All visits to an Osteopath begin with a thorough case history taking, where questions are asked about your problem and symptoms, as well as other potentially relevant areas, such as your general medical history, other medical care you are receiving and medication you are taking.

After the case history, a thorough examination and any relevant clinical tests are performed. These include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests as well as postural assessments, active and passive movements and exercises. As Osteopathy takes a whole body approach to problems, areas other than that which is troubling a patient may also be examined. For example, if you have a sore knee, looking at the ankle, hip, pelvis and lower back may be necessary.

Once the examination and clinical tests have been performed, a clear explanation of what has been found (diagnosis) along with the treatment plan will be discussed. This includes the benefits and any risks of the treatment which is recommended. A treatment plan is always based on an individual’s needs, as each injury and problem is unique, so too will treatment vary from person to person. A patient will be advised if they have a serious condition which cannot be treated and if a referral to a doctor or hospital is required. If this is the case, a letter explaining the situation will be provided.

Read more about what you can get help with

Back and neck problems

80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point during their life. Research shows that osteopathic treatment reduces back pain, increases mobility and speeds the recovery process.

Common causes of back and neck pain

  • Extensive sitting or standing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Injury
  • Changes during pregnancy
  • Insufficient flexibility
  • Muscle weakness

The most common type of headache originates from tension, muscle stiffness or joint strain in the neck or upper thoracic region. Other causes include

  • Eye strain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Whiplash injury
  • Stress
  • Poor posture
  • Jaw imbalance and teeth grinding

Osteopaths are trained to differentiate between headaches with common causes and those due to serious pathology.

Disc bulge
  • A disc bulge describes an injury to the intervertebral discs which are found between each vertebra in the spine. The discs act like a shock absorber for the joints in the spine. A disc bulge occurs when there is a tear in the outer part of the disc, which allows the soft central portion to bulge out. Pain and symptoms can arise from pressure from the disc itself directly compressing on nerves and/or from inflammation as a result of damage to the disc.
  • The majority of disc bulges affect the vertebrae in the lower part of the back, however it is also relatively common in the lower part of the neck.
  • Osteopaths are trained to differentiate between uncomplicated back pain and back pain requiring referral to specialist care. This is sometimes necessary when there is a disc bulge problem. Only around 20% of cases involving disc bulges require surgical intervention. The remaining 80% heal with the help of manual therapy and rehabilitation or quite simply just by themselves.
  • Arthritis is a common condition which can affect people of all ages. Arthritis affects the muscles, bones and joints and usually involves inflammation of one or more joints.
  • Common symptoms associated with arthritis include pain and swelling in the joints and surrounding tissues. This is often accompanied by stiffness and decreased movement.
Sports injuries
  • Muscular flexibility and joint range of motion are often taken for granted and seldom things we think about. Any reduction in either of these two areas can have a big influence on an individual’s risk for injury and a limiting factor to sporting performance.
  • If you do become injured, osteopathy can facilitate your return to optimal function and prevent compensatory strains from occurring. This aims to minimise re-injury and allow a quicker return to physical activity.

Every injury is unique, so every rehabilitation program is also unique and individualised to every person. However, the principals underlying each rehab program are always the same.

  • Treatment of the primary injury as well as any underlying problems that could have contributed to the injury.
  • Improving flexibility and range of motion in the relevant areas of the body.
  • Advice on exercises to increase and improve strength and stability in the relevant areas of the body.
  • Advice and tips for how to avoid further injury.
  • Regardless of whether you work in an office, outside or spend your days in a vehicle, you need to be able to cope with the individual demands on your body by the type of work you do.
  • By talking and going through the specifics about the type of work you do, osteopaths can give you advice and tips on how you can best avoid future injuries as well as any adjustments that could be useful for any current problems.
  • All golfers know that timing is essential when playing golf (i.e. contacting the ball on the sweet spot on the club head at the optimal speed). Timing is heavily reliant on smooth, coordinated joint motion throughout the body. If there is tightness in the muscles or stiffness in the joints, then the timing of a golf swing will be effected, regardless of how much one might try to avoid it.
  • Osteopathy can help identify where in the body there is reduced range of motion and why, and then help to restore and optimise these problems.

Approximately 36% of people between 15-65 years of age run and between 56-79% runners continue to get injured each year.

The four most important factors which can lead to a running related injury are:

  • The position of the limb during foot strike.
  • How the limb responds following foot strike.
  • The state of the biological tissues (muscles and tendons) and their ability to respond to loading stress.
  • The body’s ability to make subtle variations to minimise fatigue and overuse.
  • During pregnancy the body undergoes tremendous change to accommodate the growing fetus. The most obvious change is expansion of the abdominal region; however the changes from hormones released can affect the function of your body’s internal systems. These changes can cause and add stress to your body, leading to problems such as back and pelvis pain, sciatica, shortness of breath, swelling, high blood pressure and fatigue.
  • Osteopathic treatment can help minimise the pain and discomfort of musculoskeletal related problems experienced during pregnancy, as well as some of the other symptoms that can be associated with pregnancy.
  • Osteopaths are trained to identify medical conditions during pregnancy which require a referral to a doctor or hospital. If this is the case, a letter explaining the situation will be provided.
  • Treatment by an osteopath during pregnancy is a great compliment to the care provided by a midwife and/or doctor.