What does an osteopath do?
I’ve been so busy. Why are so many people are now needing to see an osteopath? I’ve been an osteopath for 18 years and busier than ever. Is it that people are struggling to get to their GP so an osteopath is a good bet? Our training covers mostly be able to diagnose problems with the moving parts of the body (the musculoskeletal system),but we also keep an eye out for any worrying health signs. These are often called red flags and usually need prompt medical attention. So we can usually tell if something is worth worrying about or if it just needs treatment, time or rehab.
What does an osteopath get up to? Well, I am different to each and every other osteopath so our days will also vary. My interests lie more in the ongoing complex cases than sports or acute care. I’m interested in what is going on with these patients which means they are struggling to cope physically? These type of problems get my entire attention. It’s a win win situation. You get my focus, I get your interesting story.
A typical morning for me
So, who did I see – patient by patient:
- Sporty patient in their 50s with a tennis injury to the rotator cuff muscles needing rehab exercises;
- A patient doing amazingly after their second knee replacement, but now has some low back pain due to altered gait;
- PTSD – this patient is amazing how they cope but not in a good place physically or mentally;
- ‘I was moving the chicken run and my back went twang’;
- Neck and shoulder pains with headaches for this lovely stressed out parent.
Definitely, there are some psychological issues for all of these patients They all need a little support and reassurance to help them through their pain episodes. But what do I do?
Well, I often joke that a lie down on the plinth in a calm setting is part of the treatment – but actually I think it really is.
People often respond so well to someone looking after them, someone listening, a place to stop and rest for a moment. We might gently unpick the stresses and strains of life and discuss how these can effect you. Is your stress causing your tension in your shoulders and jaw; are you sleeping well or is you back too sore; are you exercising enough and eating well; are you working too hard?
Is it just about oxytocin?
Our lives are so busy and pressurised post COVID and now with other concerns deal with. I feel a brief moment of care can be so nourishing. This might be because you’ll get a release of the feel good hormone, oxytocin, in response to caring touch. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so busy. People just craving a little pause and a little consideration. A little care. A little lift from a little oxytocin surge.
are you following where this post has gone? I’m not sure, to be honest, that this it has gone where I thought it would. But it has gone where my heart has taken it.
Keep well everyone and book here in if you like the sound of a little oxytocin.