Osteopathist : Sports Physicians

Osteopathy is an increasingly popular form of treatment for healing and preventing sporting injuries. It aims to get the athlete back to full body mobility and flexibility so that the body can perform at its optimum level and be protected from further injury.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a type of healthcare that focuses on the musculoskeletal system as the central core of the body. It is based on the principle that the individual’s wellbeing depends on the skeleton, muscles and ligaments working well together. It is a discreet form of medicine which puts emphasis on diagnosis and the cause of injury or illness rather than simply on treating symptoms, and which can include counselling as part of a cure for physical complaints. It specialises in problems related to posture, body mechanics and function.

What do Osteopaths do?

Osteopaths aim to restore the body to a balanced state using touch, massage, stretches and physical manipulation. Wherever possible, they will avoid the use of drugs or surgery. Their techniques are designed to relieve muscle tension, increase joint mobility, improve the blood and nerve supply to tissues and support your body’s own healing techniques. The osteopath will aim to work out what the source of your discomfort is, be it physical or psychological. Usually the pain of muscle tension is created and sustained by a combination of both these factors, perhaps because the body is remembering a past trauma.

What Problems can Osteopathy help with?

There are many sports injuries that osteopathy can help treat. The list below gives some general injuries or problems that osteopathy can treat:

  • Lower neck and back pain
  • Disc injuries including sciatica
  • Shoulder conditions e.g. Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Muscle tension and tears
  • Stress related disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Post-traumatic injuries

Why is Osteopathy Different from Other Treatments?

Osteopathy differs from orthodox medicine because of its focus on diagnosis and cause. Osteopaths take time to listen to their patients and take on board factors that may seem separate but could be contributory. It is quite a gentle branch of treatment which hands responsibility for the patient’s wellbeing back to them. The osteopath will act as a supporting figure, available as a source of professional advice and direction, but once the initial treatment is over it is up to the patient to maintain their exercises and a healthy lifestyle. By getting the body to its optimum level of health and functionality and helping the patient to maintain it, osteopathy can help prevent further injury.

Visiting an Osteopath

At your first visit the osteopath will generally ask you questions to assess your medical background, diet and lifestyle. They will probably ask you to undress to your underwear and perform a series of simple movements. They use their hands to assess whether your movement shows any abnormalities and to identify areas of strain, tenderness, weakness or restriction. From this your osteopath should be able to make a full diagnosis and discuss treatment options with you, and give you an estimate as to how long the treatment will take. The first treatment will usually take about 45 minutes and be focused on relaxing the muscles, while the subsequent treatments will probably take an hour and a half.

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