Getting Older

The body can be likened to a car, in that it needs regular servicing and maintenance as it gets older! Osteopaths treat the whole person not just conditions, and thus a very wide variety of different problems can be helped. Osteopathic treatment is aimed at releasing strains and stresses that have often accumulated in the body over many years, easing tension and thus improving mobility and the circulation to all parts of the body. This helps to promote overall well-being and the result is often an improvement in many different aspects of health.

Sometimes only a few treatments are needed, other people may take benefit from regular treatment, or an occasional "service" every few months to keep everything working. Patients are seldom disappointed with the results, and are frequently extremely happy at being able to resume a more active lifestyle.

Many of the following problems can be helped by osteopathic treatment. An osteopath undertakes lengthy training, and is qualified to recognise and diagnose illnesses and conditions. This is important as most people visit an osteopath without having first consulted their doctor. Osteopaths are trained to make sure nothing serious is overlooked. Your osteopath will work closely with your General Practitioner whenever necessary. 

 

Common reasons for consulting an osteopath:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Osteoarthritis ("wear-and-tear")
  • Headache
  • Neck and back ache
  • Congested sinuses
  • Circulatory conditions
  • Digestive disorders
  • Teeth and face problems
  • Effects of operations
  • Effects of falls and other accidents
  • Fatigue
  • General symptoms of declining health

 

Accidents, strains and other trauma 

Most people will have suffered trauma at some point in their life, such as from falls, car accidents, or sporting accidents. Often people do not think that they have injured themselves at the time, but to the trained hands of an osteopath the effects of these accidents are often palpable years later as a continuing strain within the body tissues. This can make the joints more vulnerable to arthritic changes, and cause undue fatigue because more energy is used in simple every day tasks.

Falls are more likely as we get older. With increasing age, the body tissues lose some of their flexibility and elasticity and do not recover as quickly from trauma. This imparts lasting strains in the body, which can not only aggravate existing problems, but also predispose to other illnesses.

Osteopathic treatment can be effective at releasing the residual strains from accidents, both recent or long ago. This allows the body to function more efficiently. Patients often report an improvement in pain or other symptoms.

 

Osteoarthritis

This is the most common symptom of getting older. It can occur in many of the joints in the body, while some joints such as the hips and knees are more vulnerable than others.

It involves enlargement and persistent swelling of a joint; aching, pain and stiffness, worse on initially moving a joint after resting; increased pain and swelling if joint is overused. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but the back, hips and knees are some of the most debilitating.

Osteopathic treatment improves circulation around the joint, improves mobility and slows the rate of deterioration in the joint. Treatment to ease old strains held within the body will enable the joints to work in a more balanced fashion and with greater ease, and often delays the need for replacement surgery.

If replacement surgery is finally needed, the body tissues are generally in better health and the recovery is swifter. Treatment after surgery also speeds up recovery.

Rheumatoid arthritis with its hot, swollen joints, may also show some improvement with regular osteopathic treatment.

 

Heart & Lungs

Heart disease is one of the main causes of disability in the elderly. It is often associated with breathing difficulties and lung problems.

Heart and lung problems may be aggravated by tension in the chest. The chest is one of the first areas to tighten up when we are worried or under stress. Tension causes muscles to tighten, and reduces the ability of the chest to expand fully in breathing. This can constrict the heart and lungs, and make them more vulnerable to disease.

Gentle osteopathic treatment is used to release tension in the diaphragm between the chest and the abdomen, and in the muscles of the chest. This encourages and restores normal breathing movements, improves circulation and helps the heart and lungs to work to their best potential.

 

Effects of surgery

Some surgery leaves behind excessive scar tissue, and this can be the cause of problems within the abdomen or pelvis. It is sometimes possible to release some of these effects with osteopathic treatment.

 

Dentures & plates

Denturesand plates can cause structural problems in the head and neck. Normally there is a slight movement between bones of the face and head. An upper plate or denture has the effect of holding the bones of the upper jaw rigidly together, preventing or severely limiting the natural movement between them.

Strains may also be set up through the face as a result of dental extractions, ill fitting dentures, old or worn dentures (which cause a loss of height through the face), or from eating unevenly due to loss of teeth.

Symptoms may include face or neck pain, headache, congested sinuses, ear problems or eye strain. Plates and dentures should be removed at night to allow the face to free itself off for some hours during each 24 hour cycle.