Osteopathy is a holistic ‘hands-on’ system of physical therapy practiced by highly qualified practitioners. Osteopathy is inherently safe: and treatments are adapted to each individual patient. Osteopaths use their eyes and hands to assess the condition of the muscles, spine and other joints.
An osteopath will assess the mechanics of the whole body, not just the injured area. It is not uncommon for faulty mechanics in one area of the body to result in secondary compensatory symptoms in another part of the body. For example: fallen arches in the feet can cause problems in the knees, hips, back or neck. Also a mechanical fault in the neck can cause adaptations further down the body as the brain strives to keep the eyes level.
Osteopaths use a variety of techniques to restore good working mechanics of the spine and / or other joints. These range from massage, stretching, gentle mobilization to what are called high velocity thrusts (HVTs) which produce ‘clicking’ sounds in the joint. Not all osteopaths use HVTs. Some osteopaths use what are called cranial techniques which are extremely subtle techniques often undetectable by the patient. Although cranial osteopathy is so subtle, the technique can be extremely powerful and can make a huge difference to the general wellbeing of the patient.