What is Osteopathy?Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment which looks mainly at problems within the musculo-skeletal system, such as muscle and joint sprains and strains. Often these musculo-skeletal problems cause abnormal joint movement patterns, muscular imbalance, nerve irritation, inflammatory changes and ultimately, degeneration of the joint structure.
Osteopaths use a 'hands on' manual approach to help patients overcome these changes by focusing on improving joint mobility (both spinal and peripheral) and reducing soft tissue restriction and muscle imbalance in the body.
Is it safe?Osteopathic care is remarkably safe when carried out by a registered osteopath. Practitioners employ a variety of different techniques and apply the most appropriate technique(s) for each individual patient.
Osteopaths do not prescribe medication or perform surgical procedures. This enhances our excellent safety record.
Osteopaths are trained to recognise conditions which require referral elsewhere.
What happens on your first visit?The first time you visit one of the team at Evans Osteopaths we go through a detailed case history to find out about your problem.
We also need to ask your general medical history, health and fitness.
It is easier if you wear loose clothing such as a t-shirt and track pants or similar. After completing your case history we will then examine you. We generally perform a series of simple movements, reflexes and some medical tests or muscle strength tests. Depending on your condition there may be other more specialised tests we need to perform.
Osteopaths then use palpation (a highly developed sense of touch) to detect abnormalities in muscle tone, joint mobility etc.
All this information helps us to arrive at a diagnosis.
Once we have completed our case history and examination we will discuss our findings with you and let you know what we feel is causing your discomfort, whether treatment is appropriate and what we recommend.
TreatmentOsteopaths use their hands to investigate the underlying cause of pain and to carry out treatment using a wide variety of manipulation and soft tissue techniques.
These techniques may include rhythmic joint movements, soft tissue and connective tissue stretching or high velocity thrust techniques (which often give an audible click) to improve the range of movement of a joint.
Gentle massage and stretching techniques are often used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients.
Your osteopath will also give you advice on what to avoid to reduce the likelihood of aggravating the injury. What to do in the way of exercise and what to do to aid recovery - for example we may suggest hydrotherapy or arnica. We may also give advice about stress management and diet. We will also advise you whether or how often you require treatment.
How long does each treatment take?Your first visit with us is approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the complexity of your problem it may take a little longer as we need to gain an understanding of your complaint and perform the appropriate physical assessment.
Follow up appointments last about 30 minutes. We do not use any machines, so this time is spent with your osteopath performing 'hands on' treatment and giving advice and exercises etc.