Osteopathy uses a variety of techniques to influence, correct and improve the function of the musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the patient and will apply their technique in a gentle and considered way. Osteopathic training is extensive and demanding. By the time they qualify an Osteopath has a professional knowledge of the methods required to deal with most problems that come their way. Most importantly they also recognise when a problem requires the expertise of other medical professionals
At the Exeter Osteopathic clinic the practitioner's core skills include Cranial Osteopathy, Spinal Adjustments, Functional Technique, Classical Osteopathy and Visceral Osteopathy.
Works by influencing the underlying physiological cycles to bring balance back to the system of the patient. It is usually applied by cradling the patients head in the hands and with gentle pressure on the sacrum. Cranial Osteopathy is most often used when a patient requires a very calm and non-invasive approach. It is useful for those at a delicate stage or with a fragile system, like pregnant mothers and babies.
The positioning and mobilising of stiff joints by applying a quick thrust in a very specific direction. It often results in a clicking sound. Spinal adjustments can have a remarkable instantaneous effect in restoring movement. They are most commonly used to treat aches and stiffness in the back and the neck, and can be usefully applied to other joints including the ankles, knees, shoulders wrists and elbows.
A gentle and direct way of improving joint range of movement. It works by overcoming muscle guarding around a joint and is useful in promoting joint healing and restoring normal function. Functional technique is particularly useful in treating painful and chronic joint conditions like Osteoarthritis and frozen shoulder, and can also be used in a more subtle way to treat acute injuries and pain.
Classical Osteopathy is also known as "Full Body Adjustment". It involves treating all parts of the body in a systematic way, making small cumulative adjustments that together have a powerful effect in addressing specific pain. It was developed with the idea that all parts of the body influence each other and need to be included to achieve lasting change. Many Osteopaths use this as the foundation for addressing most issues affecting the spine and joints. It is more suitable for chronic problems affecting movement.
Visceral Osteopathy involves direct work on the structures that support the organs. It works to improve digestive, circulatory and breathing problems along with issues with the reproductive system. It can also have profound effects in addressing the underlying causes of chronic conditions that manifest in the back and thorax. Visceral techniques are often useful in patients who have experienced problems following operations or infections affecting the thorax or abdomen. It is the branch of Osteopathy that can involve appropriately applied internal techniques.
There are more Osteopathic techniques than these, but the ones listed above form the core of those used at the Exeter Osteopathic Clinic. The Osteopath will often use a variety of techniques during the course of treatment to promote the maximum benefit at every stage.