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Osteopathy and Sport

Over the years osteopathy has become more familiar and has being accepted as a key provider in the physical therapy in the field of sports injuries and rehabilitation. Osteopathy has been one of the disciplines sought after to be included in sports medical teams from those at local club level to international teams such as the Olympics. Furthermore there is growing body of osteopathic research that demonstrated positive results for osteopathic management for sports and sports related injuries and rehab.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy works on the basis of the structure and function of the body working integrally and that the well-being of an individual physically depends on the bony skeleton, muscles ligaments connective tissue all working in harmony, and functioning smoothly together.

Distinctively, it recognises that much pain and disability stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure, as well as from damage caused to it by disease. As such osteopaths are working to restore balance and where possible with minimal use of drugs or surgery, however it fully recognizes the benefits of other disciplines and can be used effectively as a multi-disciplinary approach.

Osteopaths place much emphasis on the skilful development of palpation (feeling) techniques. They will use "hands-on" and manipulative methods to detect and correct faults in your body mechanics. They will also consider factors that may precipitate the condition in the future, and advise you accordingly.

Some people mistakenly think that Osteopathy and Physiotherapy are rival therapies which do not work well together. On the contrary, both play important roles in the recovery and prevention of pain, injury and disease.

Types of treatment

There are many different types of osteopathic techniques that may be used. Your osteopath will choose from a range of techniques, including:-

  • soft tissue massage for muscles and connective tissues (some with patient participant)

  • articulation techniques to improve stiffness in the joints (some with patient participants)

  • manipulation to improve the range of motion of joints

  • cranial techniques, a gentle approach to release mechanical disturbance around the joints of the skull and throughout the body

  • exercises to rehabilitate and re-educate postural imbalances

  • some osteopaths may also use acupuncture needling type techniques as an adjunct to relieve pain and stimulate healing

  • advice about environmental factors that disadvantage the body, and how to avoid them!

One of the ways in which osteopathy differs from other forms of therapy is that following one of the original principles ‘structure governs function’ which demands that the whole body needs to be considered when treating the athlete. Therefore, looking not just at the physical needs but also the emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects.

Osteopathy has also seen the need for its practitioners to use exercise as an adjunct to physical therapeutic treatment of sporting injuries and has therefore lead to the development of post graduate courses and seminars for osteopaths in exercise as a form of rehab. This in itself has also led to the advancement of much inter-professional development with a number of sports related professionals.

What are the qualifications, training and education and codes of practice for an osteopath?

The osteopaths at the Centre are highly skilled and qualified. All our osteopaths have undergone a four year full-time training in Osteopathy are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), to whose code of ethics and conduct they adhere. Only practitioners registered with GOsC may practice as osteopaths in the UK.

Great athletes like Lord Sebastian Coe, etc. John McEnroe Paula Radcliff, Steve Redgrave, Fatima Whitbread, Daley Thompson, Sebastian Coe, Geoff Capes, Tim Henman, have all use osteopathy in their careers so, if you would like to know how it could help you contact us today.

For more information on osteopathy please click here.


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