It has been suggested that many of the visits we make to our GPs are related to pain of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
Osteopathy is a hands-on, holistic treatment that involves diagnosing, managing and treating musculoskeletal and related conditions. It is often thought of as a treatment for back and neck pain only, but osteopathy can help a wide range of conditions, such as:
- repetitive strain injury
- poor posture or posture-related pain
- minor sports injuries.
What happens at an osteopathy session?
An initial consultation will usually last between 45 minutes and one hour. The following sessions will be about 30 minutes. During this first visit, the osteopath will want you to explain the problem and will ask you about your medical history.
Next they may perform a physical examination. They may ask you to perform some simple exercises so they can observe your posture and mobility. The osteopath will also put gentle pressure on your joints and muscles to detect any imbalances or tenderness.
After this, they will treat you using a number of techniques tailored to your pain. This may include soft tissue stretching, massage, muscle energy technique and other gentle methods designed to rebalance the body.
It is advised to wear loose, comfortable clothing for examination and treatment. After the session the osteopath may suggest a number of exercises for you to practise at home if the pain returns.
How many sessions should you have?
It all depends on the patient and the pain they are experiencing. Recent injuries may be eased within one to three sessions, but some chronic problems take longer to resolve. Some people find booking occasional sessions helps to keep them pain-free and mobile, but it does vary from person to person.