A form of treatment which works to restore flexibility and movement to the muscles and joints of your body.
When most people think of an osteopath, this is the most common form of osteopathy which they have in mind. Structural osteopathy is aimed at improving the mechanical movement of your musculoskeletal system. Our entire musculoskeletal system is one integral unit. The most up to date anatomical research has shown that your muscles, connective tissues and bones all really meld into and through each other from head to toe. For this reason it's quite common for a pain in one area to be caused by a completely different area. For example lower back dysfunction can cause neck pain and headaches - even though you might not feel any pain there.
With structural osteopathy we are well equipped to deal with any such physical problems. We would first ease off your muscles and / or ligaments and then mobilise joints which may be restricted. For example, if you have had a long standing pattern which has become 'entrained' into your movement patterns, we need to change that pattern.
To this effect we could use a technique called inhibition. We would stimulate small receptors within the muscle(s) in question and retrain them. Then we would get you involved by doing some simple stretches to maintain and reinforce that effect.
Another very common issue we see is a restricted facet joint. In your spine you have little joints which allow you spinal bones to move independently when you turn, bend etc. At times these little joints can become restricted, painful and inflamed. Generally in such cases the pain is very sharp and local just over the affected joint. In such cases we need to loosen the overlaying muscles not so much as a primary concern, but in order to allow us to mobilise the little joint easier. Finesse in structural osteopathy is important. The less force we can use to achieve our various goals - the less the body will complain and the easier it will accept the changes we are showing it.
In cases where there is a lot of inflammation, the approach needs to be much gentler in order to avoid making matters worse. We always tailor a unique approach for each of our patients. Harmonic technique or functional technique can be used quite effectively for cases such as these with great success. Such cases also commonly require that we address other systems in your body such as your nervous system or your organs relating to the painful area. We can achieve this through cranial and visceral osteopathy.
After a structural treatment it is common to feel sore the day after treatment - especially if the complaint you came in with has been present for a while. After that the improvement should begin and most simple problems should be greatly eased or fixed within 2-3 visits.