WHAT IS AN OSTEOPATH?
An osteopath is a practitioner who works with his hands to relieve pain using a system of manipulation of the joints and soft tissues of the body. Some osteopaths also use machines which they feel will enhance the effects of their manipulation. Osteopaths do not all work in the same way.
The treatment you receive will depend on the condition being treated and its severity.
An Osteopath will have satisfied the criteria required for acceptance onto the Register of Osteopaths. He or she will have a specified level of education and competence.
It is always advisable to go to a practitioner who has been recommended to you, either by your doctor or a friend. This way, when you see the osteopath you have a good idea of the type of treatment you will receive.
WHICH CONDITIONS ARE TREATED?
Some of the more common conditions that often respond well to treatment are backache, headache and any joint strain affecting the wrists, shoulders, hips, knees or ankles.
We provide a full 7-day service, based on the assumption that a bad back or an injury is a problem no matter whatever time it arises. This service will provide you with cover seven days a week. Appointments may be arranged by telephone, which is generally manned over the full 24 hours.
THE RULE OF RICE
In general an injury is best treated in a standard way. This is a set of rules, called the rule of RICE and is set out below:
Rest - Rest is often of benefit to a new injury. This should be a period with relatively light duties. It may also include specific exercises, which are carried out on a regular basis and are designed to speed the healing process. Your osteopath will tell you which exercises may suit your problem.
Ice - Place an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel on the affected area - ten minutes per hour.
Compression - A bandage will support a new injury - Not good in the long term.
Elevation - If there is swelling hold injured area above heart height to aid drainage of fluid.
If there is severe swelling or bruising then go to casualty pretty quickly.
Always go to casualty with head injuries.
Falls in the snow
This winter we have seen more than the normal number of casualties of the snowy weather. The first aid principles above always apply when there has been a fall. Never forget to go to casualty where the injured patient has had a bump to the head.
Having being given the all clear by the hospital you may wish to attend the osteopath for treatment of your strained back, neck or ankle (amongst other injuries). The osteopath will advise you of the most effective way to treat an injury. Often this will include using ice packs. Always follow the advice as above.