What to expect from our osteopaths during one of our treatments
Our osteopaths will ask specific information about the problem that you are seeking treatment for as well as background medical information about your current health and events that have occurred in your past. Any current relevant x-rays and/or prescriptions you may have had will be helpful.
You will be required if possible to perform a few simple movements while the practitioner makes observations of your posture and mobility. The practitioner will also use gentle palpation of muscles, ligaments and joints to help locate tenderness and dysfunction.
After the examination the practitioner will be able to provide you with an explanation of what is causing your pain before proceeding with treatment. Treatment will consist of a combination of massage, mobilisation, stretching and manipulation techniques as well as acupuncture. The choice of techniques used are down to your discretion, if you are not happy to receive any particular type of technique that is your right, it is your body.
After treatment the practitioner will give you a guide on activities to avoid as well as exercises and posture advice to enhance your chances of a speedy recovery. Some conditions may only take one treatment, on average most conditions will take around three to six treatments. Some other conditions may require more.
If you are receiving acupuncture
The needles that are used are single use, sterilised needles that are immediately disposed of after treatment.
Depending on your type of injury needles may either be inserted local to the area of pain, in an area distant from the pain, or a combination of the two.
The insertion of the needles should be painless, however there can be a slight dull ache around the area of the needle. This is a sign that the treatment is working.
is a highly developed way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.
Areas of pain within the body are considered by an osteopath as areas where normal physiology of the tissues and joints have become dysfunctional.
An osteopaths aim is to restore normal function to muscles and joints so that the inherent healing capacity of the body can be reestablished.
Most people who see an osteopath do so for help with back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and injuries to muscles and joints. These conditions may involve resolving acute pain episodes from an injury, or reducing and assisting in the management of aches and pains from more chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
is a form of complimentary medicine used to treat pain that involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin.
Traditionally acupuncture is based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory involving channels (meridians) of energy (chi) in the body. Modern western acupuncture adapts the use of needles guiding their application by current western understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology and evidence based medicine.
Acupuncture is a great alternative for those who would prefer to avoid the side effects of pain relief medications, or for whom spinal manipulation is not suitable.
Andrew currently holds registration for Western Medical Acupuncture under the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand to perform acupuncture with osteopathic techniques.
This is a very safe and gentle form of treatment. The particular techniques used by a cranial osteopath are used to assist, or unblock, the normal natural rhythms of the body. The techniques often are static holding positions creating balance points that are so gentle that it can be difficult to observe any movement at all. However it works, and is the preferred method of treating mothers during pregnancy, newborns and babies.
Cranial osteopathy can also be useful for patients with complex pain disorders and sensitisation states. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia for example, often prefer cranial osteopathy rather than receiving strong mobilisation or manipulation techniques.
Low Back Pain
This is one of the most common complaints of the body people seek help for. Some back pain is caused by more serious disease but most is caused by dysfunction of the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and body.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare providers, they are trained to differentiate between uncomplicated back pain and other conditions requiring medical care or further investigation such as x-ray.
Your symptoms may exist on the range between mildly uncomfortable through to severely painful and debilitating. Whatever your case may be, our osteopaths can help.
What causes low back pain?
A lot of low back pain can come about form poor posture, a lot of sitting or a lack of exercise. It’s important to know what you can do on a daily basis to maintain a strong healthy spine. Our osteopaths can show you what to do.
Most people will either complain of an injury direct to the spine or a closely related joint, such as a hip or a shoulder. Our osteopaths look at the body as a unit and will assess and treat low back pain using a holistic approach to the whole body.
Ergonomic advice and exercises will also be prescribed to help you recover faster.
A stiff and painful neck can cause headaches and pin and needles, pain or numbness in the hands. As primary healthcare providers osteopaths are trained to differentiate between common neck strain and other conditions requiring further investigation or medical care.
You may be experiencing a general stiffness of the neck, or a painful locking that restricts the ability to turn your head. Our osteopaths can help.
What causes neck pain?
Often neck pain is he result of poor posture, poor work positioning and a lack of exercise. Our osteopaths can work through your lifestyle habits to figure out what changes might be best for you.
If you have experienced an injury to the neck, our osteopaths will seek to understand the mechanism that caused the pain. They can then start to work towards the appropriate rehabilitation for you.
Less common are more serious causes of neck pain. Our osteopaths are trained to identify these to then find the appropriate course of action for you, either via your GP or a private physician.
Headaches have a range of severity and can last minutes or up to days. They can even be debilitating to the point of causing immobility, and nausea.
Our osteopaths will first examine you to identify the cause of the headache. This will determine if the cause is something they are able to treat, or is more appropriate for medical referral. Most often headaches are treatable by an osteopath.
What causes headaches?
The most common form of headache originates from joint and muscular tension within the neck. They can also be caused by whiplash, eye strain, stress, sinusitis, migraines, poor posture and dehydration.
Dental caries or a misaligned jaw can also produce headaches. Our osteopaths are also trained to examine and treat jaw misalignment, and a clicky jaw.
Sciatica is a painful syndrome which is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Compression of the sciatic nerve can lead to:
- Pain in the buttock or down the leg
- Numbness, weakness and pins and needles within the leg and foot
- Decreased control of the leg
Usually only one leg is affected at a time, and the pain may be as little as a dull ache or severe pain.
What causes sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that can be compressed at various points. Most commonly structures in or around the lower back or hip joint will cause sciatica. Our osteopaths are able to investigate to see where the compression may be happening, and treat the affected area to relieve your pain.
Sciatica pain can be constant or triggered by certain activities. Our osteopaths will discuss movement strategies, posture, ergonomics and exercises that can help you get through your day.
The expectant mother can often experience low back and pelvic pain as her body prepares itself for childbirth. This is due to the growing size and weight of the baby but also the changes in posture and positioning of joints as ligaments soften in preparation for labour.
Osteopathy is a safe therapy to have during pregnancy. Our osteopaths are trained in obstetric as well as gynaeological conditions, so they are able to ensure that not only are you getting the appropriate care, you are in safe hands.
Babies are often seen as perfect little beings, which of course they are. However being born is an incredibly stressful event. The forces that are omitted on these little beings are enormous. Babies need to twist, turn and squeeze their way out. Especially prolonged labor, ventouse or forceps deliveries or C sections can result in babies experiencing a lot of aches and pains, that can result in difficulties feeding or sleeping.
Often not the birthing process on its own can contribute to babies discomfort, but the inter-uterine space during the end stage of pregnancy gets smaller and smaller resulting in babies being held in uncomfortable positions over longer periods of time.
Our osteopaths treat babies that are/have:
- sleeping difficulties
- feeding difficulties
- restrictions on movements
- fisting or holding patterns
- and many other clinical symptoms