What is Osteopathy?

Not “Just Bones”

What is Osteopathy? What does an Osteopath treat?

This is a question I get asked a lot by people who have not seen an Osteopath in the past. There is often an understandable misconception that Osteopaths just treat “bones” or just “do backs” but this is definitely not the case. Here I will try to explain a little about what it is that we do without going too deep into the history and philosophy of Osteopath which is of little interest to anyone who isn’t an Osteopath!

5 Facts about Osteopathy in Ireland:

  • Osteopaths are recognised healthcare professionals as such you can claim back through insurance companies for your treatments provided they are registered with the Osteopathic Council of Ireland .
  • Osteopathy is a full honours degree which takes 4 years to study or 5 ½ years part time.
  • Osteopathy in Ireland is not currently regulated (though it is in the UK) but the Osteopathic Council of Ireland, the overseeing body, requires the same registration requirements for Osteopaths as the UK body.
  • There are around 150 registered Osteopaths working in Ireland currently.
  • There is currently no school of Osteopathy in Ireland but this may be about to change.

If you would like to know more about Osteopathy in Ireland please see the OCI website. https://www.osteopathy.ie/

So what is Osteopathy??

Essentially Osteopathy is a distinct method of hands on treatment for various conditions though most Osteopaths (like myself) will focus on structural issues (like back, knee, pelvis and hip problems). Osteopaths will use a in depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology along with hands on palpation (feeling the joint, muscle, etc).

*It is important to note that there are different forms of Osteopathy that focus on different aspects of treatment these include cranial, visceral and paediatric osteopaths but for the ease of explanation I will focus on my own approach with is sometimes referred to as structural osteopathy.

But how does this differ from a physiotherapist, chiropractor or another manual therapy?

Main differences:

  • Osteopaths believe that a problem in the body may manifest for a myriad of reasons and that these can be linked to issues not only of the body but also because of things that affect the mind like stress and other factors.
  • Detailed case history taking is considered key so that the root cause of any problem may be established. Osteopaths will often go into depth asking about your lifestyle because this can help determine if anything that you do do not do has any impact on the problem is manifesting.
  • Techniques of treatment often differ from that of other practitioners. Osteopaths will use a wide range of techniques based on the patients needs to help healing. In my approach I tend to use a combination of massage, energy stretching, spinal manipulation and occasionally dry needling but this however will differ from Osteopath to Osteopath depending on their own training and preferences.
  • Medical training: Its not unusual for your Osteopath to check your blood pressure, listen to your chest or even look in your ear. The reason for this is that we are also trained to screen for pathological reasons for pain. An example of this would be that someone with a heart problem may present to us with jaw or arm pain, as such it is essential to know what we can and cannot treat!

Can an Osteopath help me?

The vast majority of people who come to me benefit from Osteopathic treatment but not all conditions are suitable for treatment through Osteopathy. We treat all ages and all walks of life. If you are unsure if an osteopath can help you then you should contact them in advance, they will always be happy to have a discussion with you before you attend to let you know if they think they can help.So if they don’t think that Osteopathy is suitable for you then they may even be able to suggest another treatment that is.  So if you are considering Osteopathy but not sure if it can help you the please call me 085-8726955 or send an email to tony@postitivebalance.ie to ask anything that is on your mind.

contact us today

Positive Balance Osteopathy
55 Main Street
Co. Wicklow

Mon:  9 – 7pm
Tues:  9 – 7pm
Wed:  9 – 7pm
Thurs:  9 - 6pm
Fri:  9 - 5pm
Sat & Sun:  Closed

tony@positivebalance.ie or call us 085 872 6955