Monday, June 12, 2006

Osteopathic Medicine in Britan

Osteopathy is a safe and natural approach to health care. Patients may be treated for health problems from the trauma of birth to the arthritis of the elderly, from the cradle to the rocking chair.

Britain's osteopaths see over five million patients every year.

Most practise privately at their own clinics. Increasingly, too, they are working within the NHS to make osteopathy more widely available.

What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy focuses on the musculo-skeletal system (the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue) and the way in which this inter-relates with the body as a whole. It combines scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology and clinical methods of investigation.

Osteopaths diagnose and treat faults which occur because of injury, stress or perhaps disease, to enable the musculo-skeletal system to work as efficiently as possible, allowing the body to restore itself to normal function. A caring approach and attention to the individual is considered particularly important.

After treatment, an osteopath can advise on maintaining a realistic level of health and avoiding those things which might be damaging. For example, remedial exercises to adjust posture or advice on diet and lifestyle can be given as part of a personal health care programme.

What about Treatment?
Instead of drugs, osteopaths use their hands both to discover the underlying causes of pain and to carry out treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques. These may include soft tissue stretching, rhythmic passive joint movements or high velocity thrust techniques to improve the range of movement of a joint. Gentle release techniques are often used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients.

What do Osteopaths Treat?
A recent survey of osteopathic practices underlined the wide range of patients treated.

Half suffer low back trouble
Most back pains result from mechanical disturbances of the spine - postural strains, joint derangements and spinal disc injuries. Osteopathy, with its comprehensive approach to health care, is a particularly successful approach to treatment.
Over half are women
Many women are working mothers and both aspects of their lives can give rise to problems, from the perennial headache to severe musculo-skeletal disorders.
Many headaches originate from stiffness and tension in the neck and osteopathic treatment can often bring relief. Pregnancy can put a strain on the low back and osteopathic treatment can help the body to adjust.

A quarter are in their forties
Many patients are losing fitness at this stage in their lives and are more prone to injury. Osteopaths consider all the factors, examining posture and the strength and flexibility of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Treatment is designed to alleviate current problems and to help prevent recurrences.

Many are elderly
Painkillers are not the only solution for the aches and pains associated with ageing. For more permanent relief it is necessary to eliminate the underlying causes of pain, a job for which the osteopath is specifically trained. Osteopathy can also help in reducing pain and stiffness in the less acute stages of arthritis.
Many problems relate to work
Work, whether it be at a computer terminal or in heavy industry, can give rise to disorders of the muscles, tendons and joints, particularly in the back, hands and arms. Osteopaths treat many conditions relating to the workplace and can give remedial advice and preventative exercise.


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