Osteopathy and Cranial Osteopathy

Quick facts

  • Osteopathy is a safe, gentle and effective treatment for all the family
  • We treat a wide variety of conditions, including aches and pains of all kinds, injuries, stress and digestive problems
  • All osteopaths are statutorily regulated
  • We use a variety of techniques including, soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation and neuromuscular techniques

Who and what do osteopaths treat?

Osteopaths assess and treat individuals of any age from newborns to older people, from pregnant women to sports enthusiasts. Extensive research and the thousands of patients who consult osteopaths every day have found osteopathy to be helpful in a wide variety of conditions including:

  • Joint and muscular pains, including arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Shoulder and arm problems
  • Pelvis, hip and leg problems
  • Sports and other injuries
  • Circulatory problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Stress

There is increasing evidence of the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend manipulative therapies including osteopathy for the treatment of low back pain.

The British Medical Association’s guidance for general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths.

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a system of hands-on medicine where a ‘whole body' approach is expertly applied. Osteopaths understand your body will work better when it is in good structural balance and working harmoniously. Our aim is to create the best conditions for your body to heal itself and feel better than before.

Osteopaths use a variety of safe and gentle techniques to free up joint restrictions, increase spinal and soft tissue flexibility, and improve circulation. We also provide individual lifestyle advice and specific exercises for your particular needs. Osteopathic treatment targets both symptoms and the causes of these symptoms in order to obtain long-lasting results.

What is cranial osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a technique used within osteopathy. When this technique is applied the osteopath holds different parts of the body, not just the head, for a number of minutes. During this time we assess and ease your patterns of restriction, strain and tension. You may feel sensations, such as warmth, movement and relaxation.

The treatment approach can seem very gentle and apparently passive. However, it has been shown to be very effective. Frequently patients comment on how much change can be achieved so gently, and report improvements in general health and well-being, as well as relief from their original symptoms.

What are your professional standards?

To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine, including more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques.

Osteopathy is a statutorily regulated Primary Health Care profession. By law all osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOSC). Only practitioners meeting the high standards of safety and competency are eligible to join this register.

Proof of good health, good character and professional indemnity insurance cover are required. Therefore, the public can be confident they will experience safe and competent treatment from a practitioner who adheres to a strict Code of Conduct.

What happens when I have a treatment?

To start we make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your current concerns, medical history, your day-to-day routine and your general health.
Then we look at your posture and how you move your body.

    "After the first
   treatment with
   Sara it was the
   first time I'd
   slept well for
   weeks… 
   All I can say is
   a big thank you."

Mrs T, Chinnor

We will assess tight or painful areas to identify what’s going on. We will detect areas that contribute to your issues, so that treatment is effective. When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition, and continue with treatment. In some cases we may refer you back to your GP or specialist for further testing.

As with many medical examinations, you will probably be asked to undress to your underwear, so please wear something you are comfortable in. If you wish, you can always bring a friend or relative. If you are particularly uncomfortable with undressing please wear loose and stretchy clothing.

When we have come to a diagnosis treatment can start. This is different for every patient and may include techniques such as soft tissue massage and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints. The breadth of approaches allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs. We may discuss exercises to improve your posture and ways to protect your health in your workplace and everyday life.

How many treatments will I need?

We aim to keep your appointments to a minimum. The number of treatments you need depends on the condition and the individual factors of the person we are treating.

Often an average of 4 treatments is required to resolve the existing complaint. Once the initial problems subside, most patients like to continue with a maintenance programme, usually every 1-3 months.

How do I prepare for treatment and how will I feel afterwards?

It is useful if you make sure you have eaten something before treatment, but not a heavy meal, and have drunk plenty of water. It is advisable to refrain from drinking alcohol on the day of a treatment.

You may feel stiff or sore after treatment. This is a normal and healthy response to treatment and should subside quickly, leaving you feeling better than before. Some people can feel very relaxed and drowsy, so you many need some quite time to recover. It is advisable to refrain from any vigorous exercises or physical exertion in the period after treatment. Drink lots of water after treatment, get some rest if possible and remain active.

Find out more about:

Osteopathy for fertility
Osteopathy for pregnancy and childbirth
Osteopathy in the post-natal period
Osteopathy for baby and child
Practitioner Sara Barker


 

 


FertilityPregnancy and ChildbirthPostnatal and BeyondBaby and Child