Back pain results in the loss of millions of working days every year in the U.K.
A large number of people suffer intermittent back pain for years, and many doctors now acknowledge that osteopathy has more to offer back pain sufferers than conventional medicine can.
The osteopath now must complete a four-year training which includes a broad range of medical and osteopathic study, both theory and practical, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in osteopathy. The osteopath has the knowledge to refer a patient to a doctor where necessary for further investigations or treatment, or to another therapist.
Osteopathy is concerned with the restoration and maintenance of the body structure, believing that the structure must be sound in order to function properly. Where there is a structural defect, obstruction develops to the blood and nerve supply, and also to the vessels which carry away the waste products.
Over time, the resulting changes in physiology, or function, may lead to a wide range of health problems. Applying osteopathic principles, the practitioner is able to treat all parts of the body, not just the spine and joints.
Cranial osteopathy is a technique which is taught at the European School of Osteopathy (E.S.O.) in Maidstone as part of the degree course. It is becoming increasingly recognised in the treatment of babies and children, although it is frequently appropriate for adults too. Babies benefit from the release of strain patterns which may develop even during normal birth, and treatment can help such conditions as infantile colic and recurrent ear infections.
Other osteopathic techniques include manipulation, muscle relaxation and stretching, and many other gentle techniques which people generally find very relaxing. Many people of all ages are choosing osteopathic treatment for back and neck pains, joint problems, headaches, digestive problems, whiplash injuries, sports injuries, back ache associated with pregnancy, and many more conditions.