Os­teopa­thy

My Weekly Special - - | Health -

Os­teopa­thy in­volves phys­i­cal ma­nip­u­la­tion of the body, stretch­ing and mas­sag­ing the mus­cles to tr y to treat ill­ness – most of­ten mus­cu­loskele­tal con­di­tions such as back pain, neck pain, ar thri­tis and spor ts re­lated in­juries. Some os­teopaths also treat other non-mus­cu­loskele­tal prob­lems.

The theor y be­hind os­teopa­thy is that health re­lies on the skele­ton, mus­cles and con­nec­tive tis­sues of the body all work­ing smoothly to­gether.

The ma­nip­u­la­tion aims to re­lieve mus­cle ten­sion, im­prove move­ment of the joints and in­crease blood sup­ply to the af­fected area en­cour­ag­ing the body to heal it­self.

Os­teopa­thy gen­er­ally isn’t painful but you might feel sore or stif f for a few days af­ter treat­ment. Ex­tremely rarely, os­teopa­thy has been linked to se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions af­ter spinal ma­nip­u­la­tion of the neck, in­clud­ing stroke. Os­teopa­thy is not rec­om­mended for peo­ple at in­creased risk of dam­age to the bones, ner ves or other tis­sues, so it may not be suit­able if you have a frac­ture, os­teo­poro­sis, can­cer or other con­di­tions. Your os­teopath should take a his­tor y and dis­cuss any risks with you.

There is some ev­i­dence that os­teopa­thy may help some joint pains and the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Health Care and Ex­cel­lence (NICE) rec­om­mends man­ual ma­nip­u­la­tion ther­apy, which in­cludes os­teopa­thy, for lower back pain. How­ever there is no cur­rent ev­i­dence that it works for non-mus­cu­loskele­tal con­di­tions.

Os­teopa­thy is not gen­er­ally avail­able on the NHS, though it may be in some ar­eas. It is reg­u­lated by law; only qual­i­fied prac­ti­tion­ers are al­lowed to call them­selves os­teopaths and must be regis­tered with the Gen­eral Os­teo­pathic Coun­cil.

Ev­i­dence of help­ing joint pain

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