What we do
Although osteopaths treat many conditions, most people think of us as ‘back specialists’. Back pain is what many osteopaths treat a lot of the time. Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms only but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance.
Imagine, for example, a car that has one of its front wheels not quite pointing straight. It may run well for a while, but after a few thousand miles, the tyre will wear out. You can apply this example to the human body, which is why it is so important to keep the body in good balance. We use a wide range of techniques, including massage, cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as ‘cranial osteopathy’) and joint mobilisation and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs.
How we do it
Before we start to treat you, we will make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. We’ll ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give clues to help our diagnosis.
We may feel your pulse and check your reflexes. We may also take your blood pressure and refer you for clinical tests, such as x-rays, if we think you need them.
We usually look at your posture and how you move your body. We may also assess what happens when we move it for you and see what hurts, where and when.
Using touch, we may also find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what’s going on.
When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition. We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your GP or another specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations, depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis.
Treatment is different for every patient but may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints.
Sometimes, when we move joints you may hear a ‘click’. This is just like the click people get when they crack their knuckles. We may discuss exercises that you can do to improve your posture and movement in your workplace and everyday life.
Conditions we treat
The most common conditions that we treat are:
Back and neck pain
Shoulder and arm problems
Pelvis, hip and leg problems
Sports and other injuries
There is no fixed duration for an appointment although they are generally in the region of 20 minutes. Conditions vary considerably in the amount of time they require. Please remember that what is achieved inside the consulting room is only a proportion of the Osteopath's work. It is necessary for Osteopaths to keep relevant notes, communicate with GPs, review hospital X-rays and Scans, write reports, liaise with our staff and upgrade our skills.
I'd suffered whiplash after a bump in the car, it was agony to move! But after a short set of treatments at Gelson's clinic I was feeling normal again...
- Jane Thompson, Hexham