How Does Osteopathy Work?

Most people know that osteopathy relieves muscle pain and increases mobility by manipulating, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

People usually seek an osteopath because they’re looking for a way out of the frustration and pain that is stopping them from doing what they want to do, often for prolonged periods. Sometimes they visit one to maintain their wellbeing too.

The conditions Osteopathy is suited to:

Cervicogenic Headaches

Neuralgia and sinus pain

Neck pain

Spondylosis, tension pains

Frozen shoulder

Tennis and golfer’s elbow

Back problems, i.e. sciatica and referred pain

Rheumatic and arthritic pain

Symptoms associated with pregnancy

Sports injuries

But how does Osteopathy actually work?

The principles of Osteopathy

Osteopathy is based on the principle that a person’s wellbeing depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue all working together.

Most people arrive on an osteopath’s doorstep when this balance has been thrown out – maybe by a fall, a surgical procedure, a medical condition such as arthritis or a sports injury.

This could present in the form of lower back pain, an aching neck, shoulder or elbow pain.. Manual therapy techniques can help restore that balance and eliminate that pain.

An osteopath will use their hands to treat a patient’s body in a variety of ways –  – to restore the normal function and stability of the joints to help the body heal itself.

Osteopathy techniques include:

  • Soft tissue release – Eases built up tension throughout the muscles by increasing the blood supply to muscles and releasing tight spots.
  • Stretching – stiff joints respond well to stretching and strengthening the muscles around joints can help stability in the long term. Stretching is also known to release endorphins to ease pain and improve mood.
  • Articulation – this is where the patient’s joints are moved through their natural range of motion. Manipulating joints this way helps the body’s natural lubricating system coat the affected joints and tendons, resulting in a smooth increased range of movement and less pain owing to reduced friction.
  • High-velocity thrusts – the scary-looking technique you see on TikTok, short, sharp movements to the spine, which normally produce a clicking noise similar to cracking your knuckles. They restore correct joint motion and relieve pain.

Osteopathy shouldn’t hurt you, but it is normal to feel a bit stiff for a few days after treatment, especially if you’re being treated for a painful or inflamed injury. Almost always, that is your body telling you it is in recovery mode.

If you’d like to find out how osteopathy can help you, our team are always happy to explain and answer any questions you may have. Book an appointment now at either our Sittingbourne or Sheerness location and let us help you put that pain behind you and get you back to doing what you love.