Geoff Taylor, Chester
In January 2004 I started suffering from acute lower back pain, accompanied with severe pain in my thighs. The pain was always intense when I was in repose – sitting or lying down...

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Osteopathy Neck Pain

 

Osteopathy Postural Problems

 

Osteopathy Disc Problems

 

Osteopathy Whiplash

 

Osteopathy Stiffness

 

Osteopathy Sports Injuries

 

Osteopathy Children

 

Osteopathy Children

 



At the Osteopathic Health Centre Chester we can help you recover from a host of conditions including; low back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, arthritis and muscle spasms.

We are conveniently placed for visitors coming to us from all parts of; Cheshire, Wirral, Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales, Chester, Christleton, Tattenhall, Tarporley, Malpas, Kelsall, Helsby, Frodsham, Hawarden, Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Queensferry, Hawarden, Flint, Wrexham.

FAQ


Is Osteopathy suitable for all ages?

 

Simply put, yes!  At the Osteopathic Health Centre we have a particular interest in working with babies and children as well as with adults of all ages including the elderly.

Gentle subtle techniques are used with babies and children. Adults in good health may be treated using slightly stronger techniques. As patients grow older different health issues arise, joints become more stiff and set and the possibility of osteoporosis may need taking into account. Whatever the age or condition the osteopathic approach is modified to deliver safe effective treatment.

If your appointment is for a child or you wish to have more gentle techniques please mention this to the receptionist when you're booking.

Should you have any mobility issues such as difficulty climbing household stairs, please mention this to reception staff when you book to ensure that we allocate a downstairs room.

 

 

What conditions can osteopathy help with?

 

Osteopathy is well known for its role in helping with mechanical/musculoskeletal conditions particularly those involving the spine. Due to the unique osteopathic approach which views any condition in relation to the whole body, osteopathic treatment can help with a wide variety of complaints. In some cases a mechanical imbalance/musculoskeletal problem can cause symptoms remote from the source – for example, a foot or gait problem may cause a mechanical strain through the knee triggering knee pain or a neck complaint may contribute to headaches or sinus pain.  With this in mind it is difficult to write a fully comprehensive list of all the conditions that may respond to osteopathic treatment. Looking at the section conditions helped may be useful

If you are unsure whether your symptoms are likely to be helped by osteopathy please ring the practice and ask to speak to one of the osteopaths. We usually ring back at a mutually convenient time.

 

 

Does osteopathy hurt?

 

In a nutshell, no!  Osteopathy is completely tailored to the individual so you can have a say in the techniques used and the approach taken. Osteopaths are trained to select the most effective techniques to suit the patient and the condition- see what does treatment involve While treating you the osteopath constantly monitors the effects the technique is having on your tissues and subtly modifies the treatment to ensure that it is both effective and comfortable.


During a treatment session you may be aware of sensations such as muscles being stretched or joints being moved, however this should not be unpleasant but may feel unusual.  Sometimes an osteopath may suggest that it would be beneficial to work more deeply or apply more pressure. Some patients are comfortable being treated more physically and would prefer that the osteopath just gets on and does what needs doing, other patients may feel vulnerable and scared because their condition has been very painful and they are wary about being treated.  This is not a problem, treatment can be taken more slowly or more subtle techniques used.  Many patients specifically come to the Osteopathic Health Centre as they have heard that we use cranial techniques (please mention this to the receptionist when booking if you would specifically like to be treated using cranial osteopathy).


Be reassured that your osteopath will listen to you and work within a level of comfort that suits you.  At The Osteopathic Health Centre we have several osteopaths who specialise in different techniques and work in varied ways, so it is easy to find the right osteopath for you.

 

 

Will I benefit from Osteopathy?

 

Obviously we would like to answer “yes” to this question but in reality it is a difficult question to answer as the outcome from osteopathic treatment will depend on your condition. You may be able to get a clearer idea as to whether your symptoms are likely to respond to osteopathic treatment by looking at conditions treated.

A detailed case history is taken at the initial consultation noting your symptoms, the history, your general health, medication etc followed by a thorough examination.  Once the osteopath has gathered all this information you will be advised whether your problem is likely to benefit from osteopathic treatment.

If you have had symptoms for a long time it may take a few treatments before you start to notice a difference.  Many patients will start to feel some benefit almost straight away (although initially there may be some soreness).  Patients invariably find the osteopathic experience beneficial as we always try to explain our findings and give advice on how best to manage your symptoms.

Please rest assured that if we feel that osteopathy is not the right choice for you we will try to guide you through what to do next or who to see next!

If you are still unsure about coming for a consultation please ring the practice 01244 371820 and speak to one of our team.

 

 

Will I feel better straight away?

 

In many instances, the answer to this is "Yes!". However, how much better and for how long does vary enormously according to the condition being treated and the longevity of the symptoms.

After a treatment, tense muscles which have been worked on can feel sore (similar to aching muscles after unaccustomed exercise) and if joint inflammation is present treatment can mildly increase the symptoms for a day or two before a marked improvement is noticed. Patients can feel tired after a treatment session as a deep sense of relaxation occurs, a sure sign that the body has responded, sometimes a patient can feel energised by treatment as they are no longer suffering with tight painful muscles. Several treatments may be needed to achieve a lasting improvement particularly with long standing / chronic conditions or when muscles need to be strengthened with exercise to improve stability.

Osteopathic treatment is aimed at removingobstacles to self healing. By  using massage techniques to relax tight muscles, stretching and manipulation to loosen stiff joints and rebalancing techniques to allow the connective tissues of the body to unwind we help to give your body the best chance to get itself better.

When you leave The Osteopathic Health Centre it is important to you allow yourself the space to make use of the treatment.... check with your osteopath whether it is a good idea to go straight back to work, play that round of golf or do the house work. In most cases it is best to take things easy so that your body can absorb the positive effects of treatment.

 

 

How many appointments will I need?

 

This is a tricky question to answer as the number of treatments required depends on many factors. These factors include how long the condition has been present, past injuries, general health/fitness levels and whether there are any maintaining factors which may slow down the healing process such as underlying stress or occupational postures.

The osteopathic approach is holistic as we take into account the patient’s past and present medical history, lifestyle, occupation etc as well as assessing their posture and musculoskeletal system. Using this information the osteopath can reach a diagnosis, formulate a treatment plan and give an indication of how many treatments are likely to be required. In some cases, it is difficult to predict how well a particular person will respond to treatment so we may suggest trying 3 or 4 treatments and then reassess.

Although it is not always possible to give a definitive answer to this question without specific case information, as a rule of thumb, patients with short lived acute conditions may benefit from one, two or three sessions while longer term chronic conditions will often need seven or eight sessions. Some patients benefit from an ongoing maintenance programme which can range from coming once a month to once every six months for an ‘MOT’. This option is totally individual and can be discussed with your osteopath as your treatment progresses.

 

 

How is Osteopathy different from Physiotherapy?

 

Although physiotherapists and osteopaths both work on the structure of the body there are differences in training, theoretical background and in the type of treatment used.

Physiotherapists who treat back and joint pain sufferers in hospital will often use electrical equipment such as ultrasound machines and prescribe exercises for each type of condition. Some physios also use manual techniques such as manipulation and massage but this is more likely in private practice where there are less time constraints than in the NHS.

At The Osteopathic Health Centre we aim to provide a very personal approach looking at each patient individually and, in addition to using manual treatment techniques, we give specific exercises designed not just for the condition but also for that particular patient and his or her body type, posture, age and history. In common with most osteopaths we prefer not to use machinery as we are able to achieve the tissue changes required using osteopathic techniques.

 

 

How is Osteopathy different from Chiropractic?

 

Practitioners in each discipline are taught a range of treatment methods some of which are similar and some of which differ. Individual practitioners develop their own particular styles so that within each profession there may be a wide range of approaches.

Osteopaths look in detail at how the spine works.  Sometimes spines are not perfect so we search for the best way to encourage each spine to cope better and function with more ease.  We place great emphasis on the influence that muscular dysfunction/tightness can have on the function of joints and work to release muscles and joints throughout the body and spine.

At The Osteopathic Health Centre we offer a range of treatment approaches from the more ‘structural’, which can involve joint manipulation, through soft tissue massage to the very gentle rebalancing techniques used in ‘cranial osteopathy’. The techniques chosen depend on the patient’s needs as assessed by the osteopath.

We are committed to helping our patients understand their conditions and providing appropriate advice to help ensure permanent relief from pain wherever possible.

 

 

Will my medical insurance pay for my treatment?

 

Many medical insurance companies now cover the cost of osteopathic treatment.  However policies and companies vary in the detail so please check with your company the level of your cover and whether a GP referral is required.

At the Osteopathic Health Centre we are happy to treat people who are claiming through insurance schemes. Please tell the receptionist when you book an appointment. (Some companies specify which osteopaths are covered).

We request that patients pay for each treatment and reclaim the fees from the insurance company.

 

 

Do Doctors approve of Osteopathy?

 

Although osteopaths work within the private sector, most GPs and consultants are aware of our high levels of training and our status of State Regulation (See Osteopaths Act) and do suggest that patients try osteopathy, particularly in cases of back and neck pain. At the Osteopathic Health Centre we work closely with the medical profession referring patients back to their GPs for further investigations when necessary or requesting information about test results.

 


NICE guidelines regarding treatment of low back pain


On May 27th 2009 The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)revised its guidelines for the treatment of patients with persistent non specific low back pain (of over six weeks duration). One of its recommendations is that these patients should be prescribed a course of manual therapy such as osteopathy.

 

 

How do I know if an Osteopath is properly qualified?

 

In 1993, osteopaths became the first complementary health care professionals to achieve statutory recognition under the 1993 Osteopaths’ Act. The title ‘osteopath’ is now protected by law. In the UK it is a criminal offence to describe oneself as an osteopath unless registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). All the osteopaths at the Osteopathic Health Centre are registered with the GOsC.

GOsC: www.osteopathy.org.uk

Telephone:  020 7357 6655

 

 

What does treatment involve?

 

Osteopaths use their hands to treat patients employing a wide variety of techniques

 

Osteopathy takes a holistic approach so treatment is tailored to suit the needs of each patient according to their age, symptoms and past medical history.  Within each treatment session the techniques used are modified and adapted to achieve the desired results. Below we have described in more detail the techniques which osteopaths.

 

 

Soft Tissue Massage

This includes a variety of different massage techniques to the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Soft tissue massage can be superficial or deep, fast or slow depending on which tissues are being targeted and the changes that are being encouraged.

 

 

Articulation Techniques

Articulation of a joint involves moving a joint through a range of movement.  When you move a joint such as your knee when walking, the muscle around the joint contracts to enable the joint to move.  When an osteopath takes a joint through a range of movements the muscles can remain relaxed (passive) as the osteopath takes the strain and initiates the movement. This technique of passive articulation can be used to stretch tight muscles around a joint, ease out scar tissue or stretch the capsule of the joint.  Passive articular techniques improve blood supply, help reduce swelling and increase drainage.

 

 

High Velocity Thrust

This is the technique where patients hear a clicking sound.  It is a useful technique that can be used in certain cases of joint restriction and it is referred to as “manipulation of a joint”.  When this technique is used on the small facet joints in the spine it creates a reflex effect that relaxes the deep small muscles around the joint. The clicking noise is a result of a suction type pop as the joint surfaces are momentarily separated .The noise is not an indication of a bone or disc being put back into place. This can be a quick, efficient and dramatic technique but is not suitable in all cases and only forms a small part of an overall treatment session.

 

 

Functional Techniques

Functional techniques are ideal for using on inflamed joints or when muscles are hypertonic (too tight or in spasm).  The osteopath guides the joint through a series of small movements until a point of balance is reached and the muscles are able to let go

 

 

Cranial Osteopathic Technique

This technique is a subtle type of osteopathic treatment that uses very gentle pressure from the osteopath’s hand or fingers to encourage the release of stresses throughout the body, including the head.  Patients may feel sensations of pressure or warmth, either under the osteopath’s hands or elsewhere.  Most patients find cranial osteopathy deeply relaxing.