Osteopaths are autonomous primary healthcare professionals, working in conjunction with other healthcare centres and professions for provision of general and specialised patient care to alleviate thier symptoms.
A principle of Osteopathy
One of osteopathy's fundamental principles is that all parts of the body function in an integrated manner. If there is restriction or compromise in one location, then other areas naturally compensate for this. If this situation is not resolved or worsens, it may lead to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. Osteopaths are trained to examine patients and use their symptoms to identify the weakness, strain or sub-optimal function, ideally looking for the underlying cause.
Osteopaths take a case history, diagnose, treat and may refer to other healthcare professionals (if necessary) for prevention and rehabilitation of patients' conditions. Osteopaths pay particular attention to the structure and function of patients' musculoskeletal state, as well as their physiological, neurological and psychological state when diagnosing and treating complaints. For more information see what happens in an osteopathic treatment.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy so structural, visceral and cranial techniques are used to improve blood and lymphatic supply, venous drainage and innervation in order to achieve the goals of treatment (reduce inflammation, pain and muscle tension). These techniques include soft tissue work, articulation, manipulations, muscle energy technique (MET), balanced membranous tension (BMT), trigger point inhibition and cranial treatment as well as other techniques. Advice on posture, exercise and lifestyle may be provided to aid recovery, promote health and prevent recurrence of symptoms. Please refer to the osteopathic techniques page if you require more detail on osteopathic techniques.
What osteopaths treat
Osteopaths are traditionally viewed as musculoskeletal experts but treat a much wider variety of healthcare issues. Therefore, complaints commonly presented are neck, shoulder, low back and hip pain, sciatica, sports injuries, tension, headaches, arthritic pain and neuralgia - but I have also treated patients who have presented with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), sleep disorders and symptoms of stress. Sacro-iliac dysfunction and symphysis pubis are often presented, particularly post trauma or during pregnancy. The European School of Osteopathy is the only university with fully-integrated formal instruction on cranial osteopathy (commonly referred to as cranio-sacral therapy) which has clinical evidence of efficacy for patients of all ages but particularly effective for infants and children when presenting with conditions such as reflux and colic.
Osteopathy was the first complementary healthcare profession to be accorded a statutory regulated framework in the UK provided by the General Osteopathic Council and the Osteopathic Council of Ireland is the governing, regulating and representative body in Ireland. Both ensure that the highest professional standards have been reached and maintained by all its accredited members and both councils are members of Forum for Osteopathic Regulation in Europe (FORE). These bodies ensure commitment to continuous learning and professional development so that patients are assured of the highest standards of patient care, ethics and clinical excellence.
The following links are resources relevant to the most recent osteopathic research.
National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR)
International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine (IJOM)
European Journal of Integrative Medicine
OSTMED: The Osteopathic Literature Database
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA)
Osteopathic Research Web
Registered osteopathic pracitces in Ireland
Looking for a registered osteopath close to you? Here are osteopaths we can recommend close to you:
Active Osteopathy, Dublin
Bellview Clinic, Cork
Premier Osteopaths providing osteopathy in Dublin, Cork, and Galway.