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Osteopathy works for everyone!
A new look for the osteopath with Posturoception
Increase the efficiency of manual processing with PosturoCeption
The Posturoception®, osteopathic of gasoline, the osteopath will interest you are. It responds perfectly to this problem that we all face: in equal conditions, equal to patients, we are successful with some and fail with others. No apparent reason explains that in some, our therapeutic action is extraordinarily effective, while for others the same treatment barely functioning, giving results that are not up to our expectation and our investment in the session osteopathic.
The question then arises as to how, staying in an osteopathic paradigm, can we increase the efficiency of manual processing. The Posturoception® who addresses postural management process adjusts this problem without derogating from the osteopathic foundation that we hold dear. It allows us to restore postural process efficiency, reducing the structure to a functional level which makes the osteopathic act effectively again. The Posturoception® is the tool of choice to deal with a functional pathology of locomotor situation that does not or poorly respond to osteopathy.
The originality lies in the Posturoception® neurophysiological similarity it shares with osteopathy. While posturology always introduces a dimension to treat orthopedic functional pathologies which requires a correction determined by the therapist, the Posturoception® relies on the ability of the body to self-correct by taking as a point of support exteroceptive information allowing it to rebalance autonomously.
A new look for the osteopath with Posturoception ®
The Posturoception® sheds new light on postural function taking into account the complexity of phenomena, the very one that we are responsible for controlling our osteopathic activity. By switching to a postural postural system process, going from the Posturoception® posturology. The Posturoception® postural therapy is designed osteopathic thinking.
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Osteopathy is a form of drug-free non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. Its aim is to positively affect the body's nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
This therapy is a unique holistic (whole body) approach to health care. Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but use manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body, to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still established the practice of Osteopathy in the late 1800s in the United States of America, with the aim of using manual 'hands on' techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs. What are the qualities of OsteopathyThe philosophy of Osteopathy is what sets it apart from other medical disciplines. The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. When the body is free of restrictions in movement, Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, and mobilisation or manipulation of joints.
In some cases, Osteopaths can complement the advice given by GPs. For example, people who suffer from arthritis are often prescribed medication by their GP. In addition to that, Osteopaths can ease the pain caused by joint and muscle stiffness, by improving joint mobility and the flow of blood to the joints, and show arthritis sufferers how to prevent causing injury to themselves.
Osteopathy is a five-year university course, which includes a degree and masters qualification. Senior Osteopathy students complete clinical training under the supervision of registered Osteopaths at student teaching clinics Osteopaths believe in working as part of a health system of health providers and often refer back to the G.P. or another allied health professional where appropriate. What are the benefits of OsteopathyOsteopathic treatment in itself is not 'preventative'. Osteopaths respect the body's natural ability as a self-regulating mechanism and only intervene when pain or discomfort is present. The benefits of osteopathy are the general improvement in mobility and structural stability of the body. In turn, other systems of the body such as the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems function more effectively and for a number of general conditions, minimal treatment is required.
An Osteopath working a female knee What are the impacts of Osteopathy on our sleep patterns? A key indicator of pain or discomfort is lack of sleep or restless nights. An effective osteopathic treatment outcome often reflects the first signs of recovery with a good night's sleep. Poor sleep patterns only serve to magnify the body's inability to function adequately and reduce our psychosomatic (Psychosomatic illnesses are those in which physical symptoms are caused or aggravated by emotional factors) ability to cope with pain.
Would there be any flow on effects for a patient's well-being? Osteopathic treatment positively affects the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, to deliver a more balanced body and better health overall. This combined with good dietary and /or exercise prescription can enhance a patient's well being and often leads to a positive approach to individual health responsibility. How does Osteopathy act to "prevent" ailments like back pain? With our lives becoming increasingly busy, yet more sedentary, Osteopaths can offer prevention advice such as stretching exercises, lifting techniques, posture, breathing and stress reduction which is a great way for individuals to maintain their own health. In addition some lifestyle changes including diet or workplace ergonomics can dramatically improve ones health and reduce ongoing health costs.
Early intervention by an Osteopath means you can be aware of potential sources of referred pain, and how you can make changes to your lifestyle now, so you won't have to deal with the pain later on.
Preventing injuries means less time off work and therefore more time keeping active and enjoying the benefits of general good health. It is vitally important for all people to be aware of how injuries can occur and what we can all do to avoid them.
Osteopaths and Chiropractors: Similarities and Differences
A question often asked is: What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor? Or, what is the difference between osteopathy and chiropractic? This is not an easy question to answer. Firstly, it is not easy to answer the lay person, as it involves some technical issues. Secondly, any discussion about the differences between two professions has the potential to stir up heated and emotional debates. It is not my intention to start any arguments here. But since the question is often asked, I ought to try my best to answer. Bear in mind that I am answering as an osteopath. If you ask a chiropractor, you may get different answers.
Osteopathy was “discovered” in 1872 by Dr Andrew Taylor Still, an American doctor who grew disillusioned with orthodox medicine after his wife and three children died from spinal meningitis. Many accounts of the history of osteopathy mention that one of Dr Still's early students was Daniel David Palmer (D D Palmer), who founded chiropractic in 1895. Palmer reportedly studied with Dr Still for only about six weeks. However, the association between Dr Still and Palmer is usually not mentioned in accounts of the history of chiropractic.
The Public Awareness
More people seem to know about chiropractors than about osteopaths. This is because historically, chiropractors have been more active in promoting and publicizing their work. Osteopaths tend to be more conservative with regards to marketing and promotions.
Osteopathy and chiropractic share a common philosophy about the importance of the integrity of the spine in ensuring good health. In fact, this philosophy is shared by almost all traditional healing arts as well as martial arts, including yoga, taiqi (tai chi), aikido and many others. It is also found in many treatment modalities in modern complementary and alternative medicine, including Structural Integration or Rolfing®, and Alexander Technique.
The Treatment Objective
The primary treatment objective of both osteopathy and chiropractic is to remove bodily aches and pain. Osteopaths often seek also to treat functional disorders such as disorders of the respiratory or digestive systems. Some chiropractors, called "therapeutic chiropractors” might do that as well while others, called “straight chiropractors” concern themselves solely with aches and pain.
The Medical Recognition
In many countries, osteopaths are trained and recognized as primary care physicians and they see and treat patients just as ordinary doctors do. In the US, osteopaths are also trained in surgery and there are about 20 osteopathy hospitals offering the full range of health care.
Osteopaths and chiropractors are both able to perform diagnosis by visual inspection and palpation (feeling by hand). However, chiropractors usually also rely on x-rays for diagnosis. Osteopaths do not order to have x-rays unless they are clinically indicated. This minimizes a person's exposure to radiation.
The Treatment Techniques
Chiropractors employ a wider range of techniques for manipulating the spine, whereas osteopaths employ a wider range of techniques overall. Apart from manipulation, osteopaths use other techniques such as stretching, pressure and mobilization. Osteopaths are also trained in cranial osteopathy or cranio sacral therapy, which involve very subtle and gentle adjustments without any “clicking” of the joints. These techniques are seldom used by chiropractors. Another difference is that osteopaths do not “click back” a joint the way chiropractors do.
The Treatment Duration / Frequency
This is the one factor that depends the most on the practitioner. However, it is generally the case that osteopaths spend longer time with each patient. In addition, osteopathic patients generally require less frequent treatments, and their treatments are spaced out over a longer period of time, rather than once or twice weekly.
At osteopathic school, there is a joke that the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor is “$96,000 after five years” because the chiropractor would have seen a lot more patients by then. On a more serious note, some chiropractors are known to require or encourage their patients to sign on for a course of 12 or 24 or more treatments, even for minor complaints like lower back ache. Osteopaths do not impose such requirements. Depending on a person's condition, some complaints may require just one or two treatments. It is only in very serious cases, such as scoliosis or abnormal curvature of the spine, that the patient is advised to undergo regular treatment over a prolonged period.
This last difference may sound like a joke, but there is definitely some truth in it. When I was a student of osteopathy in the UK, I used to attend meetings of complementary and alternative health practitioners. And it was easy to tell who was who. The naturopaths would be wearing flowers and beads, while chiropractors would come with their suits and ties. Osteopaths were somewhere in between.
It's easy to recognize doctors just by reading their nametags. After all, they have the letters MD after their last names, right? But what if you see the letters DO? You might be surprised to learn that this is an abbreviation for another type of physician.
Perhaps you aren't sure whether your child currently sees a DO (a doctor of osteopathic medicine; an osteopathic physician) or an MD (a doctor of medicine). Your main concern is that your child receives excellent medical care, and both MDs and DOs are good choices when it comes to your child's health.
What's a DO?
According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), osteopathic medicine is a complete system of health care with a philosophy that combines the needs of the patient with the current practice of medicine. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) practice a whole-person approach, which means they consider both the physical and mental needs of their patients.
This "holistic" approach to health care was developed by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, who feared that 19th-century medicine was doing more harm than good. Disgusted at the ineffectiveness of fellow practitioners during the Civil War, he decided to focus on the body's ability to heal itself and began to stress preventive medicine. He also identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health, stressing that muscles, nerves, bones, and organs are all interrelated. In 1892, Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri.
A key part of osteopathic medicine is a technique called OMT, or osteopathic manipulative treatment. OMT allows physicians to use their hands as a primary tool to diagnose and treat illness and injury. This form of manual medicine lets DOs examine the back and other parts of the body, such as joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, for pain and restriction during motion that could signal an injury or impaired function.
Although they sometimes focus on the back, these physicians are not chiropractors. OMT is a treatment very specific to how and where humans injure themselves and how that injury can manifest itself as symptoms.
Massage Therapy for Shoulder Pain
Perfect Spot No. 14, The Most Predictable Unsuspected Cause of Shoulder Pain
1,500 words, published 2013, updated 2012
by Paul Ingraham, Vancouver, Canada bio
Trigger points (TrPs), or muscle knots, are a common cause of stubborn and strange aches and pains, and yet they are under-diagnosed. The 13 Perfect Spots (jump to list below) are trigger points that are common and yet fairly easy to massage yourself — the most satisfying and useful places to apply pressure to muscle. For tough cases, see the advanced trigger points treatment guide.
Pain Location Problems Related Muscles
any part of the shoulder, and upper arm frozen shoulder, supraspinatus tendinitis infraspinatus, teres minor
“Big Red Books” Reference: Volume 1, Chapter 22
see chart of all spots below
I avoided adding Spot 14 to this series for many years, because it’s a little tricky to find. But precision is not required: although there is one specific spot that’s especially good, nearly anywhere just under the ridge of bone on the shoulder blade is worthwhile, and often a surprising key to pain and stiffness everywhere else in the shoulder… but especially all the way around on the other side, facing forward.
Spot 14 is the site of my greatest single treatment success in a decade of professional massage. It’s a good story, and I tell the whole thing in another article.1 The short version: my wife’s uncle, tough as an old boot, was laid low by a toothache-like misery in the front of his shoulder — and after a couple minutes of rubbing Spot 14 on the back of his shoulder, he was completely fixed… in less time than it takes me to make coffee. He was completely fixed… in less time than it takes me to make coffee.He spent that weekend swinging his arm around, chuckling, and saying, “Well, damn, ain’t that something!”
For most people, Spot 14 is a just pleasant surprise: a “secret” way to ease shoulder tension that almost no one has a clue about until they feel it, but after that it seems obvious. Learning about Spot 14 is a great way to get a reputation for magic hands.
How do you find Perfect Spot No. 14?
To qualify for “perfection,” a satisfying spot for massage should be both easy to get to and worthwhile. It is easy to get to the neighbourhood where Spot 14 lives. It’s just hard to find the exact address, which is the most worthwhile.
The neighbourhood is the triangular shoulder blade. Finding the infraspinatus muscle is basically as easy as touching the shoulder blade. That bone is mostly covered by the infraspinatus muscle, which is under (infra) the ridge (spine) of bone. The shoulder blade’s ridge of bone is roughly horizontal and spans the full width — it’s an easy bony feature to find. (There is a supra-spinatus muscle above it, but it’s much smaller and hidden under a thick layer of trapezius.) The infraspinatus is large, flat and mostly just below the skin (or a paper thin part of the trapezius).
This schematic shows how the fibres of the infraspinatus fill the space below the spine of the scapula, and converge on a point on the upper arm. When they contract, they spin the arm in its socket (arrow).
The entire muscle really is worth massaging, better than many other muscles — “good” for massage. An inch-wide strip along the top edge is “better” to massage. And “best”? Perfect even? Spot 14 tends to be quite a small, specific patch of muscle at one end of that strip, closest to the middle of the back: the upper, inner “corner” of the shoulder blade, just under the ridge. There really is one spot here that is particularly, profoundly sensitive in many people, but you can be right next it and no one is the wiser — it usually takes some fairly detailed fingertip and thumbtip exploration to “nail it.” On the bright side, I think it’s a noteworthy spot in easily 90% of the population, so the search probably won’t be in vain.
And if you miss it? Luckily, the rest of the muscle rarely disappoints. See below for “closely related spots.”
What does Perfect Spot No. 14 feel like?
More than any other perfect spot, I think, Spot 14 is obscure until you feel it. Spot 14 itself rarely aches or feels stiff, in my experience. Instead, people feel pain and tightness well lateral to Spot 14. Spot 14 lurks so far towards the inner edge of the shoulder blade that it almost doesn’t seem like a shoulder spot, but that’s it’s secret: rub it firmly, and almost anyone will feel the sensation spread laterally and penetrate through and around the rest of the shoulder.
Like most trigger points, Spot 14 will feel raw and burning if you are too hard on it, but it generally produces a sickly ache. Penetrating referral to the front of the shoulder can be surprisingly specific and isolated, almost as if the shoulder is being touched in two different places at one.
How do you treat Perfect Spot No. 14?
There’s another reason I hesitated to promote this spot to Perfection: not only is it a bit tricky to find, but it’s hard to reach. If you’re doing self-massage, this significantly increases the difficulty level. It virtually requires a couple tips and tricks. Specifically, you really need just the right kind of ball — fairly firm and small for accuracy, and a bit grippy so that you can easily trap it between your shoulder blade and a wall without it slipping. Most toy stores have small bouncy rubber balls. These are just about ideal, although they can be a little bit too hard for some people. A squash ball is a perfect way to start off more gently, but it’s also a little too soft to finish the job. So you really want both: a squash ball to start, a harder rubber ball once the tissue is warmed up.
Squash balls are good and grippy, and soft enough to be a gentle way to start massaging a thin, sensitive muscle like the infraspinatus.
Squash balls are good and grippy, and soft enough to be a gentle way to start massaging a thin, sensitive muscle like the infraspinatus.
And then you need some practice. It’s not rocket science, but it won’t go smoothly the first time you do it either. It’s almost impossible for the average person, who has never thought about anatomy before, to go accurately muscle exploring this way. I’ve watched people try. They drop the ball. It ends up on the other side of their back. Even if they get in into the right area, it quickly moves — control comes only with more practice.
But with that practice, it’s no big deal. It just takes a few tries to start to get the hang of it.
The infraspinatus is not a thick muscle. You’re pinching a thin layer of muscle between skin and bone. Gentleness is strongly advised, especially at first.
Closely related spots
The approximate location of Spot 14 & friends in the infraspinatus triangle. The pale blue band across the top indicates the most worthwhile area.
Teres minor: I explained above that it’s worthwhile to massage anywhere under the ridge of bone on the shoulder blade. In fact, you can keep right on going towards the outside edge until you fall off it… and then you’re massaging the teres minor muscle, a close cousin of infraspinatus in the “crotch” where the arm meets the back. In terms of sensation, these two muscles are nearly indistinguishable — both often produce deeply, sickly aches throughout the shoulder. This is true of all four of the deep shoulder muscles, the infamous “rotator cuff,” but the infraspinatus and and the teres minor are the two that are reasonably easy to get to.2
Lateral edge of infraspinatus: another noteworthy spot to massage is the lateral edge of the infraspinatus muscle. The muscle fibres are parallel to the edge of the bone, and are fairly thick and easy to feel. Push on them perpendicularly, like you’re trying to push them across the shoulder blade, towards the middle of the back. The sensation comes not just from the point of contact, but from the stretch.
Tip of the shoulder blade: the very bottom of the scapula is an easy spot to find. The shape of the bone there is prominent. As mentioned above, you can make it pop out clearly by putting the hand behind the back. The infraspinatus muscle covers the entire shoulder blade, right down to this tip. The fibres are thin where they anchor to the bone, and they don’t seem like much, but don’t let that fool you: even gentle pressure can feel quite potent here.
The role of Spot 14 in “frozen” shoulder
A true case of frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) involves a mysterious pathological process, and cannot be reliably treated by any means, massage or otherwise, and many attempts to treat it will simply make things worse.3 That said, some of its symptoms may be effectively treatable. Much of the pain and stiffness patients experience can be temporarily, partially relieved by shoulder massage in general and Spot 14 in particular. Although that falls short of a miracle cure, many frozen shoulder victims are grateful for any relief. It probably beats pain killers (but I’m guessing — no one has studied it).
Many people have claimed therapeutic victory over frozen shoulder with massage and manual manipulation alone. I just don’t believe it. What I do believe is that some cases of severe shoulder pain are simply mistaken for frozen shoulder — somewhat like “migraine” is incorrectly used as a synonym for any bad headache. This leads to some great cures for surprisingly yielding cases of supposedly “frozen” shoulder. The anecdote I gave at the top of the article is a good example of a case that could easily have been misdiagnosed as adhesive capsulitis.
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