Osteopathy; more than just backs
Osteopaths consider your whole body and how it is working and adapting to get you through each day.
Your osteopath will take a full case history, examine you, make a diagnosis, treat and prescribe homework (not always ‘excercise’). Treatment is taylored to you and your body.
In order to understand your body’s ability to heal and adapt we will ask about your general health, medical history and medication taken. Knowing what you do with your body during the day, and what sports and activities you are involved in can help towards a diagnosis and treatment plan. The aim can be relieving your symptoms, increasing your quality of life, physical performanc, rest and sleep.
Treatments centre around the principle that the skeleton, nerves, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues need to work smoothly together to maintain a well funtioning, strong and healthy person. Our bodies have the amazing ability to heal and adapt but too often we don’t listen, understand or have the time to act on its needs. Your osteopath has a medical osteopathic degree and the skills to investigate, understand and support your body to health.
Conscious and unsconcious adaptive postures may relieve an initial ache or pain, but can lead to other problems. A sore heal may be bearable but left untreated can lead to a limp and then pain in the foot, knee or hips. Changes in eyesight may result in an adaptive posture as you subconcously try to focus on a screen or papers, putting strain on your neck, back, shoulders, arms and even hands. Physical trauma can happen at any age and from any activity or sport. Without early intervention and appropriate rehabilitation recovery can be affected as the body adapts to redistribute load and function.
For best results book an appointent as soon as you notice a restriction, injury or pain. Your osteopath can also help you pre and post surgery and when you are in a plaster-cast post fracture. Delaying treatment can lead to a longer and more complicated recovery.
Osteopaths can also help you understand a diagnosis or treatment that has been proposed by another health professionals. Imaging (Xrays, MRIs, DEXA scans…), test results and diognosis can be confusing but we can explain them.
For more information about what osteopathy treats clink this link to the the Institute of Osteopathy.
Preparing for an osteopathic treatment
Arriving 10 minutes early for the first appointment will allow you time to fill in a simple form and give flexibilty in case of transport delays. Follow-up apointments are often much shorter so it is also important that you are not late. Unfortunately some treatmets cannot be squeezed into a shorter time.
After talking through your medical history and current symptoms it is usual for the osteopath to ask you to dress down to your underwear so that you can be examined.
It will be necessary to move your body during examination and treatment, so wearing or bringing, appropriate underwear is essential. For women this can be a full coverage bra and underpants. For men sports shorts or swimming trunks are good.
List of medication and reports
At your first appointment you will be asked about medication taken so please bring a list of your current medicines. Instead of writing a list you could bring prescriptions or even photos of bottles.
If you have had xrays, MRI… please bring the written report with you.
Hygiene is important. Your osteopath will wash their hands before and after each treatment, and ensure that everything is clean. It is important that you let us know if you have any infectious conditions, allergies or skin sensitvities. Please also have a bath or shower on the day of your appointment.
Bring a friend
If you would like support during your treatment you could bring a friend or family member. Please let your osteopath know prior to the appointmtnet if you will be bringing someone into the room with you. If the patient is 16yrs or younger please have a parent or guardian accompanying them.
If you have any concerns about your treatment please talk to your osteopath. The General Osteopathic Council can give you more suppoort if needed.
How long will it take to get better
Most new muscle and joint pain can improve with 1 or 2 treatments (over 1-2 weeks) if seen soon after injury and not been treated before. However, complete resolution usualy takes longer.
Treatments can be 2 times a week if you are in acute pain. Otherwise 1 treatment a week for the first 3-6 weeks dependent on progression and your adherence to homework.
Very intense pain can increase recovery time as can the number of previous episodes. Physical and mental fitness can also contribute to healing time. So, being fit, not smoking, reducing stress, seeing an osteopath early and commiting to alterations in training and lifestyle can all contribute to a shorter recovery time and fewer treatments.
So how long should recovery take? A general rule of thumb is; the amount of time you have left your issue before getting it treated = the minimum amount of time it is likely to take to completely rehabilitate the problem. But there are so many variable that influence this it is almost imposible to say without a seeing you.
Lower back pain has a few factors that will determine whether recovery is partial or complete, and wether it will take 1 week, 6 weeks or even 6 months. Factors include when did it start, number of painful episodes, how severe is the pain, have you had previous treatments.
A broken leg seen within days of being put into plaster can reduce rehabilitation time. It can reduce inflammation in the leg and prevent associated pain in the shoulders and hands from using crutches.
A stiff neck after an accident can have imediate relief and be helped from becoming worse if left untreated.
A frozen shoulder (Adhesive capsulitis) can regain movement within a few appointments if treated quickly.
About osteopathic treatment
Osteopathy can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of all ages. Statutory regulation by Parliament gives osteopaths a similar status to doctors and dentists, and guarantees a patient the equivalent high level of protection. In 2017 osteopathy became an NHS Allied Health Profession (AHP) providing assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge within and in support of the NHS.
“Osteopaths take a holistic view of the structure and function of the body to diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions. The work is centered on the principle that the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues of an individual need to function smoothly together so as to maintain wellbeing.
Osteopaths use a number of non-invasive treatments such as touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to restore bodily equilibrium through increasing the mobility of joints, relieving muscle tension, enhancing blood and nerve supply to tissues, and encouraging an individual’s own healing mechanisms.” NHS, The 14 Applied Health Professions.
We use a number of non-invasive treatments such as physical manipulation (which may result in a ‘click’ sound), stretching and massage techniques to restore bodily equilibrium through increasing the mobility of joints, relieving muscle tension, enhancing blood and nerve supply to tissues, aiding lymphatic function, and encouraging your own physical and mental healing processes.
We can also use dry needling (also called medical accupunture), kenesio taping, cranial therapy and excersise were appropraite. If imaging or another specialist is needed we can make a referal.
Treatment is always discussed with you first and will only go ahead with your informed consent. We have many ways to solve a problem, and if you aren’t happy with a proposed treatment plan we can give other options. After all, it is your body and your apointment.
Massage can come with many names; deep tissue, Sweedish, sports, theraputic… Basicaly, massage is the stroking, kneading, rolling, pressing and stretching of the skin, muscles, tendons, joints, fascia and connective tissues. It can also influence the nervouse system, respiration and stress levels.
There are many styles of massage, each with different origins and aims, but the premise of the treatment is usually to relax, energise or make you feel good.
With over 250 variations of massage and bodywork around the world understanging differences can get a little overwhelming. Tania tailors a treatment to the patient’s individual needs, but here are a few of the massages that influence her treatment:
Deep tissue massage has become a blanket term to describe a treatment using firm strokes and pressure to influence muscle and fascial tension. It is an intense and effective treatment, particularly useful when combined with sports massage techniques.
Sports massage helps prevent and treats injuries, supports tissue healing and can enhance performence. It uses a range of neuromuscluar techniques, soft tissue techniques, muscle energy techniques (MET), myofascial release, stretching, trigger points and taping. It can be useful before and after exercise, for athletes and anyone who is physicaly activity. Rehabilitation, remedial excerises and injury prevention advice may also be given.
Pregnancy massage can be useful at all stages of pregnancy to suport the woman’s changing body. It can be relaxing, but Tania specialises in introducing sports and deep tissue techniques to ease aches and pains while you lay on specially adaptive cushions. Safely laying face down during the late stages of pregancy can be a real treat, but this posture also allows Tania to work effectively on back and hip muscles.
I have been helping people through pain, injury, restricted movement and stress since 2002 in my work as a sports and pregnancy massage therapist, and later graduated with a master’s degree in osteopathy from the University College of Osteopathy. My specialities include treating patients in stressful jobs, the performing arts, sports and during pregnancy.
I bring a range of techniques to treatments, including dry needling, kinesio taping, lymphatic drainage and cranial osteopathy (I studied with the Rollin Becker Institute). I am also a certified BTEC level 5 in Professional Sports Massage, which enables me to treat professional athletes including tennis players and golfers.
Prior to becoming a therapist I owned and ran a spa in Notting Hill, worked in the visual arts and in marketing for City law firms. So, I understand the physical and mental pressures of working life across a number of sectors.