Emma Broom
Rowan House
28 Queens Road

Emma's Direct Line - 01603 813987


What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established manual therapy that focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders.

Osteopathy became the first major complementary health care profession to be accorded statutory recognition under the Osteopaths Act 1993. The General Osteopathic Council is the statutory regulator in the UK and ensures all osteopaths are trained to the same high, rigorous standards, have medical malpractice insurance and follow a strict code of conduct. Patients have the same safeguards as when they consult a doctor or dentist.

Visiting your GP to rule out any serious illness related to your back pain is recommended - thankfully for the vast majority of patients this will not be the cause. Whilst your doctor can rule out some potentially distressing origins, it may not solve what for many is a debilitating and life-altering pain.

Osteopaths deal with both acute and chronic pain. We aim to prevent pain recurring, giving treatment and advice on self-help. We are trained to recognise what we can treat as well as what we can't, so we will refer you to your GP or to an appropriate private specialist where necessary.

Osteopathic treatment

Commonly treated conditions include:

  • back and neck pain
  • headaches
  • postural problems
  • sporting injuries
  • muscle and joint deterioration
  • restricted mobility
  • occupational ill-health

Based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal itself, osteopathic care aims to strengthen the musculoskeletal systems, treating existing conditions and preventing further injury. Every treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

Using a highly developed sense of touch (palpation), a variety of manipulative techniques can be applied to work with the tension in the tissues of the body to affect the position of the bones.

Treatment involves stretching, massage and physical manipulation with the aim of:

  • increasing the mobility of joints
  • relieving muscle tension
  • enhancing the blood supply to tissues
  • helping the body to heal

Do I need an Osteopathic Treatment?

I encourage you to recognise the early signs of a problem brewing and to book an appointment sooner, rather than wait for the pain to get worse. Generally, pain should peak on the third day and be more or less gone by the fifth day. Anything that lasts longer would benefit from treatment. You do not need to be in pain to come, I can see and feel muscle imbalance whether it hurts or not, as all osteopaths spend many hours practicing palpation and have a finely tuned sense of touch.

What to Expect from Treatment

The first treatment is longer than any follow up appointments, as I will take a detailed case history to try to establish underlying causes for physical pain.

I will ask you to undress as far as you feel comfortable (always keeping underwear on) and examine your posture, muscle tone and general symmetry. I may ask you to perform some simple movements such as bending forward and sideways. This will enable me to understand how your body is currently functioning, make a diagnosis and plan your treatment with you.

Holistic Thinking

Holistic picture

I work to rebalance the structure and function of your unique body, looking holistically at all the factors contributing to your body's disturbed state of natural health.

So much back, neck and limb pain has no clear root cause. Physical factors may be an issue if work or hobbies involve heavy physical activity, frequent bending, twisting and lifting, repetition or poor posture. Simply, a lack of exercise, life stress or anxiety can have a big part to play, while for others it can be related to workplace demands and stresses.

What is the cracking noise?

Although not the main osteopathic technique, the "crack" or "High Velocity Thrust" (HVT) is a manipulation carried out to restore normal function to a joint.

An HVT is a short, fast motion precisely in the right direction. A satisfying pop, like a cracking knuckle, is sometimes heard and considered evidence of success.

Muscle tension can result in joint surfaces being held so closely together that the fluid (which normally aids the gliding of the joint) has been pushed to the edges of the joint capsule, resulting in the joint having reduced range of movement. The HVT is performed to restore normal function to the joint.

There is no evidence to suggest that HVT's will cause arthritis. In fact, restoring normal movement to joints will decrease strain on soft tissues and balance joints to reduce wear and tear. Joints that repeatedly crack on their own indicate that there is imbalance in the joints and soft tissues which could lead to strain and increased wear and tear.

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