Monthly Archives: January 2016

What to Expect when Visiting an Osteopath… And some Insurance Details!

And I will try to fix you…

Many conditions can benefit from osteopathic treatment, such as neck and back pain, shoulder and arm problems, pelvis, hip and leg problems, sports and other injuries. Whether you are sat at a desk for over 8 hours a day, or training for the marathon, osteopathy is the holistic approach to the treatment of a variety of conditions.

So, what can be expected when visiting an osteopath? In the first instance, it should be explained to the patient what osteopathy is, a holistic approach to the treatment of mainly, but not exclusively, musculoskeletal complaints (muscle, bone, joint pains). You will be informed that you may have to undress down to underwear depending on your presenting complaint, as you would with any other medical examination.

A detailed case history will then be taken, giving the osteopath all the information they need in order to accurately examine, diagnose and treat the problems found. This will include information on presenting complaint, previous episodes and past medical history. This level of detail is required for the previously mentioned reasons, and so that any correspondence needing to be made with your other healthcare practitioners and insurers can be done so, with your permission.

Having assessed the individual, and having treated and reassessed at the end of this first consultation, the osteopath can then give a prognosis, telling the person how long and how many treatments they expect it will take for the problems to be resolved. Osteopathy does not claim to cure people, it aims to remove any obstacles within the body, preventing the body from healing itself. Therefore if progress is not made as expected, usually within 4-6 weeks, further assistance may be required, such as the use of imaging (x-ray, MRI).

It is, therefore, never possible to predict exactly how many treatments it will take to treat and resolve a problem. Osteopaths are generally unlikely to say you need 10 treatments over 10 weeks at £XXX, as is the case with the majority of chiropractors. The guarantee that our osteopathy can make is that we will give our maximum effort and aim to successfully conclude treatment with the minimum sessions necessary, saving the person time and money. Osteopathy is also available on the majority of private health insurances (AXA PPP, Aviva, Pru Health, Simply Health etc), but we would advise you call them to check your policy first.

If you have any aches or pains, or are unsure whether osteopathy can help, it may be worthwhile coming to see us at Atlas Osteopathy (with clinics in East Finchley and Moorgate, as well as the option of home visits), where we can explain your problems to you, why they occur and whether or not you are suitable for osteopathic treatment. Often this can be done via email or on the phone.

New Year, New You… Coping with Osteoporosis

My body is aching, feels like it’s wearing me…

Osteoporosis is a progressive condition characterised by a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD). This occurs naturally, as the balance between bone being broken down and reformed, shifts. At a younger age, bone is broken down but reformed at a greater rate. As you get older, bone is broken down at a greater rate than is reformed, leading to a reduced BMD. This increases the risk of osteoporosis, and can be prevented by maintaining levels of calcium and vitamin D.

The condition can be asymptomatic at first, and can remain so. However, if pain starts, osteoporotic pain is usually a dull aching bone pain, which can become sharp on movement. The decrease in BMD can cause fractures to occur at a lesser force than would otherwise normally be required in healthy bone. These fractures are most common in the wrist, hip and spine. In the spine, these fractures are known as crush fractures. The condition will usually cause an increase in pain on standing and walking.

Individuals are at an increased risk of osteoporosis if there is a family history of the condition, an insufficient dietary intake of calcium, a sedentary lifestyle and if underweight. Those of a white or Asian background are also at an increased risk, as are people who have been using drugs or corticosteroids, cigarettes and alcohol for long periods. Women who have had an early menopause are also at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

Having a diet rich in calcium is important, as are avoiding smoking and alcohol in order to prevent osteoporosis occurring. Once the condition has developed, weight-bearing exercises are necessary to increase BMD. With women, oestrogen replacement therapy can also aid in preventing osteoporotic symptoms worsening.

If you are having dull pain in your bones or muscles, or have any muscular or joint pain, it may be worthwhile coming to see us at Atlas Osteopathy (with clinics in East Finchley and Moorgate, as well as the option of home visits), where we can explain your problems to you, why they occur and whether or not you are suitable for osteopathic treatment, as well as advising on a healthy lifestyle and exercises that will be beneficial to BMD. Often this can be done via email or on the phone.