Osteopathy – ‘Back Cracking’ and What to Expect.

Osteopathy – ‘Back Cracking’ and What to Expect.

Osteopathic treatment is a rather broad term and offers little explanation of what patients should expect when they visit us. A quick Google search isn’t all that helpful either so this post should hopefully give you some idea of what will be involved.

All our Osteopaths are experienced, fully qualified and registered with the General Osteopathic Council. When you first see us we will do a thorough case history about your issue and some of the other factors that might be affecting your problem. We will also ask you some more general questions about your overall health to make sure you are safe to treat and that you aren’t showing any ‘red flags’ that may mean you need to be referred back to your GP or other specialist.

After the case history we move onto examination and diagnostics. We will usually see how well you move and this will involve asking you to go through a series of movements to see what you are struggling with. Often at this point you will be asked to remove some items of clothing depending on the area in question. Here at The Abbeyfields we understand this can be a little daunting for new patients so we advise bringing along some gym shorts and a vest to make things more comfortable for you. We will always leave the room to let you get yourself changed.

The final part of our assessment is a passive examination. Here we will ask you to lie or sit and we will assess how well a joint is moving and look for any tenderness in the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons etc.). We may also perform a neurological assessment to make sure your nerves are doing everything they are supposed to, which we will talk you through at the time. Once this has finished we should have a good idea of what to target and we will begin treatment.

Osteopathic treatment usually consists of osteopathic soft tissue techniques, passive mobalisation (articulation) and manipulation. Soft tissue work and articulation are ways of reducing soft tissue tension and increasing joint mobility.

The technique most people have concerns over is manipulation. This is where the osteopath puts a quick impulse through a joint, which often results in an audible click. The sound and rapid movement of the technique often concerns new patients despite it being a low risk technique to perform. Manipulation is effective at providing pain relief for a range of conditions but the relief tends to be short lived. People often

believe we are putting something back in place – like a disc – but this is accepted as out-dated and the spine is rather more robust than having things pop in and out! If a disc does get badly injured it prolapses (squishes) some of its gel material which can then put pressure on surrounding nerves. Here at The Abbeyfields Clinic we are a progressive, evidence based clinic and we will always focus on providing patients with long term solutions to their symptoms. Manipulation is a technique we can use to provide some short-term pain relief or to get areas loosened up that have been stiff for a long time. But we will always look to other methods to provide you with long term relief. Furthermore, there are other techniques we can use to achieve the same results so if you are not comfortable with manipulation (or the idea of it) we will discuss other options with you.

If you have any questions concerning your initial consultation pleases do not hesitate in contacting us at enquiries@theabbeyfieldsclinic.co.uk

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