Osteopaths are aligned health professionals also called primary healthcare providers. The governing body the general osteopathic council regulate the profession. Osteopaths must be fully insured and criminal record checked. It is an illegal offence for anybody to call themselves an osteopath unless they have the appropriate degree and registration status.
Osteopathy is a manual form of medicine, meaning they use their hands and bodyweight to move and manipulate the joints and muscles of the body. Historically osteopathy was a general health system that treated any health condition from influenza to chronic headaches. In modern times osteopaths are more known for musculoskeletal medicine. Musculoskeletal medicine refers to the management, treatment and rehabilitation injuries and other conditions that affect the muscular or skeletal system.
There are some fundamental principles which osteopaths work by, these include.
- the body is a unit – simply meaning everything within the body and all its systems are interconnected and interrelated.
- the body has its own medicine cabinet – osteopaths recognise that the body seeks Health, the body produces a whole array of cells and enzymes which can promote or reduce inflammation, actors analgesics and fight infection.
- structure governs function -simply put, the structures of the body such as the joints and muscles effect how the underlying tissues function. For example poor compliance within the ribcage and a seated posture can affect how the diaphragm moves. A reduction in the descending movement of the diaphragm may reduce blood circulation in and around the gastrointestinal system, reducing the efficiency of digestion.
Often people believe that osteopathy is about cracking backs. However the manipulative techniques used by osteopaths are just one form of treatment. In reality osteopaths do not treat conditions, but they treat the patient as a whole. Treatment can consist of exercise, lifestyle advice, massage and stretching.
So if you’re experiencing any musculoskeletal pain or injury, give osteopathy a try.