What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor?
There are more similarities than there are differences between the two. In a nutshell, chiropractors generally focus on the 'structure' and osteopaths focus on the 'function'. This means that a chiropractor will aim to correct any misalignments in the spine; whereas an osteopath will aim to improve the quality of movement in the spine. That said, there is a lot of overlap so you may find some osteopaths treat more like chiropractors and some chiropractors treat more like osteopaths. The important thing to remember is that although the philosophies have these essential foundations it's the practitioner who decides how to apply them in practice.
Is osteopathy covered by medical insurance?
Chelmsford Osteopaths is registered with the General Osteopathic Council and the Private Practice Register and accept Aviva, AXA, Vitality, Helix and all of the main insurers apart from Bupa.
Are osteopaths regulated?
In order to practice, all Osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council.
Can I see an osteopath on the NHS?
GPs regularly refer patients to an Osteopath; however, most people receive osteopathic treatment privately. Your GP or your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) will be able to tell you whether NHS funded treatment is available in your area.
Is osteopathy supported by up-to-date medical evidence?
There is good evidence that Osteopathy is effective. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends Osteopathy for the treatment of lower back pain.
Why do I need to improve my posture?
Up-to-date research supports poor posture being one of the major causes of spinal pain. Treatment can help to alleviate the pain but unless the cause is acted upon, the pain will likely reoccur, which is why time needs to be invested into looking after our health to counteract the daily stress we put on our bodies.
What should I expect from the first consultation?
New patient consultations begin with a case-history. This includes questions about the current complaint and general health (to ensure the complaint is musculoskeletal in origin and therefore safe to treat). This is followed by a postural assessment with an active and passive physical examination including orthopedic examinations if necessary. Follow-up appointments are predominantly treatment based.
How long does a treatment typically last?
Osteopathy appointments usually last approximately 30 minutes. New patient consultations last up to an hour, depending on the complexity of the presentation.
What kinds of techniques does an osteopath use?
Osteopathic treatment may involve manipulation, articulation, strengthening techniques and soft-tissue massage as well as advice on posture, nutrition and rehabilitation.
What is spinal manipulation?
Spinal manipulation involves levers being added to a joint followed by a quick thrust which may result in an audible "pop" or "click". This can restore joint range of motion, reducing soft-tissue tension around the joint and improving proprioception.
What are the benefits of soft-tissue massage?
Soft-tissue and deep-tissue massage improves joint mobility by reducing muscle/fascial tension and connective tissue thickening around the joint, increases flexibility due to muscular relaxation, reduces ischemia by improving blood circulation bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, removes waste products ie lactic acid, stimulates sensory receptors improving proprioception, reduces pain by stimulating the release of endorphins, and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system helping to reduce stress.