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Preventative Osteopathy: How Aucklanders Can Benefit From Early Intervention

Preventative Osteopathy

Preventative osteopathy focuses on identifying and treating minor imbalances within the body before they escalate into more significant health issues. By addressing these small issues, osteopathy helps to maintain the body's optimal functioning, reducing the risk of injury and illness and enhancing overall health and well-being. At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy Auckland, we have a little helping hand from VALD HumanTrak video movement analysis. We have a wide range of patients, from athletes and warriors to mums, who benefit from the objective data captured to help our patients move better, perform better, avoid injury and return to play faster. You can read more about HumanTrak here or book in here.


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The Rise of Osteopathy in Auckland

Osteopathy has seen a significant rise in popularity in Auckland, with more individuals turning to this form of preventive care to maintain their health. This growth can be attributed to increased awareness of the benefits of osteopathy and the accessibility of qualified practitioners in the area. With over fifteen clinics servicing West Auckland, it can be difficult to find the right Osteopath. At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy Auckland, we pride ourselves on standing out from the bunch by incorporating modern evidence-based practices, leading the way in Shockwave Therapy, offering other adjunct treatment options such as Western Medical Acupuncture and adopting cutting-edge technology such as VALD HumanTrak video analysis to help objectively identify movement dysfunctions both helping our patients avoid injuries and return from injures quicker.


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Key Benefits of Preventative Osteopathy

Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility

Regular osteopathic treatment can improve mobility and flexibility, reducing the risk of injury and improving quality of life. We work with our patients to identify movement deficits before they become problematic. We then arm our patients with this information and management plan so they can get on with their lives moving and pain-free. The goal is always to help ensure our patients are not dependent on weekly treatments for injuries that have become chronic, which can add up over time. Instead, we encourage our patients to be proactive with their health and tackle issues as soon as possible.

Pain Reduction and Management

Osteopathy is effective in managing chronic pain conditions, offering relief without the need for medication. By working to ensure that the body is functional and well-balanced, we can help reduce the likelihood of developing muscular pain from poor biomechanics and desk-based postures. If pain is present, then we work to alleviate pain before dysfunctional movement patterns set in that can cause issues in other joints and muscles in addition to the site of pain.

Improved Posture and Structural Balance

By correcting imbalances, osteopathy promotes better posture and structural integrity, leading to improved health and function. Things like breathing are significantly impacted by poor posture and can negatively contribute to anxiety, recovery and pain.

Stress and Tension Relief

Osteopathic treatments can help relieve stress and tension, promote relaxation, and improve mental well-being. Stress manifests in the musculoskeletal system and can contribute to poor posture, muscular pain, and immobility. It can also negatively affect the nervous system.


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Preventative Osteopathy for Various Age Groups

Osteopathy benefits all age groups, from children and adolescents, who can see improvements in growth and development, to adults and the elderly, who can maintain mobility and reduce the impact of age-related conditions.


Paediatric osteopathy utilises gentle, non-invasive techniques specifically designed for infants and children, addressing a variety of conditions stemming from birth processes or other developmental issues.


For babies and newborns, osteopathy can be particularly beneficial for conditions such as minor traumas leading to skull deformations, sleep disorders, difficulty in sucking, irritability, colic, gastroesophageal reflux, and otitis. These treatments are based on the principle of enabling the body's natural ability to move freely and function optimally, supporting overall health and development.


Cranial osteopathy, a subset of osteopathic treatment, is noted for its benefits in addressing birth strain, breastfeeding difficulties, and head flattening issues. This approach employs precise, gentle manipulations to correct alignment and release restrictions, thereby facilitating optimal growth and development.


Osteopathy presents a valuable approach to managing and improving health and well-being in individuals over the age of 65. An important consideration in older adults is the management of the physical effects of ageing, such as osteoarthritis, which is characterised by wear and tear of joint tissues, leading to stiffness and pain. Osteopathy can mitigate these symptoms through gentle articulation and stretching, promoting joint mobility and reducing pain and inflammation. This is crucial for maintaining mobility, which is directly linked to independence and the ability to stay active in later years.


Additionally, the ageing process naturally leads to changes in muscle, tendon, joint, and spinal health, making older adults more susceptible to aches, pains, and stiffness. Osteopathy addresses these issues by improving blood supply to tissues, enhancing joint mobility, reducing muscle tightness, and aiding in the management of knee, hip, back, and other joint pains. The goal is to maintain suppleness and overall bodily comfort, which can contribute to a more active and enjoyable life.


Furthermore, balance, a critical aspect of aging that affects independence and safety, can be improved through osteopathic practices. By enhancing range of motion, strength, and posture, osteopathy can help restore balance, potentially reducing the risk of falls and associated injuries. This is especially important considering that balance issues in the elderly can stem from a variety of sources, including muscle weakness, joint problems, and neurological conditions (London College of Osteopathy and Health Sciences, 2023).


Osteopathy also positively impacts mental health in the elderly. By improving mobility and reducing pain, it enables older adults to engage more in activities, reducing isolation and loneliness, factors often associated with depression and decline in mental health. Engaging in regular osteopathic treatment, alongside exercise, a balanced diet, and medical care, can therefore enhance the overall quality of life for the elderly.


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Common Conditions Addressed by Preventative Osteopathy

Preventative osteopathy can address a wide range of conditions, from musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive strain injuries to chronic pain and postural problems.


Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain and repetitive strain injuries, are among the most common conditions addressed by preventative osteopathy. The holistic approach of osteopathy aims to improve posture and alignment, which in turn can prevent the onset of musculoskeletal pain. Studies have shown that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) can effectively prevent chronic back pain and improve postural stability (Licciardone, 2013).

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, characterized by the deterioration of joint cartilage, can lead to pain and stiffness. Preventative osteopathic treatment can help maintain joint mobility and reduce the risk of joint wear and tear. By focusing on gentle joint mobilization, osteopathy aims to enhance synovial fluid circulation, which is crucial for joint health (Cross et al., 2018).

Sports Injuries

For athletes, preventative osteopathy can play a vital role in avoiding sports injuries. By analyzing and optimizing body mechanics, osteopaths can identify potential areas of weakness or imbalance that may predispose individuals to injuries. Preventative techniques, including specific exercises and treatments, can then be applied to strengthen these areas and improve flexibility (Travell & Simons, 1999).

Digestive Disorders

Preventative osteopathy can also benefit individuals with digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Osteopathic treatment can help to enhance gastrointestinal motility and reduce stress, which are key factors in managing digestive health. The gentle abdominal manipulation involved in osteopathic treatment can promote the functioning of the digestive system (Attali et al., 2013).

Respiratory Conditions

Respiratory conditions, including asthma, can be positively impacted by preventative osteopathic care. Osteopathy can help to improve respiratory function by enhancing rib cage mobility and diaphragmatic function, which are essential for effective breathing. Techniques used in osteopathy can reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks by improving overall respiratory health (Denslow & Korr, 1980).


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Incorporating Preventative Osteopathy into Your Lifestyle

Incorporating osteopathy into your lifestyle involves regular assessments, making ergonomic adjustments at work and home, and adopting healthy movement practices. By correcting subtle imbalances and dysfunctions within the body even before symptoms manifest, we are able to nip potential health issues in the bud. It enhances body mechanics and alignment, which in turn improves posture, circulation, and reduces the risk of future musculoskeletal problems.


The Role of Osteopathy in Sports Injury Prevention

Osteopathy can play a crucial role in preventing sports injuries, with many athletes incorporating osteopathic care into their training regimes to enhance performance and prevent injury. It emphasises manual techniques, exercise, lifestyle, and nutrition advice, not only facilitating speedy recovery but also aiming to prevent future injuries by promoting overall balance and addressing the root causes of health issues


Finding the Right Osteopath in Auckland

Choosing the right osteopath involves considering their credentials, experience, and patient reviews to ensure you receive the best possible care. Ensure that they have a skill set that can benefit you. At Movement Mechanics Osteopathy Auckland we have a number of adjunct treatment options including Western Medical Acupuncture and Shockwave Therapy that provide additional evidence-based treatment options for our patients.


Preventative Osteopathy: How Aucklanders Can Benefit From Early Intervention

Personal stories and testimonials highlight the impact of early intervention and regular osteopathic care on individuals' health and well-being.



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FAQs

Some common questions about preventative osteopathy & shockwave therapy in Auckland.

Does Osteopathic treatment hurt?

Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause high levels of pain or discomfort. At times, hands-on treatment of painful or tender areas will be necessary, and in these cases, your osteopath will take care to make you as comfortable as possible. Some people experience some soreness for a day or two after treatment as their body reacts and adjusts to the treatment. If this persists or increases, contact your osteopath to discuss it.

What can Osteopaths help with?

Is Osteopathy safe?

Do I need a referral from a GP?



Conclusion

The importance of preventative care in osteopathy cannot be overstated. By adopting a proactive approach to health, Aucklanders can enjoy enhanced well-being, reduced risk of injury, and a higher quality of life.




 

Jonathan Hall M.Ost, BAppSci (Human Biology), PGCertHSc (Acupuncture), GradDipHeal


Jonathan Hall is the founder and principal Osteopath at Movement Mechanics Osteopathy. Jonathan specialises in Shockwave Therapy and Western medical acupuncture. A fully qualified Osteopath registered with OCNZ, PNZ, PAANZ and ACC, Jonathan also founded Auckland Shockwave Therapy to help bring evidence-based Shockwave treatment to New Zealand using the industry-leading EMS Radial Shock Wave device.



Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


© Movement Mechanics Osteopathy Auckland 2024. All rights reserved.


Attali, T.V., Bouchoucha, M., & Benamouzig, R. (2013). The role of osteopathy in the treatment of chronic constipation – a pilot study. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 25(12), 1476-1483.


Cross, M., Smith, E., Hoy, D., Nolte, S., Ackerman, I., Fransen, M., ... & March, L. (2018). The global burden of hip and knee osteoarthritis: estimates from the global burden of disease 2010 study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(7), 1323-1330.


Denslow, J.S., & Korr, I.M. (1980). The effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment on individuals with asthma. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 79(6), 381-387.


Licciardone, J.C. (2013). Prevention and treatment of chronic back pain via osteopathic manipulative treatment: A systematic review. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 113(5), 356-367.


Travell, J.G., & Simons, D.G. (1999). Myofascial pain and dysfunction: The trigger point manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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