The definition of the title “osteopath” and the extent of their practice are generally determined by the country in which they are located. It is usual for osteopaths to have the capacity to offer postural, nutritional and advice related to health. Some osteopathic physicians are able to practice the complete extent of medicine today.
Osteopathy is a means for the detection, treatment and prevention of health conditions that involve the massaging and stretching of a patient’s muscles and joints. It is a medical practice founded on the principle that the healthy condition of a person is dependent on their muscles, bones, ligaments and associated tissue functioning properly. Practitioners believe their particular skills and treatments promote self-healing of the body and utilise a variety of techniques. However, an osteopath will not employ drugs or surgery to affect relief from a condition.
In most instances, patients of an osteopathic practitioner will be those commonly suffering from pain in the back, neck and shoulder, or other conditions related to muscles and joints. These aspects of treatment will also encompass complaints related to headaches and involve the focusing on cranial osteopathy. There are various osteopaths who claim this type of healing can have positive effects for sufferers of asthma and various digestive issues.
Does osteopathy work?
For various sufferers or patients, leaving their familiar and accepted medical treatment of medicines and tablets and venturing into a hitherto unknown and strange sounding medical world, such as that of osteopathy, there will naturally be some degree of trepidation and questioning. However, there is reliable and recorded evidence supporting the contention that osteopathy is an effective treatment for persistent lower back pain.
Who can make use of an Osteopath?
Patients of Osteopaths include young, older people, office and manual workers, and women in pregnancy, children and sportsmen and sportswomen. Patients may seek treatment for a variety of conditions, including neck and back pain, posture changes in pregnancy, postural problems due to driving or work strain, athritic the and sports injuries.
Practitioners of osteopathy maintain the principle that the history of a patient’s past health conditions, such as illnesses and physical traumas are recorded in the structure of the body. The highly developed sense of touch possessed by the osteopath, allows him/her to palpitate, or feel, the “living anatomy” of the patient. This can include the flow of fluids throughout the body; the texture and motions of tissues and the general bodily structure.
There is a UK Statutory Register of Osteopaths which includes a complete list of those allowed to practise osteopathy in the UK.