What is the Difference between Osteopathy and other forms of treatment?
Patients new to osteopathy often wonder what the difference is between osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractic. The answer to this can be very varied depending upon individual practitioners in each field.
Osteopathy has been taught for the past 150 years, initially in the USA with a medical doctor who had a deep interest in anatomy and physiology, who explored the correlation between strains of the body framework, which could affect circulation and nerve control to other body tissues.
Biomechanics within medicine has grown in understanding and osteopaths use the assessment of movement, tissue tone and texture in all regions of the body to assess injury and its affect on a patient’s symptoms and health. If you have an injury to an ankle for example, the osteopath will not only examine and treat the ankle but also the rest of the leg, the knee, hip, pelvis and spine, as the altered mechanics will affect more remote areas too. They will explore how the injury has occurred, how to mange it immediately and deal with other adaptations the limb may have made, plus how to prevent recurrence.
There are many hands on procedures an osteopath can choose, the principles are always to restore normal motion in a joint or region, alleviate stresses on the area, improve circulation, prevent nerve injury and return tissues such as muscles and ligaments to their best functional state.
Osteopathy offers a whole body multi system approach without a formula dictating that any one particular procedure will affect all conditions. Rather each treatment is tailored to each patient’s presentation, their particular structural state and their overall health status.