As a practising Osteopath, clinically it is essential to give my patients exercises and/ or stretches following a treatment to do at home. When treating a patient, I look at a range of factors at play that may be contributing or causing that patient’s pain. These include:
- Joint alignment - whether the bones that make up the joint are aligned correctly to allow proper function of the joint.
- Mobility - the range of motion available throughout the Joint
- Tissue state - or lack of and tissue state, how healthy the tissue is and its level of tension.
Whilst an osteopathic treatment may resolve or correct any of this issues it is important to realise that if a patient doesn’t do anything outside of the treatment room to maintain the changes that have been made, the likelihood of symptoms returning is higher.
As osteopath’s we prescribe various stretches and exercises, to help patients give a sense of ownership and control over their complaint. That if symptoms start to reoccur there is something they can do to help. These exercises can also help to maintain levels of mobility, reduce inflammation and promote tissue healing between treatments, contributing towards pain relief and improved function.
Clinically I have found those patients who take a vested interest in self-management at home or in their workplace and complete the exercises and stretches I give them have both a quicker recovery time but also find in combination with maintenance treatment they are able to use osteopathy as a prevention rather than a cure to their complaint.
Written By Lydia Armitage, Osteopath at The Osteopathic Clinic, Croydon