If you’re anything like me, you’re often sore and tired after you workout. Many people put this down to general muscle soreness or fatigue – but sometimes it could be a little something more. In the past I’ve visited a Chiropractor or Physio if my back has felt out of whack, my calves have been tight after a run or got a massage and some dry needling. Disclaimer: I have had back pain in the past from an ‘inflamed disc’ – so I know legitimate discomfort!
What is Osteopathy?
It wasn’t until I was invited to check out St Kilda Osteopathy, that I had even considered visiting an Osteo. I’ll even put my hand up and say I didn’t even have a clue what they did until I visited Gaby Nowak at St Kilda Osteopathy. When I first got to the clinic I asked Gaby, “What exactly is Osteopathy?” She answered me straight up,
“When treating osteopathically, we take a very holistic approach to the body – this shows a comprehensive and wide view of the case that is presented – eg if someone has lower back pain we not only look at the lower back, but we also assess and treat above and below the problem area – taking into account muscle, joint, connective tissue, circulatory, lymphatic and other body systems. For lower back pain this can include treatment of the feet, ankles, knees and hips, as well as the mid-upper spine, gastrointestical tract, diaphragm and neck”.
If you’re interested to know a little moe about the difference between Osteopathy (pro-nounced Os-te-OP-ah-thy), Physio and Chiropractic, one of St Kilda Ostepathy’s practicioners, Claire Richardson has written a great post over at wellbeing.com.au.
Osteopathy has come a long way from where it originally started in 1982 to offer an alternative practice to traditional medicine to treat a number of aliments by Andrew Taylor Still. Dr Still believed that by correcting any misalignments throughout the body, everything else was allowed to function better. According to Claire,
“Today from a philosophic point of view, most osteopaths will still stick to some of the broader principles of treatment – including looking at the whole person rather than just a symptom and taking into account vascular health, nerve health, musculoskeletal health and mental health in order to assist with a complaint”.
Gaby definitely agrees,
When assessing a client we always take into account what their complaint is, how acute or chronic it is, and what style of treatment may be best for them. Also, what other treatments they have had in the past and to know what works for them and what they want/expect from a treatment – and obviously how I can make them as pain free as possible!
We work a lot to educate our patients too on what is wrong and how to best improve their pain and mobility at home – whether this be with postural advice, exercise/rehab prescription, dietary advice or referral to a specialist – and see us on an as needs basis, not keep re-booking weekly! We take an active and caring approach in our patients well being and overall health.
This is exactly the type of treatment I received after my initial, and follow up visits to Gaby. I went in there with tight calves, but talked about my history (past back pain), chatted about the type of exercise I do now (weights and running), what I’m training for, the type of work I do (sitting at a desk most of the day) along with other sore spots I might have. Gaby examined my legs, hips, glutes and neck to see where pain might be referring from (not just the site of the pain). Treatment wise, it felt a lot gentler than physio and chiro, she explained that sometimes gentler manipulation (softer than massage – it felt amazing) works better than harder treatment like manipulation (like a chiro) or deep tissue massage. I also had some dry needling done in my calves and manipulation on my neck.
On the second visit (during my lunch break), I went along with a slight headache and half way through my visit after working on my calves and lower body, Gaby asked if I’d had a headache that morning – and I had! She could feel tension in my neck, and worked on that area and a section near my armpit/shoulder and after the visit my headache gradually subsided!
Since that visit, I’ve been back to see Claire, one of the other Osteopath’s and her treatment was fantastic too! I told her I was seeing a running coach, and how my glutes were weak, causing my knees to fall in (and feet to kick out) during my runs. She actually corrected me and said my glute maximus was very strong, but my glute medius (on the outer side of our butts), was indeed weak. Instead of giving me some treatment and telling me to come back in a week she gave me an exercise to complete twice a day, and stretches before/after running to help increase my glute strength! Thanks Claire!
How to choose the right treatment for you:
Do you research, look at qualifications and find someone you trust and are comfortable with. After quite a few years myself seeking out different treatments I’ve got to know your body to some extent and what works for it. Don’t just go to a clinic because it’s close to your house/work or a friend referred you – what works for someone else, may not work for you. Go with your gut and trust your instinct too!
I hope this post has helped educate you about Osteopathy, and provide an alternative treatment option for you.
This article produced in partnership with St Kilda Osteopathy. We always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics, services or products.