Osteopathy is a system of healing that deals with the structure and mechanics of the body i.e. bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, general connective tissues, and their relationship with one another.
Ailments commonly treated are back and neck pain, sport injuries, tennis elbow, repetitive strain injury, arthritic pain, tension and stress, back pain in pregnancy, post natal pain and headaches. Treatment involves gentle manual techniques, which increase joint mobility and reduce pain. Also, advice and exercise are given to maintain the changes made during treatment.
The basic principles of osteopathy are:
- Our body is a unique biological unit
- The body has the inherent ability to defend, heal, correct & regulate itself
- Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated. Any structural changes affect function and vice versa
Another important concept of osteopathy is somatic dysfunction.
Somatic dysfunction is altered or impaired function of related components of the somatic system: skeletal with arthrovertebral, myofascial structures, and related vascular and neural elements.
- Tissue texture changes
- Asymmetry of structure
- Restriction of motion
- Tenderness to palpation
The goal of an osteopathic manual treatment is to restore the normal functioning of the affected areas of the body with somatic dysfunctions by stimulating a more appropriate healing process and interrelations between different systems of the human body (musculoskeletal, nervous, circulatory, pulmonary, digestive system etc). The patient is assessed and treated as a whole unique unit.