Osteopathy: Non-invasive manual therapy

Introduction to Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a non-invasive therapy that treats and helps prevent health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

Osteopathy believes in the idea that a person’s health and healing is based on the
concept that a human being is a dynamic functional unit, in which all parts are interrelated and which possesses its own self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms.

Osteopathy was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, a physician and surgeon in
the United States of America in the mid-1800s, who established the first independent school of osteopathy in 1892. Osteopathy (also known as osteopathic medicine) bases its diagnosis and treatment on manual contact. It is a drug-free, non-invasive manual therapy that aims to improve health across all body systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. 


In order to restore physiological function and/or promote homeostasis that has been harmed by somatic (body framework) dysfunction, osteopathic practitioners employ a wide range of therapeutic manual procedures such as stretching and massage with the aim of:


  • Increasing the mobility of joints
  • Relieving muscle tension
  • Reducing Pain
  • Enhancing the blood supply to tissues
  • Helping the body to heal


Benefits in conditions

  • Lower back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Stress related bone and joint pains
  • Arthritis
  • Hand, shoulder and elbow pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscular problems due to bad posture, pregnancy, bad sprain, driving or work strain, or digestive issues
  • Sports Injuries


What to expect – 

The Osteopath will begin with a physical examination of the patient. The patient will be asked to demonstrate simple stretches and movements to help the osteopathic physician make an accurate analysis of their posture and mobility.

Then using a specialized technique of touch known as Palpation, the Osteopathic physician will also assess the health of the joints, ligaments, and tissues.

Then the physician will propose a treatment plan to meet the patient’s needs.

The number of required sessions may change depending on the patient’s response to the treatment.

The physician may suggest dietary modifications and changes to workplace ergonomics such as good seating position, desk position to help prevent problems by pinpointing potential sources of referred pain. Also, Prevention advice may have a few stretching exercises, lifting techniques, posture corrections, breathing, stress reduction techniques.


Who can go for these treatments?

It can help resolve both acute and chronic longstanding health issues across all the age – groups.

A gentler form of Osteopathy called Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is ideal for pregnant women and babies in the womb. It can also be taken by people with no apparent health concerns.

There is a detailed case history taking involved and the patient becomes an integral part of Osteopathy.


Possible Risk Factors – 

As with all treatments, osteopathy can involve some risks such as 

  • After treatment, it is common for a patient to feel stiff, rather like after exercising, for 24 to 48 hours. Some patients may have a headache for a short while.
  • Older patients may experience less common side effects, including severe pain, rib fracture in patients with osteoporosis, numbness, and tingling.
  • If these occur, the patient should speak to their osteopath or their physician.

Most of these risks are rare, but patients should be aware of them before they begin treatment.


Under the guidance of a proper Osteopath, Osteopathy can provide you holistic health benefits while helping alleviate certain conditions that your body is suffering from. This natural healing therapy is relaxing and calming in nature and not just caters to your physical health, but benefits you even at a psychological level.


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