Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
1. What exactly is: Maintenance care (MC)?
“a regimen designed to provide for the patient's continued well-being or for maintaining the optimum state of health while minimising recurrences of the clinical status.”
Many patients consult Osteopaths for neuromusculoskeletal issues such as acute back pain or neck pain. At this stage, your treatment will be focused on “Pain Management Care” and you can expect to be receiving this type of care twice a week until your symptoms improve. It is common to have good days and bad days during this period, with minor relapses as you try to increase your activity levels. As your pain level and relapses decrease so will the frequency of your visits to your Osteopath, at which point the main focus of treatment is on restoring the health of your spine and muscles through “Functional Corrective Care”.
It is common for patients to stop coming for treatment at this stage as they are feeling symptom free and have returned to normal activity levels. However research has shown that 25% to 50% of people after an acute episode of back pain will experience additional episodes over the following year. It is therefore a recommendation that our patients continue with “Maintenance and Preventative Care” which may vary from one patient to the next on the frequency of the visits, dependent on their general spinal health, lifestyle and social factors. The aim is to try to space out the interval of your maintenance visits to once every month.
The treatment you may expect to receive during visits is varied and dependent on what your Osteopath thinks is suitable for you at the time and of course what you feel comfortable with.
2. Who do we treat?
From the newborn to the elderly, pregnant women, sports players or those with work-related problems, Osteopathy can help. Each person comes with his or her own set of needs and we strive to help.
3. What types of common ailments can benefit from Osteopathy?
Head: headaches, migraines, jaw pain (temporomandibular dysfunction), shooting jaw pain (trigerminal neuralgia), otitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, plagiocephaly
Neck: stiff neck, whiplash associated disorder, neurological dysfunction (shooting pain/weakness/tingling sensations)
Shoulder: frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), rotator-cuff injuries, painful arc (impingement syndrome), tendinitis, labral tear
Elbow: tennis elbow, golf elbow, bursitis, repetitive strain injuries, trapped nerve
Wrist/Hand: carpel tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Tear, arthritis, tendon strain, repetitive strain injury (RSI), finger and hand fractures rehabilitation, trigger finger, pulley injuries
Back/Ribs: postural stresses, nerve irritation, sciatica, myalgia parasthetica, degenerative disc disease, tight back muscles, back spasms, scoliosis, slipped disc, trapped nerve, asthma
Stomach: pregnancy related back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, hernia, diarrhoea, constipation
Hips: labral tear, impingement, arthritis, sacroiliac dysfunction, sciatica, hamstring and hip flexor strains and tear, runner’s pain (iliotibial band syndrome, groin strain), pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PRGP)
Knee: ACL/MCL/PCL tear (rehabilitation), knee replacement (rehabilitation), arthritis, meniscus problems, patella pain, swelling, Osgood-Schlatter
Ankle: shin splints, sprains, Achilles tendonitis, nerve disturbances (Morton’s neuroma)
Foot: post-fracture (rehabilitation), foot drop, plantar fascilitis, metatarsalgia, dropped arches, bunion.
4. How often should you visit an Osteopath for best results?
The majority patients require 3-6 treatment sessions. We often recommend 2-3 sessions in the first 10-12 days, with intervals increasing to match your progress. Every patient responds differently and your Osteopath will discuss with you the anticipated course of treatment, your prognosis and realistic expectations for recovery. For chronic pain injuries it may be recommended that treatment is given at regular intervals (once every month) on a long term basis to maintain and keep symptoms at bay as far as possible.
5. Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and Osteopathy: What's the difference?
A lot of people ask us this question!
Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Osteopaths all take a slightly different approach to treatment, so it can be difficult for you to know which one might be right for you.
Physiotherapy is focused on movement and function, often following injury or surgery, or when dealing with a physical disability. A Physiotherapist uses more exercise based treatment and management. A Physiotherapist uses massage, exercise, stretching and hands-on manipulation to treat pain or dysfunction and to improve your mobility and flexibility.
Chiropractic is focused on treating and preventing musculoskeletal problems throughout the body, using manual adjustment of the spine. A Chiropractor will use hands on spinal manipulations and additional techniques to guide their treatment.
Osteopathy focus on the health of the entire body, rather than just the injured or affected part. Osteopaths look at the relationship between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths diagnose and treat injuries using non-invasive manual techniques, soft tissue manipulation, massage, stretching muscle groups, spinal adjustments and craniosacral therapy. They may also recommend exercises and dietary modifications.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sebastien Bodet is a qualified Osteopath from France and graduated with a MSc in Osteopathy from Ecole d’Osteopathie Paris. Prior to this, he obtained a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science from the University of Rouen. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach.
Before relocating to Singapore, Sebastien worked as a Sports and Health Manager for a luxury Parisian spa and launched his own Osteopathy clinic in 2014.
Sebastien has a strong sports background. He is a former Olympic swimmer who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 4x200m freestyle relay and represented France from 2001 to 2009 in major international competitions. He was a member of the University of Michigan Elite swimming team and to this day remains an Olympic Sports Ambassador in France.