An osteopath will focus on your whole body, including the soft tissues (such as muscles, ligaments and tendons), the spine and nervous system. An osteopath takes a holistic approach to treatment, so your practitioner may look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is causing pain.
Osteopaths believe that when the body’s musculoskeletal system is not properly balanced and in alignment, it inhibits the circulatory, lymphatic or nervous system function which can reduce the body’s ability to heal itself.
What conditions do osteopaths treat?
Just like other manual therapies such as chiropractic and physiotherapy, osteopaths deal with musculoskeletal strains in the body. Whether you are in pain from:
- Low back or neck pain
- postural strain whilst sitting or standing at work
- recent trauma or specific injury
- chronic issue such as headaches
your osteopath will work to alleviate strains in the muscles and joints to relieve pain.
One of the most common complaints to be treated at our clinic, headaches and migraines can often be decreased in severity and frequency with osteopathic treatment. Your body works constantly to keep your eyes and ears level so you don’t feel dizzy. This can mean that any strain further down the body can lead to a compensatory strain in the neck and tight muscles causing headaches.
Frequently our osteopaths will work to reduce strain in the neck, decrease postural strain and improve function throughout the spine and limbs to help reduce muscle tension in the neck and decrease your headache and migraine symptoms. For more information, check out our Headaches and migraines page.
After headaches, lower back pain is the most common complaint our osteopaths treat. The lower back can be strained so easily, but some of the more frequent patterns we see come from pelvic imbalances (often from tight hamstrings and postural strain), tension in the hip flexor muscles (which attach to the front of your lower spine), or strain in the joints from carrying children on one hip. If you’d like to know more about how our osteopaths could help you click through to our Lower Back Pain page.
The jaw has muscles which attach from the head onto the neck, the bone in the throat and even onto the collarbone and shoulder area. When treating jaw pain, your osteopath will check for strain in all these areas as well as any strain lower down which may be causing compensatory strain in the neck throat and jaw. Our Jaw Pain page goes into greater detail about this.
Muscle tension and strain in the joints of the neck can be affected by many places in the body. The muscles in the neck attach onto the shoulder, ribs, upper back and some chains even go down to the lower back. It is also the last place for your body to compensate for other strains in the body so that you maintain your equilibrium and this can lead to muscle and joint strain. Click through to the neck pain page for a more in depth explanation about how our osteopaths treat neck pain.
Commonly upper back pain is from postural strain. Sedentary jobs with a slouching posture or maintaining a very rigid position all day causes significant joint and muscle strain. Gym injuries from using arm weights with too much emphasis on your strong arm can also cause problems with the upper back. To understand what may be causing you problems take a look at our Upper Back Pain page.
Known by many people as leg pain, this condition is actually anatomical only when you have shooting pain in the back of your leg. Many patients experience aching pains in the legs through the back or front, or even sharp pain in the groin when they come in to see us. While this is not true sciatica, it is still from a musculoskeletal strain and we still work to relieve and tension for both the shooting pains or the aching. Our osteopaths will also work with you to refer on for any necessary imaging such as x-rays or a referral back to your GP to get a CT or MRI to make sure you don’t have any nerve compression that requires surgical attention. Our Sciatica page has more in depth information about this.
Sedentary jobs or overstitching can both cause hip pain, but so can strain in your lower back or knees. Arthritis can also be a cause of hip pain and there are also conditions which affect teenagers called slipped femoral capital epiphysis, and perthes disease which are all going to be ruled out by your osteopath. We will work to alleviate strain in the hip muscles and joint, but also to balance tension in the lower legs, thighs, pelvis and lower back to avoid your pain from returning. For a better understanding about how we can help you, click through to the Hip Pain page.
The shoulder joint is the most complex joint in the body. With muscles from the neck, upper back, lower back and pelvis all attaching to it there are many reasons you may have strain in your shoulders. Often poor posture is involved though. As you start to slump, your arm turns inwards which makes the humerus (upper arm bone) hang from the muscle tendons of the shoulder rather than from the joint capsule and this causes extra wear on the tendons leading to tendonitis which we frequently treat. Find out more about how osteopaths approach treatment of Shoulder Pain here.
Another very complex joint in the body, the knee has specialised cartilage and ligaments within it called the menisci and collateral ligaments. Most people have heard of problems in these structures from football players having them surgically repaired. there are many strains of the knee that less physically active patients complain of though too. One of the most common areas for osteoarthritis, your osteopath will work to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage to the area and also decrease strain in the muscles and joint structures by working with the alignment of the foot, lower leg, upper leg and pelvic balance. Our Knee Pain page has a more in depth explanation or how we can help you.
Often from a sprain, our osteopaths will treat muscle and joint strain in the ankle. We work to allow the foot to move well during walking so that the toes can extend, the foot can maintain it’s alignment and the lower leg is also aligned and not causing any muscle or joint strain. Have a look at our Ankle Pain page for a fuller explanation.
A woman’s body goes through significant alignment and postural changes during pregnancy. There are some common strains including pain in the lower ribs, lower back, pubic joint and hips that our osteopaths are all very used to helping new mothers with. we will work with you to help realign your body and reduce muscle tension and joint strain to help you be more comfortable during your pregnancy. Our gentle approach is perfect for mothers who aren’t able to be manipulated strongly. Find out more on our Pregnancy Complaints page.
The gentle approach our osteopath use is perfect for sporting injuries as we can treat your strain pattern as soon as you injure yourself without causing you any further pain. our osteopaths work to realign your joints and decrease strain in you muscles so you can have better circulation and lymphatic drainage which helps with pain reduction and healing. We also get you aligned well so the your healing muscle or joint will have as well aligned scar tissue as possible and keep you strong but flexible. Our Sporting Injuries page has more information.
Whether it’s tennis elbow, golfers elbow, or just that your hands go all tingly when you’re sleeping our osteopath can help. We will work to improve the alignment in your wrist, forearm and upper arm as well as working with you neck upper back, ribs and shoulders to help improve your pain. For more specifics about how we treat these conditions, check out our Elbow and Wrist Pain page.