Having been immersed in the world of osteopathy for so long now I often make the mistake in presuming people know what osteopaths actually do. When I explain to people what’s involved and how I can help, the response I often hear is ‘Oh, I thought you just did backs!’ or ‘so it’s not just about bones then? ‘.
While a large part of treatment is manual therapy, which might include joint mobilisation, the odd manipulation, massage and stretching, there is a lot more we can do to help people get out of pain and back doing the activities that are important to them.
Pain can be really debilitating and limit us from doing the activities we enjoy. Whether it’s carrying the grandchildren, digging the garden, recreational or high level sport, it can sometimes take more than a back rub to help someone out of pain and back doing what they love.
So what else do we do?
We listen: Unlike many medical professionals, we are in a fortunate position of being able to spend time with our patients. We are able to listen to their story and build a picture of what might be happening that’s preventing them from getting better. It can be multifactorial and it’s only after getting to know a person that some of these contributing factors become apparent.
We assess: We spend a significant amount of time in the first appointment taking a thorough case history and examining our patients. Before going into treatment we sit down and talk through our findings and discuss what treatment options are available taking into account their lifestyle, work and hobbies.
We advise and educate: Often we can pick up on small changes to a person’s routine or lifestyle that will make a big difference to how they manage their problem. It may be improving desk ergonomics or tweaking the amount of exercise they are doing. We prescribe exercises most likely to help recovery and educate patients about pain, how it works, why it may sometimes persists and how long it is likely to take to feel better.
We treat: From headaches and jaw pain to knee injuries and ankle sprains, we use a wide range of manual therapy techniques to help reduce pain and get our patients moving. We don’t just treat backs (or bones!).
We collaborate: Sometimes we may not be the best practitioner for the job. At The Perrymount we have a broad range of expert healthcare professionals with different specialisms and we all have a common goal of providing the most effective care for our patients. If osteopathy isn’t right for them then we will discuss alternative treatments options available in the clinic. We are also able to pick up on conditions that our outside our scope of practice and will write GP referral letters and make phone calls on behalf of our patients when needed.
We reassure and encourage: Although being in pain can be really debilitating and sometimes scary, we are often able to reassure patients that their problem is unlikely to be anything serious, and with the right guidance and encouragement patients often discover how much they can do themselves, which is really empowering.
If you are unsure if osteopathy can help you, we offer a free 15 minute consultation, so do come and see us, The Perrymount has up to 3 osteopaths at the clinic every day.