Osteopathy is a form of therapy which is often misunderstood as just another form of alternative medicine. However, it is known that the key foundations of osteopathic treatment are based on key scientific principles. Combining therapy with the understanding that the body can heal itself, osteopathy aims to restore balance and promote healing without relying solely on medications or surgeries.

In this blog, we will look into the science behind osteopathy, exploring its history, principles, and effectiveness in treating various conditions.


Understanding Osteopathy

Osteopathy was founded by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in the late 19th century. Dr. Still believed that the body had an innate ability to heal itself and that the musculoskeletal system played a crucial role in maintaining overall health. He developed osteopathic principles based on anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, emphasising the interconnection between the body’s structure and function.

You may be wondering whether osteopathy actually works. In short, yes – osteopathy has been proven effective in reducing pain levels in NS-CLBP (non-specific chronic lower back pain) patients.


The Principles of Osteopathy

Osteopathic medicine operates on several key principles making it stand out and appeal to various individuals as a reliable form of alternative medicine. Osteopathy practitioners believe in treating the patient as a whole rather than just addressing isolated symptoms or organs. This holistic approach extends to considering the impact of environmental and lifestyle factors on health. Here are some of the key principles below:

  • The body is a unit
  • The body has self-healing mechanisms
  • Structure and function are interrelated
  • The treatment aims to address the root cause


The Science Behind Osteopathic Techniques

Osteopathic treatment involves a variety of manual techniques that are aimed at restoring musculoskeletal balance and promoting overall health. Here are some of the common techniques involved below:


Soft Tissue Manipulation

Osteopathic practitioners will typically use gentle pressure and stretching techniques in their treatment sessions to help release tension in the patient’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The science behind these techniques is that it has been suggested to improve circulation, reduce chronic pain, and enhance flexibility which is highly beneficial for individuals who are regularly active.


Anatomy and Physiology

Osteopathic techniques are grounded in a deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Practitioners are trained to have a good understanding of the musculoskeletal system as well as other systems within the body such as the nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems.


Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy focuses on the subtle movements of the bones of the skull and their relationship to the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Practitioners use gentle manipulation techniques to restore full function and address various health issues.


Visceral Manipulation

Osteopathic principles recognise the interrelationship between the musculoskeletal system and the internal organs. Therefore, visceral manipulation techniques aim to improve the function of organs by addressing restrictions and imbalances in the surrounding tissues and structures.


The Role of Manual Therapy

Osteopathic treatment is the use of hands-on manual therapy techniques to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal issues. Practitioners take this approach by utilising a variety of gentle manipulative techniques, such as joint mobilisation, soft tissue massage, and stretching exercises, to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and restore function.

These manual therapy techniques are based on an understanding and scientific research of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, as well as the principles of osteopathic manipulative treatment. When applying targeted pressure, traction, or manipulation to specific areas of the body, osteopaths can release tension, realign structures, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.


Conditions Treated with Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a form of alternative medicine that emphasises the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system to promote healing. While osteopathy isn’t a cure for all conditions related to healthcare, the treatment is commonly used in addition to other medical treatments for various conditions. If you are unsure of whether osteopathy is most suited to treat your condition, here are some of the common conditions osteopathy treats:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle strains
  • Sciatica
  • Postural problems
  • Digestive issues


Osteopathic Treatment at Concordia Clinic

If you are looking to make the most of the many benefits osteopathy treatment has to offer, look no further than Concordia Clinic. We have a detailed understanding of the science and the fundamentals behind osteopathy treatment, allowing us to tailor our treatment plans and sessions to your personal needs.

Our team of specialist practitioners is dedicated to providing you with excellent services and expert knowledge, helping you enhance your overall health and well-being. If you have any queries about our osteopathy treatment, don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team for expert guidance.