. These changes affect the body’s ability to function and also the body’s structure.  

Some of these changes are water retention, increase in weight, postural changes, etc. A combination of these alterations can cause:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Swelling
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Insomnia

As we know, osteopathic physicians aim to normalise the structure so that it functions as efficiently as possible, the treatments during pregnancy are no different.  

After a thorough assessment, careful osteopathic treatment during pregnancy helps relieve the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with pregnancy. The osteopaths use various gentle techniques to help a pregnant woman cope with ligamentous and muscular strains on her body by its changing shape.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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