There are a lot of preconceived ideas some people have regarding Osteopathy. Hopefully this clears up a number of them...
1. Osteopaths are for back problems only.
This is flat out wrong, and I'm unsure why it has come around. Osteopaths have always treated more than just back pain, for as long as the profession has existed.
Osteopaths are considered to be very good when it comes to mechanical back pain, and in truth it makes up a large amount of what we treat, however any osteopath is capable of treating every region of the body. Have a look at the list on the home page of our website for a number of conditions that an Osteopath could help you with.(www.alphahealthosteopathy.co.uk) .
2. Clicking your back isn’t actually bones hitting each other or actually cracking.
The noise you hear when an osteopath ‘clicks’ one of your joints is actually due to gas bubble within the joint. Nothing to worry about at all! Essentially the joint gaps when we manipulate it, this gapping causes a pressure change within the sealed environment around the joint. The change in pressure causes gasses within the joint fluid to come out of solution and form a bubble, then when the joint returns to normal, the bubble is popped. Hence the clicking or popping sound. So there is no clicking bones back into place or anything of that sort!
3. Joints/vertebrae are out of place and need to be clicked back in.
If your bones were out of place, you would really know about it, and you would be heading to A&E, not to see us at Alpha Health. Despite what you may have been told before, potentially by other healthcare professionals, the spine does not go out of place and just cause a bit of discomfort. If a vertebrae in your spine is out of place there is something seriously wrong and could put you in serious risk further problems. An Osteopath would probably not be your first port of call in this case.
So no, we won’t be clicking your back back into alignment, that’s not how it works, although we appreciate that might be what it feels like it needs!
4. If I have osteoporosis I can’t get treatment from an Osteopath.
If you have osteoporosis you are still absolutely ok to get treatment from an Osteopath. At Alpha Health we tailor each treatment to the patient’s individual needs and circumstances. Osteoporosis would rule out certain treatment methods and would influence our treatment plan. For example, manipulation of joints may not be used. However, there is no reason we can't help and achieve the results you want even.
5. Osteopathy has not been proven to work and doesn’t require much qualification.
Having graduated fairly recently we can categorically state that this is wrong! Current Osteopathy students in England are required to complete a 4 year Masters degree before they can register to practise. At which point they are registered with the GoSC, who regulate Osteopaths across the country (and also in certain other countries as well). Each osteopath is also required to complete 30 hours of continued professional development each year, which is near enough the same as most other statutorily regulated therapies. As for being proven to work, much research has been carried out that proves we can be effective. We are also considered primary healthcare practitioners, meaning you don’t need a GP referral to come and get treatment from us!