Osteopathy: 'Evidence based medicine' or 'practice based evidence'?

That's the question! 

Osteopathy has been on the rise in primary care for years. However, it is still easily pushed into the alternative corner because of being 'unscientific'. 

Since the unofficial recognition of osteopathy in 1999, there have been many evolutions in osteopathy. The initial 'recognition' (for the time being only) by the mutual health organisations resulted in the separation of the wheat from the chaff. Only the osteopaths with an academic training, graduated from a recognised school of osteopathy received a professional recognition number and the (Anglo-Saxon) title: D.O. (Diplomed Osteopath) of the mutual health organisations. This already gave an enormous qualitative boost to the profession. The 'quacks' left. 

Since then the training has become more and more scientific. The big osteopathy schools now often work together with universities and deliver a Master (Msc.) degree. 

The basic principle of osteopathy, 'structure governs function' is still valid. It was based on the practical experience of one Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, but has since been scientifically researched and found valid. Many new insights and techniques have emerged, with the emphasis often being on sensing and interpreting clinical pictures. This sometimes attracts criticism that it is not scientifically based. However, this criticism is only partially valid. The basic principle is indeed based on existing scientific anatomical facts known from medicine. The applications, however, are sometimes still the subject of new research that is now in full swing. 

In conclusion, this is evidence-based medicine based on practice. More importantly, the results are there, and it is safe. Research shows that osteopathy for back and neck complaints gives by far the best results in the short and long term. But also in a whole range of other complaints and pathologies, there are long fasting positive results. In the end, that's what counts...

But what exactly is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a manual treatment method that improves the mobility of joints, organs, blood vessels and connective tissue. Mobility here means shifting, stretching and compressibility. The body must be 'in balance'. If not, this often leads to loss of function and pain complaints such as: inflammations, swelling, wear and tear, joint pains, headaches, poor digestion, etc.

An osteopath sees the body as a whole in which all parts of the body interact. The cause of your pain can therefore be found somewhere else in your body. For example, pain in the arm can be caused by problems in the neck. Or back pain can actually be the result of a cramp in the diaphragm. Because an osteopath examines your entire body with all its neurological and vascular connections and not just the place where you have pain, the matter is tackled fundamentally. The complaints are therefore not only dealt with symptomatically, but causally.  Thanks to this specific approach, even chronic complaints can finally be remedied. This allows you to function optimally again!

What does an osteopath do?

Professional osteopaths are trained to detect and treat the underlying factors, even more than the complaints themselves.  After an extensive interview, the osteopath examines the entire body and not just the pain area. The treatment consists of a series of manual techniques focusing on the joints, trigger points, nerves and connective tissue. Advice is also given on how to avoid complaints in the future.

You do not need a prescription from your GP for this. You can therefore go directly to the osteopath. Your health insurance will reimburse you for 5 sessions per year.

Read more about Osteopathy

LMent: Osteo & Fysio

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