Range of Manual Techniques. (Manipulation)
Osteopathic practitioners use a wide variety of therapeutic manual techniques in the diagnosis and management of disease and the maintenance of health.
These are based upon a highly developed sense of touch (palpation), physical manipulation, soft tissue treatment and stretching. Such techniques are used to: assess, evaluate and diagnose; increase the mobility of joints; relieve muscle tension; enhance blood and optimise nerve supply to tissues; and to help the body’s own self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment is most widely known for treatment of musculoskeletal disorders such as back and neck pain, sciatica, sporting injuries and postural strain. It is also used to assist in the treatment of functional problems such as breathing disorders, otitis media, digestive problems and menstrual disorders.
As primary healthcare practitioners, the osteopathic profession recognises its responsibility to diagnose and refer patients as appropriate when the patient’s condition requires therapeutic intervention that falls outside the competence of an osteopathic practitioner.
Manipulative treatment (OMT) include short precise impulses, rhythmic mobilizing and stretching techniques, joint positioning techniques and very gentle specifically applied pressures. The treatments are designed to strengthen unstable joints and address areas of tissue strain, stress or dysfunction that may impede normal nerve function, circulation and biochemical mechanisms.
Manual techniques may be combined with advice on exercise, posture and nutrition to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Encouraging patients to develop attitudes and lifestyles that do not just fight illness but also help prevent disease is a core aspect of the osteopathic philosophy. The biopsychosocial approach of osteopathic healthcare encompasses more than the whole physical body: an individual’s work, emotional, family, beliefs and cultural background are also considered and taken into account by the practitioner. (8)
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