Osteopaths spend four to five years of training understanding the relationship between the body’s organs, joints and muscles and are experienced in treating disorders of the musculoskeletal structures throughout the whole body. Osteopathy is a person-centred approach that strives to provide the optimum condition for health by working with your body’s own healing mechanisms to achieve results. Osteopaths see people of all ages, including pregnant women and elite athletes.
The health risks associated with having osteopathic treatment are extremely low. If you have any concerns about the safety of your treatment, a member of the MJB Clinic's team will be happy to discuss these with you.
Trouble with your back does not simply produce pain in the back. Often it may cause symptoms in other parts such as the buttocks, groin, hips, and legs (commonly called sciatica).
Problems in the spine and neck can also cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, clicking jaw, pins and needles and many more. Research has shown that problems related to the back may affect over 60% of the UK’s population at some stage in their lives.
Osteopaths are trained professionals who are skilled in diagnosing problems, including those which may require further investigation if necessary. Around 30,000 people currently consult osteopaths every working day with more than seven million consultations carried out every year (General Osteopathic Council).
NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines recommend manipulative therapies including osteopathy for the treatment of lower back pain.
Keeping a healthy spine and joints
When young, the body can adapt easily to the stress and strain it is put under. As it grows older (over 25 years!) it begins to lose some of the elasticity which gives the body the flexibility to cope and adapt. In particular this applies to the discs between the vertebrae and the joint cartilage. These require regular movement to ensure their maximum range and thereby increase local circulation and nutrition to the surrounding fluids and tissues.
Osteopathy and getting older
Retirement can bring time for leisure, travel opportunities and other interests. This is the chance to take up those sports and activities that you never had time for whilst working and bringing up your family, e.g. golf, gardening, badminton, fitness classes etc. The body, however, has changed. It has lost some of its elasticity and ability to adapt. It has also experienced injuries and postural stress during those years, often resulting in repetitive strain injuries, stiffness and degenerative changes.
The onset of health issues such as high blood pressure, digestive and circulatory disorders and arthritis have all begun to have a noticeable effect on the body’s energy and ability to perform. Many grandparents also help working parents by caring for their grandchildren – a pleasure for many but also a strain on the older body.
Quality of life is especially important for this age group when there are increasing concerns about loss of independence and mobility.
Osteopathy can help greatly during this time. An osteopath will take a full case history so they can understand how the body has been affected so far. Then, after a full examination and assessment, the osteopath will be able to offer treatment and advice to help improve mobility, circulation and immune system function, and to reduce joint stiffness so that the older person can enjoy a full and active life in retirement.
The treatment is usually gentle and aims to maintain health and prevent further injury. Dietary advice may also be given to help maintain healthy bones and joints.
Are you fit for work?
Occupational injuries account for many millions of working days lost each year in Britain. No matter whether your work is in the office or outside on the land you need to be able to cope with the individual demands made on your body by the style of work you do. Manual work inevitably carries the inherent risk of injury caused by heavy and often awkward lifting, over-stretching, and periods of prolonged bending causing back and disc injuries, sciatica, and muscle strains.
In the office where desk work is more common, there are the dangers of ‘computer hump’ and ‘mouse wrist’, whilst frequent telephone use affects the neck and shoulders causing headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome etc.
Those who drive for a living need to be aware of their driving position as it affects not only their back, neck and shoulders but also the hips, knees and feet. Ask our osteopaths for advice on the correct driving position for you and any exercises which may help.
For the employee
Going to an osteopath demonstrates to your boss that you are taking an active role in trying to improve your health and reduce your injury. The MJB Clinic's osteopaths will help you look at the style of work you are undertaking and help you find ways of improving the situation and how to prevent a recurrence of your injuries. You will be treated and offered advice on posture and lifting. An osteopath can also provide you with a fit note.
Professionalism and safety
To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered.