By Shannon Uppington, OMP at Shelburne Family Chiropractic
Hi Shelburne! My name is Shannon and I am a Osteopathic Manual Practitioner. Chances are you are wondering what that is or what I do. Maybe you think it has something to do with bones or you have heard the word Osteopathy before but you are not too sure what it means. Well, do not worry! That is why I am here, but before I delve into what is Osteopathy and how it can help you, I just want to take a moment to say that I am excited to have joined the Shelburne Family Chiropractic community and I cannot wait to meet you all. I was raised in Amaranth and after spending the last couple of years in “the city”, I am glad to be home and I am looking forward to bringing Osteopathy to Shelburne as the town’s first ever Osteopathic Manual Practitioner (OMP)!
Alright, so now on to the topic at hand. What is Osteopathy? Well, Osteopathy is a hands-on form of manual therapy and it has some similarities to Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Physiotherapy. While Osteopathy works great on its own, it is quite complementary and can be used in conjunction with these other therapies. While Osteopathy might seem quite new, it is actually the opposite. Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Still. Dr. Still believed that by treating the musculoskeletal system and organs, you could treat a variety of diseases and conditions without the use of drugs or surgery. This would also spare patients from the negative side effects of these modalities. OMP’s do not only focus on treating the signs and symptoms, but we try to find the source of the pain or condition and treat that as well.
OMP’s treat the body as one whole unit, and as such work on many of the body’s different structures. In Osteopathy, we work on the spine and the joints using mobilization techniques which are very gentle. The mobilizations are used to help decrease pain, reduce inflammation and increase the range of motion (ROM) at the joint. OMP’s also work on the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Some of the techniques used may be similar to some massage techniques, but unlike during a massage, you do not need to get undressed or remove any clothing. However, it is recommended that you wear loose and comfortable fitting clothes. By working on the soft tissues, we are able to reduce muscle tension and tightness, increase the flexibility of the muscles, reduce tender muscle “knots”, and decrease pain. Additionally, in Osteopathy, we work on the organs of the body by externally palpating the organs to help locate restrictions which can cause dysfunction of the organ. When our organs do not function optimally, it cannot only cause pain within the affected organ but in other organs and other areas of the body as well. Lastly, OMP’s work indirectly on the Central Nervous System (CNS) through what is known as Cranial Osteopathy (CO) or Craniosacral Therapy (CST). CO uses very light palpations of the cranium (bones that make up the skull and face), spine and sacrum (low back/pelvis area) to find and release restrictions along the Dural Tube. The Dural Tube surrounds our brain and travels down along the spinal column to the sacrum. It is full of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) which provides nourishment to the CNS and removes waste material. Restrictions in the Dural Tube can negatively affect the performance of CSF and the organs and the muscles that the restricted group of nerves innervate. As you can see, all parts of our body are connected, and it is important that we holistically treat the body as one unit.
Manual Osteopathy has been shown to be an effective form of drug-free treatment for not only acute pain, but many types of chronic pain as well. Some of the things that can be improved through Osteopathy are, but not limited to: many musculoskeletal conditions and pain such as back pain (low, mid and upper), neck pain, headaches and migraines, shoulder conditions (Frozen Shoulder, rotator cuff injuries, etc.), carpal tunnel syndrome, golfers and tennis elbow, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, lower limb pain (hips, knees or ankles), and jaw pain; conditions that directly involve organs such as digestive issues, PMS or menopause symptoms, diarrhea and constipation, heartburn, acid reflux and more; and some CNS conditions such Fibromyalgia, anxiety or stress.
A few of the many benefits of Manual Osteopathic care include: decreased pain, improved range of motion of the joints and muscles, reduced muscle spasms, decreased joint stiffness, increased spinal and muscle flexibility, improved digestive system function and enhanced immune system function, an improvement in overall energy, enhanced athletic performance and reduced risk of injury, improved posture and overall relaxation.
Now that you are a bit more familiar with what Osteopathy is, what conditions it can help treat, and benefits of treatment, please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact the clinic at (519) 217-9308.
You can also book an appointment online at www.shelburnefamilychiropractic.com. Appointments are available Tuesdays from 8AM to 8PM and alternating Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM. I am looking forward to meeting you Shelburne, Ontario!