Osteopathy | Everything You Need To Know About It

Osteopathy is a type of alternative medicine. It is a drug-free, non-invasive manual therapy. An osteopath has to help restore the normal function and stability of the joints to help the body heal itself. They’re experts at using their hands to treat your body in different ways and they do this by deciding on techniques tailored to an individual patient and symptoms they experience or report.

Osteopathy is a complementary therapy used alongside conventional treatment. Osteopathic physicians are also qualified as medical doctors (MDs) and usually have more training than other complementary therapists such as naturopaths.

Osteopathy is one of the fastest-growing healthcare professions in the United States. Osteopathic intervention can help treat arthritis, back pain, headaches, tennis elbow, digestive issues, and postural problems. Osteopathic treatment also helps one with sleep cycles and the nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic symptoms.

what does an osteopath do?

An osteopath aims to balance all the body systems and to provide overall good health and wellbeing using manual techniques. Diagnosing and treating conditions using these techniques is called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). 

Some of the techniques used include stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance. They are categorized as OMM. Osteopathic phy6sicians may also issue prescription medicine and use surgical methods to support holistic, manual treatment.

Many osteopaths also function as primary care physicians in the following fields: family medicine, internal medicine, and paediatrics.  

What Is The Difference Between A Chiropractor And An Osteopath?

While Chiropractors focus specifically on treating muscle and joint pains, Osteopaths focus on treating the body as a whole.

Although there are some similarities between Osteopaths and Chiropractors, there are a few fundamental differences too. Both belief in the essence of overall health and proper functioning of the entire system.

What Are Chiropractors?

Chiropractic treatment began back in 1895, with the work of Daniel David Palmer, who practised using spine adjustment treatments. Chiropractic physicians use manual therapy to normalize joint functionality, helping patients recover from injury. 

Chiropractors are usually degree holders of a relevant degree and must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council. Today, there are more than 70,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States. Many other countries recognize and regulate chiropractic medicine including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and Switzerland.  

What Are Osteopaths?

Osteopathic treatment began in the late 19th century, centred on the work by Andrew Taylor Still. A.T Still was concerned about promoting therapy focused on allowing the body to restore itself to optimum health with a minimum interjection from surgery and medicine. In 1874, A. T Still who was just a physician on the Missouri frontier discovered he could put his hands on people and change their physiology.

He apprenticed at a physician at his father’s side and was a Hospital Steward and Scout Surgeon during the civil war. His interest was to enhance nature’s own ability to heal. In 1892, at the age of 64, Dr A.T Still began teaching formally and founded the American School of Osteopathy, now the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.

Today, there are 57 Osteopathic medical schools in 33 states in the U.S. Osteopaths are trained in anatomy, biomechanics, and physiologies to allow them to understand the workings of the body. All Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council and are not allowed to practice without registration. Although osteopathy is recognized and regulated in the UK, it’s not directly funded, therefore costs are involved. The price of an osteopathy appointment in the UK ranges from £35 to £50. In the UK an initial osteopathy appointment tends to be around £48, with follow-up appointments a little less.

Which Is Best – Osteopath Or Chiropractor?

Before you decide on which professional to see, it is helpful to understand the differences and similarities between the two.

Chiropractors are mostly concerned with the alignment of the spine while Osteopaths are concerned with the whole body and its structure. Osteopaths also treat a broader range of disorders whereas most chiropractors focus only on muscle and joint pain.

Chiropractors make use of MRI scans and X-rays for diagnostics while Osteopaths rely more on their examinations and refer patients out if there is a need for more diagnostic procedures. There is also a greater variety of techniques Osteopaths use in treatment procedures whereas chirop0ractors only focus on adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine.

Generally, Osteopathic visits are longer since osteopathic physicians spend time talking to their patients to spread out their treatments while Chiropractic visits are shorter as their only focus is to get t5he patient adjusted and back out the door again. This means chiropractors may see their patients more often.

So when making a decision, you have to see either of the professionals based on the problem you’re experiencing. It is a personal choice so you have to think about what problem you are hoping to address. This post should help you make your decision.

Can an Osteopath Help Neck Pain?

One of the best ways to resolve neck and shoulder pain is with osteopathic treatment since osteopathic medicine encourages boney and muscular alignment of the neck and upper back muscles that have become strained from overuse. At the end of the osteopathic intervention, you will feel very relaxed and experience increased neck and shoulder mobility – life without pain.

Is Osteopathy Safe?

According to the National Health Service (NHS), Osteopathy is generally considered a safe treatment. Although it may have some minor side effects which develop within a few hours of the session, they get better on their own within 1 or 2 days. Osteopathic treatment shouldn’t be administered if there’s an increased risk of damage to the spine or other bones, ligaments, joints, and nerves.

Can Osteopathy Make You Worse?

Several reports have suggested that approximately half of all manual therapy patients experience some mild to moderate short-lived reaction to treatment.  These can include a temporary increase in pain, aching after treatment, or post-treatment fatigue. A study carried out on osteopathy patients showed that 10-20% of patients reported an increase in pain or symptoms, however, 42% of those went on to make clinically significant improvements. Most muscle soreness, aching and headache post-treatment symptoms disappeared within 24 hours.