Osteopaths must complete a four years full-time undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, although more emphasis is placed on musculoskeletal medicine. The degree program covers:
- Orthopedic assessment
- Neurology and neurological assessment
- Pathology and differential diagnosis
Most people think of osteopaths as ‘back specialists’ however osteopaths treat many conditions from headaches to foot pain. Osteopathic care does not target symptoms only, but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good balance.
Osteopaths use a variety of therapeutic techniques, it is not just cracking backs. Treatment may include massage, gentle joint mobilisation, manipulation, stretching and exercise; this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s particular needs no matter what their age.
Before we start to treat you, the osteopath will make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your presentation and your day-to-day routine.
We usually look at your posture and how you move your body. We may also assess what happens when we move your joints for you. We may also check your reflexes and take your blood pressure. What examination patients receive will depend on your case history and presenting condition.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations, depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis. Treatment essentially aims to relax tight muscles, improve joint mobility, improve nerve function and increase circulation. The osteopath may then discuss exercises that you can do to improve your posture and flexibility.So what do Osteopaths treat?
As stated Osteopaths treat a variety conditions the patients of all ages. But more commonly patients seek treatment for:
- Back and neck pain
- Ankle hip knee knee and shoulder pain
- Sports injuries
- Trapped nerves
- Bad posture
- General health
Osteopathy began in the United States in 1874. It was created by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. Still was a physician and surgeon, a state legislator, a free state leader and one of the founders of Baker University. With over 140 yrs of combined knowledge and experience the system of osteopathy is both proven to be effective and very safe.