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dh osteopathy - Tips, myths and more.

 

Eet inner o abite bones thee knowst!

Eet inner o abite bones thee knowst or, in non Potteries speak, it isn't all about bones you know.

It is a common misconception that osteopathy, having the word osteo in it means that it is a treatment just for bones. Perhaps we should have opted for a different tradename but it is with us so I will attempt to clear up some of the confusion.

I have spoken to patients and friends who believe that if they consider their problem bone or joint related they may consider osteopathy but discount it if they consider their problem muscular. “You don't do muscles do you?” they'll say.

Well, stop the press! We do “do muscles”.

Osteopaths consider the inter-relationships of the joints,muscles,nerves,tendons, ligaments and fascia, in other words the whole neuro-musculoskeletal system, and have skilled hands on techniques for attending to imbalances they find in this system. They also sometimes consider a patient's problem in relation to other systems of the body, such as breathing and digestion. It may also be necessary to invite a patient to explore aspects of their lifestyle that may be relevant to their problem such as activity, non activity, work/family stresses and nutritional factors.

So at one end of the spectrum osteopaths may deal with a bony/joint adjustment, the “putting me bone back in to place“ moments, and at the other end a whole person, integrated approach that attempts to address a person's problem in the context of their lifestyle and its vicissitudes.

Returning to the issue of muscle injury, the osteopath will attend to the immediate muscle injury, often using a combination of massage, stretching and prescribing rehabilitation exercises for the patient. In addition they will be assessing the related structures to see if there is an underlying issue predisposing to this muscle injury. For example, someone may present with a calf muscle pull but this may have been due to a pre-existing restriction in ankle mobility, stiffness in the foot, overcompensation for a weak knee on the opposite leg, to name a few possibilities. So yes we deal with muscles but in relationship to the specifics of that person. No two muscle pulls are equal.

It most definitely inner just abite bones duck!

Dave Heath

 

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