INFORMATION ABOUT TREATMENT
OSTEOPATHIC MANUAL MEDICINE
As an osteopathic physician I am a fully registered medical doctor whose training combined doctors’ usual methods of diagnosis and treatment as well as osteopathic manual medicine.
The osteopathic approach emphasises holistic and preventive care. The treatment goal of osteopathic manual medicine is to reduce pain and muscle tension, improve circulation, and increase relaxation.
At the first consultation I will ask you questions and perform a general physical examination in order to detect any abnormalities such as tenderness, asymmetry, restricted range of motion and abnormal changes in the muscles, joints, bones, connective tissue, etc. Examination usually requires you to undress to your underwear. You will be able to do so in private and be offered a cover, towel or gown. I might also take your blood pressure and discuss any tests needed.
My overall goal is to find and then reduce or resolve tension and stress reactions in the body. Techniques range from very light touch, to deeper pressure and stretching. Sometimes I ask your consent to do a short painless thrust that may cause small joints to ‘pop’ as they are suddenly freed from tension. If you prefer to avoid manipulation then other techniques are possible too. Recommendations might include diet, exercise, stretching regimes, breathing training and stress management techniques including relaxation and biofeedback.
Though patients seldom experience side-effects, reactions that have been reported very rarely from all forms of manual medicine include worse pain after treatment, numbness or weakness, fractures, spread of pre-existing conditions such as undetected cancer, breaking loose of blood clots, stroke and tears in blood vessels. Utilising gentle techniques further reduces the occurrences of these rare complications.
More commonly, patients experience mild muscle soreness, fatigue, or tenderness, similar to excessive sports activities or flu-like symptoms. This sort of reaction to treatment usually resolves within day or two and usually needs no medication other than paracetamol or nurofen. However if you were concerned, you could call me on 07973 382385.
Acupuncture involves putting very thin disposable needles into the skin to relieve symptoms and reduce pain. Acupuncture is increasingly understood in terms of its effects on nerve endings and brain function, particularly in relation to how your body responds to pain. Acupuncture is used to treat a range of conditions including lower back pain, migraine and knee pain. In my experience it can also help reduce tension and stress.
Prof Peters is a member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS). All BMAS acupuncturists are qualified and registered health professionals who have also had additional training in medical acupuncture.
This could entail a number of needles, usually no more than 12 inserted a centimetre to several centimetres into your skin. The sensation when the needle goes in is often described as a tingling or dull ache. The needles will target a number of acupuncture points in your body. Needles may be in only briefly, or left in place for up to 30 minutes. The length of each treatment and the number of visits will depend on what you are being treated for. You might have treatment sessions once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals if your condition responds. A typical course of treatment lasts five to eight sessions. If Prof Peters feels that your condition can’t be treated with acupuncture, he will discuss other options with you.
IS ACUPUNCTURE EFFECTIVE?
Several hundred studies have looked at the outcomes of acupuncture on various conditions. Some studies have suggested that acupuncture works better than sham acupuncture for certain symptoms. For others, there was no difference. There is good scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving:
knee pain (from osteoarthritis for example)
nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy and following surgery
lower back pain
Even though the evidence is reasonably good for these conditions, for other conditions the research is less reliable, though acupuncture has been used for many other common illnesses, for example depression and asthma. However, the evidence isn’t clear and more studies are needed to test its effectiveness.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
As with any treatment, there are some risks associated with acupuncture.
Temporary effects after treatment may include:
discomfort when the needle is inserted
drowsiness, which can last for a few hours (so bear this in mind if you drive home)
fainting or feeling faint
bruising or bleeding at the site of the needle
a temporary worsening of your symptoms
Potential complications which occur very rarely during or after the treatment include:
infection (but sterile disposable needles reduce the risk enormously)
damage to an internal organ from the insertion of a needle
It is important to take special precautions if you’re pregnant – tell Prof Peters if you are or could be pregnant.
Prof Peters will aim to agree a treatment plan with you and estimate the number of treatments needed. After the initial consultation, the usual recommendation is a trial of four half hour sessions to evaluate the effectiveness of osteopathy and/or acupuncture.
BUILDING RESILIENCE AND COPING UNDER PRESSURE
Just being alive and awake puts demands on the body and mind. Most of the time we take the effort of standing or running, or the mental strain of a job interview and the hassles that are a normal part of daily life in our stride. But if life’s demands pile up – or especially if a traumatic experiences or illness add to the everyday pressure – the body may react; typical symptoms of the stress response include
- Tension, nervousness, moodiness, over-tiredness
- Digestive problems
- Muscular aches and pains, neck or back ache and stiffness
- Feeling worried or agitated
- Sleep problems
- Shortness of breath
- Aches and pains
- Migraine and tension headaches
Most people experience some of these symptoms (and others) from time-to-time but if it you recognise them as routine it could be time to take action. If you are seeing Prof Peters for assessment of the stress response and to learn ways of reducing its impact on the body and mind, he will explain his approach and treatment options in detail when you meet.
I understand the approaches to treatment and will discuss them further with Prof Peters at the initial consultation
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