Most osteopaths working today represent the sixth or seventh generation from the founding of osteopathy in 1874.
We are proud of our osteopathic tradition and philosophy although we continue to debate how best to define it. Like any profession there are individuals and groups who develop their own distinct styles and specialisms. Think of the variety within the world of art, you might have your portrait painted by ten different painters. Each would be different. Some styles might appeal to you more than others but they would all be portraits of you and you would not be surprised at the variations.
One of the tenets of osteopathy that we all agree on is that each patient is unique and therefore the treatment that we offer should be specific to that patient. This often surprises our medical colleagues who place much more emphasis on a diagnosis followed by a standardised treatment.
Osteopathy has its roots in physical treatment, a lot of my treatment involves restoring pain-free movement to muscles and joints. The human body is a remarkably resilient self-healing biological machine. It can adapt and repair itself surprisingly well given the right conditions, and one of those conditions is unimpeded movement. To put that more simply: "movement is life".
Osteopathic shoulder mobilisation to help pain and increase range of movement
We humans are not well designed for modern life. Hours sitting in front of a computer and driving long distances are two of the commonest ways of getting your back to stiffen up and lose flexibility. If you feel like something is jammed in your back and it has been that way for more than a couple of weeks, get it checked and treated before it causes other problems. Maybe you don't have much control over some aspects of your lifestyle but osteopathy helps you fight back, even if it's only damage limitation!
Whether you are suffering from a low back problem such as lumbago, sciatica, slipped disc or rheumatism or something higher in the back or neck such as arthritis, whiplash injury or spondylitis, there are osteopathic treatments that can help you.
I can tell a lot just by looking at you. Watching how you stand and move is often the first thing I do. I use this information to build a picture of how your body is coping with the demands of your lifestyle. After the examination and consultation I will share my findings with you and together we will interpret the information and discuss what to do next. Sometimes I will need to do more detailed tests and very rarely I might have to refer you to your GP or another specialist, for example if your symptoms suggest an infection or a blood clot.
If you already have medical test results; such as X-rays, ultrasound scans and MRI images; please bring them with you, I am then able to work alongside your GP or medical advisor, especially when radiologists or pathologists reports indicate the need for a particular treatment regime.
Who can Benefit from Osteopathy
As long as you are still breathing I believe you can benefit from osteopathy. Osteopathic philosophy is to always work to improve function. My way of working can be as gentle as the featherlight touch of cranial osteopathy at one extreme to the exquisite agony of deep tissue neuromuscular techniques at the other extreme, always with your informed consent! I can offer you several modalities (ways of treatment) such as massage, ultrasound, acupuncture, electrotherapy, manipulation and physical therapy. Always following the principles of osteopathic treatment: to restore movement and function.
Osteopaths don't just treat back problems. I treat a lot of people who have frozen shoulder, trapped nerves, headaches and migraines. I treat knees, hips, feet and ankles. I could go on and on. It might be quicker to say what I don’t treat! As a general rule if your GP says there is nothing you can do but take the pills, it is worth giving me a call. I can probably do something to help, and if I can't I will say so.
A lot of people come for a maintenance treatment at regular intervals. Anything from monthly to twice a year. Having a "loosen up" is a good idea, a bit like servicing your car it works out cheaper in the long run than waiting for a breakdown. The analogy is not that good really, because if your car breaks down you can always change it or buy new parts. Not so with your body, if you neglect your joints and let them stiffen up the outcome is eventually arthritic degeneration and loss of function.
How many treatments
Probably the question I am asked most often, usually at the first visit. I have some patients who like to have treatment every two or three weeks because it improves their quality of life so much that they don't want to stop coming. Other patients have one treatment and get better straight away. If you have a condition that has been there for a while, reckon on one treatment session for every month you have had the problem – this is just an indication, nobody is average! If I am treating you for a long term problem, by the time you have had three or four treatments it will be very obvious how well you are progressing.