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Osteopathy: What is it and What Does it Treat?

If you are experiencing pain as a result of TMJ, arthritis, or other medical conditions, you might be thinking about getting treatment from an osteopath. Osteopathy is a practice of medicine that provides natural-based treatment of the body through massage and manipulation. It is done by manipulating the joints and muscles, as well as the bones in some situations. Here is more information about this practice of medicine and why it can be beneficial to you.

Who are osteopaths?

Osteopathy treatments are provided by a licensed osteopath, also known as a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). This is someone who has had extensive training in this particular area of medicine. They have a college education and specialized training in the musculoskeletal system. It is not uncommon for a DO to start in medical school, then specialize in osteopathy due to their passion for natural medicine. When looking for osteopathy treatment, be sure the person providing treatment has their DO license.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to choosing osteopathy as opposed to other treatments offered. The first benefit is prolonged pain relief. If you have pain from arthritis, for example, your doctor might prescribe pain relievers and ask you to take it easy in order to rest your joints. While there is nothing wrong with this treatment plan, it is a short-term solution. You might experience more long-term pain relief when you start receiving osteopathic treatments. It also helps to encourage your body to begin healing itself and preventing other sources of pain, including helping your body to become more mobile and stable. An additional benefit is having better sleep at night with continued massage therapy from an osteopath. Your nervous and circulatory system is also improved in general when you see a DO.

What ailments are treated?

The primary ailments that are relieved with osteopathic treatment are those that cause pain and discomfort of the body, such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and sports injuries. It can also help with severe menstrual cramps, chronic back or neck pain, migraines, and repetitive strain injuries. You can get help from conditions like asthma, digestive issues, posture problems, and tennis elbow as well.

What does a typical osteopathy visit entail?

When you visit your DO for the first time, they will first ask you about your different ailments and find out your primary reason for receiving osteopathic treatment. There is an assessment of your balance and posture, along with how your body is aligned. The osteopathic doctor wants to find out if your muscles, joints, spine, and ligaments are properly aligned, along with checking basic stats like your blood pressure and temperature. They will then use different methods during the visit to help with your ailments, including manual massage, applying pressure, and pressing or pulling on joints.

If you have any questions about osteopathy, consider speaking to a local specialist, such as Keilor Health Centre, to discuss your concerns.