What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions (not just back pain) and is recognised by the British Medical Association. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.
What is Cranial Osteopathy?
Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment based on the same principle as mentioned above. There is a small amount of movement between the bones of the skull and face. This can be felt and any restrictions freed up, helping to release stresses and tensions which may have been causing symptoms. It is often used with young children but can be effective for a range of ages and conditions.
How do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopaths use their hands to apply a range of techniques dependent upon the person's needs. Massage and stretching techniques can be used on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia). Articulation and manipulation techniques can be used to free up restricted joints to improve range of movement. The techniques used are aimed at freeing up any restrictions in the body to enhance blood supply to the tissues and promote healing in order to restore the body to a state of balance. Advice will often be given on posture, exercises and stretches.
What can an Osteopath treat?
Osteopathy can treat a wide range of symptoms including:
- Back ache/pain
- Arthritic pain
- Muscle pain
- Neck ache
- Sciatic leg pain
- Whiplash injury
- Joint pains
- Minor sports injuries
- Circulatory and digestive problems
Who do Osteopaths treat?
The bones in the baby's skull have to be very soft and pliable to cope with the forces of labour. Any complications with the birth may mean the baby's head may not full recover from the distortions it undergoes during the birth. This can lead to tensions, which may affect the baby's sleep and lead to feeding difficulties and colic. Cranial techniques are often used as they are a gentle way of reducing the tension patterns that may have developed.
Older Children - Older children may present with problems such as glue ear or behavioural problems which may be as a result of residual strains from birth that have just presented or as a result of trauma.
The body undergoes many changes as it grows. Osteopathy can help a young person to adapt to their postural changes and may also help with reducing the stress that a young person may be experiencing due to exams and school; or help with injuries sustained through sporting activities.
Work Related Problems - Many people suffer from repetitive strain injuries / work related discomfort. Desk bound office workers can often suffer from postural related problems; manual workers from wear and tear from overuse of their bodies. An osteopath will consider your lifestyle and the work you do to make suggestions as to how you can use your body better to prevent symptoms recurring.
Stress - Throughout life there are stresses. Stress is often cumulative and may well result in physical symptoms as the body struggles to cope with the demands, both emotional and physical, placed on it. Osteopaths will look to address the physical problems but to also have a calming effect on the whole body by releasing tensions held in the tissues.
Sports Injuries - Osteopathy can be used for treating minor sporting injuries as well as part of a rehaabilitation program following surgical intervention for the more serious injuries.
Pre Pregnancy - Osteopathy can help prior to the start of pregnancy to ensure the body is physically fit by reducing strain and tension patterns that may compromise the body's ability to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy, labour and delivery.
During Pregnancy - The body undergoes significant physical and hormonal changes throughout the pregnancy. For some, the body may not adapt to the changes as well as others. As the baby grows, the expectant mother may experience a range of symptoms for which osteopathy could help.
- Digestion problems
- Circulatory problems
- Neck ache
- Sciatic pain
- Back pain
- Inability to relax
- Joint pain
Post Pregnancy - To facilitate birth, hormones are released which enable the ligaments around the pelvis to stretch allowing the pelvis to open up for the baby to be born. During this time, and particularly during the birth, the pelvis is vulnerable to distortion and it can remain held in an abnormal position, having a knock on effect for the spinal biomechanics. A visit to the osteopath can help redress the pelvic balance to help prevent future back pain and to ensure future pregnancies are more comfortable.
Getting Older -
As people get older they may experience the symptoms associated with wear and tear (Arthritis). Often these symptoms are dismissed as 'it's just your age'. While the condition cannot be reversed, the symptoms can be eased and mobility maintained by treating the soft tissues around the area and looking at mobility in the surrounding joints to take the strain off the affected joint.
All Osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).
Richard Gulliver BSc - Osteopathy
Richard gained a BSc Honours in Osteopathy at the British School of Osteopathy and has previously worked with elderly patients treating various acute and chronic problems as well as treating children and expectant mothers. More recently, Richard has been working with those suffering from sports' injuries by assessing exercise requirements and offering specific programmes incorporating holistic health needs.
In addition, Richard has also trained in Cranial Osteopathy and has been using this method to treat a wide range of patients from the elderly to the very young including newborns.
Katherine Terry BSc - Osteopathy
Katherine gained her BSc (Hons) from the European School of Osteopathy and is registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Her interest in osteopathy began after seeing firsthand the benefits of cranial osteopathy for a young relative who has Asperger’s syndrome. She offers a caring and understanding approach for all, including newborns, pregnant ladies, sports people and the elderly. Katherine uses a wide range of treatment modalities from structural manipulation, soft tissue work, functional, facial as well as visceral and cranial.
Prior to becoming an osteopath she trained as a riding instructor. She continues to teach on a regular basis and has a particular interest in treating both horse and rider to improve the performance of the partnership.
Katherine is a keen horse rider and riding instructor and has a particular interest in osteopathy for horse riders. Riding is a partnership between horse and human. Often, the emphasis is on the horse's way of going. However, it is just as important to address balance and straightness issues in the rider. Riders commonly suffer with back pain and are often subject to trauma either through falling off or injuries sustained on the ground through being around horses.
Osteopathy for the rider can help:
- improve flexibility of joints and suppleness of muscles
- increase flexibility of hip and low back to improve depth of seat
- improve rider straightness and therefore horse straightness
- aid stability, balance and co-ordination of the rider
- improve the performance of horse and rider partnership
- aid in recovery from injuries sustained when riding and handling horses
As well as treating these injuries, an osteopath can help improve the performance of the rider. This can increase depth of seat and softness of the rider's back thus giving potential to enhance performance. Identifying and treating muscle imbalances through stretches and strengthening exercises can improve balance and straightness in the rider. Advice on specific exercises can be given to help the rider stay supple and improve muscle tone, thus reducing risk of injury to soft tissue and strengthening the muscles needed for specific requirements.
Katherine is also trained and experienced in providing osteopathy for the horse. She uses soft tissue work and gentle joint mobilisation to reduce areas of muscular tension and improve joint flexibility.
If you are interested in Katherine working with your horse, please contact the Clinic on 01425 650074 for further details.