This unique method of the treating the body as a whole unit was one of the four founding principles of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the pioneer of Osteopathy in the late 1800’s. He believed it was not enough to simply treat the area of pain or stiffness, but to use a drug-free method of manual techniques to balance the whole body and it’s systems. Although other therapies such as chiropractic, and physiotherapy are somewhat similar, Osteopathy differs by being a hands-on manual therapy whose practitioners follow, and have developed, Dr Taylor’s methods, concentrating on treating the body as one unit. So, Osteopathic therapy treats the joints, the spine, muscles, ligaments and tendons and it enhances the function of the nervous system and also the circulation and lymphatic systems to bring about total health and wellbeing.

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal difficulties by mobilising, massaging and gently stretching your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, and unless it’s deemed absolutely necessary they prefer not to advise the use of drugs or surgery to bring about a result. Osteopathic intervention can enhance both your body’s stability and mobility, and as this is brought about, the other major systems such as your nervous, lymphatic and circulatory systems work more effectively.

The principles of Osteopathy are based on the knowledge that if one part of your body is misaligned or restricted in any way, it is said to be in a state of ‘dis-ease’ and so the rest of your body has to compensate, which leads to more restriction, pain, inflammation, stiffness and other health problems. This treatment by your Osteo encourages your body to heal itself and to function naturally. When you are in pain, or feel some discomfort or stiffness, you might report sleeping problems. But as your Osteo works to bring your body back to its normal function, the only side effect you might notice is that you often have a good night’s sleep after treatment. This is because your body is being returned to its natural functioning state, so your quality of sleep will improve, which is of major importance to optimal health and well being. Osteopathic treatment is comprised of lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, facilitated positional release, craniosacral release and Dr Still’s gentle techniques.

What problems do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopathy is used in the treatment of a variety of problems such as:

● Headaches
● Neck pain
● Sciatica
● Tennis Elbow
● Back pain
● Shoulder pain
● Plantar Fasciitis
● Shin splints
● Overuse Syndrome or RSI
● Whiplash
● Postural problems
● Gym injuries
● Training injuries
● Digestive problems
● Foot problems

Your Osteopath might work in conjunction with other medical practitioners such as your GP, Podiatrist or Dietitian and if you suffer from something such as arthritis, your Osteo can complement your medication by using stretching and massage, or using foot biomechanics to enhance your podiatry treatment if that is where your problem has begun. Your Osteopath can help ease the pain caused by the muscle and joint stiffness in the neck, back or shoulders for instance, and help improve joint mobility and blood flow to your arthritic joints. Your osteo can also pass on important information to you on the best ways to manage your symptoms at home.

Osteopathy for optimal health
Sitting is the new smoking, and this sedentary lifestyle comes with many health problems. We sit in our cars, in the office, at the movies and watching sports, or just lounging on the grass in the park checking our devices or playing games on them rather than exercising. Your Osteopath will offer you advice on how to prevent yourself from slipping into a sedentary habit. There are stretching techniques you can use at your desk, ergonomic tips to use in your car for instance, and this is to empower you to help maintain your health between treatments. Another important aspect to Osteopathy is early intervention: avoiding the pain and discomfort that leads to compensatory patterns is the key to a quick recovery.

What happens during my first Osteo treatment?
A complete history of the complaint you bring to your Osteopath and also your medical history is recorded. Your Osteo will ask questions about your work habits, your lifestyle and stress, your sleeping patterns and diet. This gives your Osteopath a full picture of your state of health and wellbeing. You’ll be asked to do some tests and to move or bend and turn in certain ways and your Osteo might also perform some neurological and orthopaedic examinations to reveal the way you use your body, and allow an accurate diagnosis. Your Osteopath could decide to refer you to a sports physician or other practitioner if the problem is not one for Osteopathy.

Don’t ignore pain
If you have pain, it is your body telling you something is wrong and these signs shouldn’t be ignored. Even though your body does what it can to adapt to the situation and protect itself, it is not a cure. The adaptation process is a protective mechanism and shows itself by causing the muscles to go into spasm to guard against further injury. But this can lead to pain in other areas of the body such as shoulders, the neck or the leg. So seek treatment early, so your Osteopath can treat the true cause and allow the body to heal itself.

If you need expert Osteopathy, consult the Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic located in the heart of Glen Iris.
Call for an appointment on (03) 9500 2030.
Or book Online 24/7.
Equilibrium is located at 1438 High St, Glen Iris (Goodlife Gym).
OPEN Monday to Saturday

Author's Bio: 

Marina is a renowned author, who writes varied articles and blogs to inform her readers about the right ways to maintain proper health as well as hygiene. Starting from a balanced diet to regular exercise- there are so many tactics through which one can change their overall lifestyle and that too for better.