Osteopathy and Posture

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy emphasizes the importance of seeing the body as a whole – looking at muscles, joints, bones, organs, nerves, and all other soft tissue. Thus, an Osteopath will work in a holistic manner attending to the whole person, with a particular emphasis on one of its fundamental premises – that the structure of the body affects its function; and that by improving structure, you can directly impact upon and improve function.

Where did Osteopathy originate?

Andrew Still Founder of OsteopathyOsteopathy was developed in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, Missouri, USA. Dr. Still described Osteopathy as “scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a person of intelligence and skill, who can apply that knowledge to the use of the man when sick or wounded by strains, shock, falls, or mechanical derangement or injury of any kind to the body. An up-to-date osteopath must have a masterful knowledge of anatomy and physiology… By our knowledge of physiology, we can comprehend the requirements of the circulation of the fluids of the body as to time, speed and quantity, in harmony with the demands of normal life.” (Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, Philosophy and principles of Osteopathy (1892), Kirksville.)

Osteopaths in America before the 20th century often focused only on treating back and neck pain, but in 1955 Osteopathic schools in America started developing curriculums to train Osteopaths how to identify and treat other impairments of body function.

What is Osteopathy, and how does it work?

Osteopathic treatment is a hands-on therapy that utilizes a combination of techniques that include manual therapy (such as massage), joint mobilization, and joint manipulation (adjustments). Osteopaths use their knowledge of anatomy to recognize the relationship between structures (you can think about bones as the frame or scaffolding, muscles as force generators, nerves as communication pathways). Osteopaths appreciate the integrated communication within this “structure,” and changes in posture may reflect any changes in function.

Osteopaths aim to correct any issues they uncover and work to improve power and control over movement. They use their hands to apply forces on the body (like a physiotherapist would during manual therapy). In addition, osteopathic treatment aims to help restore mobility and function of specific joints.

An Osteopath may also provide advice on exercises that may assist your recovery, self-help techniques, and advice on how to improve your posture.

Osteopaths can help with a range of issues, such as:

  1. Chronic pain such as Lower Back Pain and sciatica.
  2. Neck pain
  3. Working with people to help them recover from injury. For example, osteopaths might help reduce pain and stiffness, restore range of motion, and enable people to return to activities they enjoyed before their injury.
  4. Supporting women during pregnancy.
  5. Osteopathy can assist with gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome
  6. May also be helpful for fibromyalgia, headaches including migraine or TMJ dysfunction
  7. Shoulder and Upper limb conditions.
  8. Osteopathy can also be used as a supportive therapy for those who have had cancer. In addition, osteopaths might help reduce the side effects of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or loss of appetite.

Finally

Osteopathy is a hands-on therapy that utilizes a combination of techniques, including manual therapy (such as massage), joint mobilization, and manipulation. Osteopathic treatment aims to help restore mobility and function of specific joints. Osteopaths work with people to help them recover from injury and Osteopaths might help reduce pain and stiffness, restore range of motion, and enable people to return to activities they enjoyed before their injury. As a holistic approach people seek treatment for a wide range of issues.