Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Osteopathy - for neck, shoulder, knee, back pain and headaches. The front as well as the back.

Osteopathy can treat a range of health conditions, from sports injuries to back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, migraines and chronic fatigue.  Osteopathy views the body as a whole and osteopathic biomechanics will often evaluate and treat the whole body, from head to feet, looking at symmetry (or asymmetry) in the pelvis, and the alignment of the spine, neck and head.  Even if treating a local condition (e.g. a tennis elbow, knee, shoulder, back problem, or headache) it is good to see the 'whole picture' and interconnections between tissues, mechanical loading, and muscle balance.  E.g. headaches can often originate from the neck; or a back or knee problem can sometimes involve a pelvic torsion, or leg length inequality.


The advantage of this (osteopathic whole body) approach is often better  treatment results, and less reoccurrence of both pain and injury.  The function and load bearing of the body can be improved, and this results in less pain and faster tissue-healing from injury.  Additionally osteopathic treatment (and rehabilitation) can help with enhanced performance, through greater resilience and better overall alignment, symmetry and muscle balance, (hopefully) resulting in less occurrence of future injury.


Most Osteopaths work with ACC, and an Osteopath can lodge a new ACC claim for you.  (There is no need to visit your GP for a sports or muscle injury, unless you want to, and there is no need for a GP referral)  The ACC surcharge for Osteopathy can be a little higher than Physiotherapy, typically the Osteopathic surcharge for an ACC treatment being around $40 (although this varies according to location).  However, an Osteopathic treatment is longer (typically 30 to 40 minutes) than either Physiotherapy or Chiropractic.  And one may find an Osteopathic treatment more thorough, with detailed attention paid to the whole body and alignment, and any altered global biomechanics, that may be underpinning or predisposing you to any issue.


Osteopaths also treat front as well as the back, and there are gentle organ specific fascial mobilisations to viscera (liver, duodenum, stomach, intestines, etc) where restrictions and issues can sometimes cause a range of problems from pain to fatigue, irritable bowel and so on. 


For more on this please see:




There are many good Osteopaths in NZ.  To find your nearest Osteopath contact the Osteopathic Council NZ



If you are in Christchurch or the South Island, you might want to look at






Mike Inman

BSc (hons) Osteopathy (UK)