What is Osteopathy?
“Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.” – NHS England
To treat patients, we use a wide range of manual therapies, including massage, stretching, articulation of joints and manipulation (‘clicking’ of joints) so that bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue function smoothly together.
Many patients suffer not only strains and sprains, but often from long-term conditions and aches brought on by the demands of everyday life – from running around after small children to sitting at a desk all day. Osteopathy can help to improve the range of movement of your joints/muscles to reduce pain.
What does Osteopathy treat?
About 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010 and back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Statistics show that up to 90% of patients with an acute episode of low back pain feel better within 4-12 weeks. However, up to 70-80% of patients will have an episode again within a year. In the short term, pain can subside, but in the long term lower back pain can return – potentially leading to chronic back pain.
Seeing on osteopath can get you better faster and reduce the risk of another painful episode. That’s what we are trained for and do best! Visit The Wimbledon Osteopath and you will be assured the best possible care and treatment available.
Neck Pain/Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder strains are very common as a result of incorrect gym work and poor posture at computer screens! Massage and manipulation can help to keep these problems at bay, along with advice to correct your posture in the future. We find that Osteopathy is brilliant for relaxation and stress reduction too. Why not treat yourself to an osteopathic massage from an expert or some cranial osteopathy to get the deep relaxation you deserve
During each trimester of a pregnancy, new stresses are placed on a mother’s body as she undergoes various structural changes to accommodate the growing fetus. Osteopathy is both safe and gentle for both mother and baby and we can easily adapt traditional osteopathic techniques to treat pregnant women in whatever position they are most comfortable. We can check you over after the big day too and prevent any aches and pains from clouding your wonderful experience with your newborn.
Headaches & Migraines
In the UK about 25 million work/school days are lost every year because of migraines whilst the number is greater for tension and other kinds of headache. In 2013, a Global Burden of Disease study noted that migraine was the 6th highest cause of years lost due to disability whilst headaches disorders collectively were 3rd highest (the NHS say these are mostly due to tension and neck related issues and that is when an osteopath can help the most.
Headaches are therefore a massive public-health concern due to the associated disability and financial costs to society, principally from lost working hours and reduced productivity.
Here, at The Wimbledon Osteopath, we worry more about how you feel and live your life and want to get you pain-free.
Our osteopaths use Cranial Osteopathy techniques to release stress and tension in your cranium. The treatment is very relaxing, and is particularly effective in our experience. We find it’s especially effective on babies and children.
For acute conditions, such as migraines or tension headaches, we aim to reduce your muscular tension, improve blood supply and drainage to and from the head, and advise you on how to prevent future problems with exercises and advice on your posture.
Call or come in to see if we can help you.
Hip, knee and foot pain too can have a negative effect on both confidence and mobility, which is where we can help. Over the longer term, abnormal mechanics lead to earlier degenerative changes, which is another reason for getting things sorted sooner rather than later. And if you’re in the older age group and have been told you have arthritis, don’t take that to mean that you just have to learn to live with it. Treatment can often make a big difference to the associated symptoms of stiffness & pain.
Babies’ skull bones suffer trauma during birth, and can bend in a process called “moulding”. These stresses normally resolve quickly after birth, but if they do not, the trauma can contribute to problems including digestive discomfort, difficulty winding, poor sleeping/irritability, plagiocephaly, and reflux-type symptoms. Gentle manual manipulation may help to resolve these strains and alleviate resulting stresses.
Cranial Osteopathy can release stress and tension in the cranium and is particularly effective in our experience. The treatment is very relaxing for babies and children and many fall asleep during sessions!
Arthritis and RSI
Arthritis is caused by wear and tear through normal ageing, however, it can be accelerated and start earlier in life through heavy and repetitive overuse of the joints. Accidents can also trigger the process.
Having some understanding of the nature of arthritis and what can be done about it will help you enormously. We are here to treat you and get you moving pain-free as well as educate you on how best to move and protect you from further upset and injury.
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are used to describe pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movements and overuse. The symptoms usually develop gradually and can include pain, ache, tenderness, tingling, throbbing, weakness or cramp. Without treatment symptoms become chronic and you may get swelling in the affected areas that can last for months.
We will help you to identify and modify the task or activity causing the symptom or recommend you stop it altogether if necessary.
We may recommend heat or cold packs, an elastic support or splint alongside advise on posture and how to strengthen or relax your muscles. Manual therapy such as Osteopathy works well in these cases.
We treat athletes ranging from the amateur to the professional, and will provide not only treatment of the injury but give advice to help further rehabilitation and speedy recovery. Deep tissue massage is particularly effective for this type of injury, and has been shown to improve lymphatic drainage, and reduce pain and swelling in the area.
We are also qualified to prescribe Pilates, yoga style exercises or a bespoke gym routine. Come and try us out!
Road traffic accidents/Other injuries
Neck strain occurs after rapid acceleration and deceleration, with symptoms often taking days or weeks to appear. It can also lead to arm and back pain, as well as headaches. (If you have experienced dizziness or loss of consciousness, we always recommend that you seek immediate medical attention). Massage can be effective in relieving tense muscles, and we will give you a tailored stretching routine to continue to reduce symptoms after appointments. We are happy to provide a report for insurance purposes if required.
While Osteopaths predominantly work on the balance of muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons, Visceral Osteopathy aims to identify the movement and quality of internal organs, such as your stomach, liver, intestines and lungs for example. The interconnection between the internal organs, the spine and disease is fundamental to osteopathic practice and this is yet another approach to treating your back, neck, shoulders, and leg problems.
Visceral techniques in osteopathy involve the use of very specific and gentle unwinding of the ligaments and fascia that support the internal organs. This gentle manipulation can improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, alongside the structural integrity of the whole body. The treatment of visceral scar tissue, the release of tension in the bowel of someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or chronic period pain are just some examples of this sort of approach.
Stress often can present with visceral symptoms. When you are anxious you develop a shallow, fast breathing pattern. If the diaphragm is not moving correctly, the stomach, liver, pancreas and intestines may be affected. In the long term, it could lead to heartburn, hiatus hernia, stomach-ache or more serious digestives problems. Finally, it may result in chronic back pain. In turn, an irritable stomach will send messages to the spinal cord, which could be interpreted by your brain, as muscular pain in the middle of your back.
Visceral osteopathy means we are also interested in your eating habits, food intolerance or history of possible IBS. It can have a direct impact on your back. The same applies for bowels issues, and any other viscera, including the gynaecological system.
It is important to remember that internal organs are very exposed and vulnerable to emotions and mental health, which, in turn, can affect the biomechanics around them. It is not surprising that your heart beats faster when you’re scared and you can experience ‘butterflies’ in your stomach when you are nervous. Exam stress can also make your bowels move more frequently.
Osteopaths see patients with endometriosis, IBS, pelvic floor and bladder issues, post-surgical complications, dysmenorrhea, asthma and chronic breathing problems, and post-partum pain syndromes to name a few.