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9 of the biggest Osteopathy myths busted

Our Colchester team address 9 of the most common myths surrounding Osteopathy

As with most healthcare providers, Osteopaths also face a number of myths about who they are and what they do. So our team have addressed 9 of the most common myths surrounding Osteopathy:

Osteopaths cause pain


How many times have we heard this myth. The Osteopath will use the most suitable techniques for their patient and aims to make you as comfortable as possible at all times during the treatment. Some techniques can feel a bit uncomfortable or sore but not cause pain. If your tissues are tense and sore, it may be uncomfortable at first to have them stretched and relaxed, especially if they have been tense for a long time. Some patients can feel some mild aching or a slightly "bruised" feeling after treatment, for the next 24-48hrs, but this is not unusual and therefore is nothing to worry about.


Once I start seeing an Osteopath, I have to spend the next 6 weeks visiting one


Some patients may only need to visit to see an osteopath once and others may need slightly longer. Every patients situation is different and the length of treatment will be determined after the initial diagnosis examination. The Osteopaths sole interest to get you back to your normal level of mobility and comfort as soon as possible so they will develop the most effective and safe options for you. Your rate of recovery will depend on several factors including your age, general health, sensitivity to treatment, activities in your life, as well as the type of problem you have. On average, 3 to 4 treatments are usually sufficient to correct most problems that are amenable to osteopathic treatment. The number of treatments required will be discussed with you after the diagnosis has been explained at your initial assessment.


I have to stay in bed due to my back pain when seeing an Osteopath


In actual fact, evidence now suggests that resting completely can actually make your back pain worse. Other treatments for short term back pain include: managing stress, changing your sleep position and quality of sleep; staying positive; exercise and lifestyle; reviewing your sitting position and posture.


I only need to see an Osteopath is the pain becomes unbearable.


Generally, the longer you ignore your back pain the longer it can take to heal. As well as sometimes getting worse as time goes on, back pain can also affect your everyday life and prohibit you from doing the things you enjoy such as exercise, gardening and family activities. It is in everyone’s best interest to address this as soon as possible.


I have to stop ALL exercise if I’m seeing an Osteoapth


Regular exercise can actually help prevent back pain and in some cases we recommend an exercise programme for people who have recently hurt their lower back, which includes gentle movements that gradually builds up. Our team supply suggested stretches and exercises and also in some cases recommend our in-house Pilates classes to aid with recovery.


Osteopathy is just about clicking bones


There is a myth that Osteopaths will always “click” your joints back into place – but this is not the case. Osteopaths actually use a palpation, a highly developed sense of touch, to assess areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain within your body and joints. Once the examination is completed the Osteopath will arrive at a diagnosis and discuss your treatment plan moving forward.


An Osteoapth can’t actually do anything to help me


In fact - most back pain is usually a result of mechanical or functional disturbance of the spine – problems that Osteopaths have been treating successfully for over 100 years. The NHS now recognises the value of Osteopathy with GPs recommending spinal manipulation and acupuncture and referring patients, however, you do not need a GP referral to visit us and we can start treating you straight away after an initial consultation.


If I visit an Osteopath with back pain it means I will always suffer with back pain


A high percentage of people with back pain make a very good recovery with the right treatment and although there may be instances where the issue reoccurs later in life – these instances are not serious. Only a small percentage of people may develop long standing problems later in life.


I cant go back to work after my appointment


Of course it’s up to you if you use this myth with your employer – but side effects are generally very rare after your appointment and many patients continue with their daily activities afterwards. You might experience some soreness or tiredness for a few days afterwards but this will subside quickly.


For any questions or concerns please contact us directly

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