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What is osteopathy?

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Definition of osteopathy

Osteopathy, a manual practice

Osteopathy is a manual practice that treats the loss of mobility and tension in all structures of the human body (joints, viscera, tissues, muscles ...). It allows to correct some of these dysfunctions thanks to manipulation techniques, the others correcting themselves with the homeostasis of the body. The osteopath works on the support points so that the body self-regulates itself.

Taking care of the body as a whole

Osteopathy works on the whole body and contrary to what we think, this discipline does not only treat the bone! The osteopath will work on all the palpable structures of the body: bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, viscera, etc.

All areas of the body are linked and an imbalance in one structure can have repercussions on the others. This is why the osteopath always looks for the origin of the pain in order to treat it at the source, the area of pain being rarely the origin but the translation of the problem.

Who is osteopathy for?

Adults and professionals

  • Sleep disturbances, decreased concentration
  • Stress, burn out, fatigue
  • Bad posture
  • Back pain: lumbago, neck pain, back pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Headaches, dizziness, some tinnitus
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Babies, infants

  • Post-birth check-up
  • Sleep disorders, reflux, colic
  • Congenital torticollis
  • Shouting, crying
  • Hyper or hypoactivity
  • Asymmetry of the skull, deformation
  • Difficult birth
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Sportsmen and women

  • In post-trauma, post-injury
  • In prevention
  • Improved sports performance
  • Physical recovery after a competition
  • Laying of strapping, laying of kinesio-taping 
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Pregnant women

  • Back pain
  • Ligament pain, pelvis pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, reflux, constipation
  • Sciatica, cruralgia
  • Preparation of the body for childbirth, stress
  • Sensation of heavy legs
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  • Stiffness
  • Rheumatism
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of balance
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  • Back pain due to bad posture, carrying a backpack
  • Spinal dysfunctions and/or scoliosis related to the rapid transformation of the body
  • State of physical and emotional fatigue
  • Stress
  • Digestive problems
  • Growing pains

The main reasons for consulting an osteopath

Back pain

  • Low back pain, lumbago
  • Cervical pain, torticollis
  • Back pain
  • Costalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disc, pinched disc

Neurological disorders

  • Sciatica, sciatica pain
  • Cruralgia
  • Cervical Brachial Neuralgia - CBN
  • Radiculalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis, Guillain Barré, etc.

ENT disorders

  • Headaches, migraines, catamenial migraines
  • Dizziness, some tinnitus
  • Sinusitis
  • Algie of the face
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Jaw disorders (TMJ), SADAM syndrome 
  • Sleep disorders

Gynecological disorders

  • Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • F.I.V. course
  • Pregnancy 
  • Postpartum

Organic pathologies

Osteopathy does not treat organic pathologies (cancer, cirrhosis, flu, etc)! It is necessary to consult a doctor beforehand.
However, osteopathy has its role to play and can relieve the patient.

Digestive disorders:

  • Reflux
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty digesting

Muscular pathologies

  • Contracture
  • Elongation
  • Tear
  • Cramps
  • Contusion
  • Muscle asymmetry

Tendon pathologies

  • Tendinitis - tendinopathy
    • Achilles, patellar, crow's feet, TFL
    • Tennis elbow, golf elbow
    • Rotator cuff, etc.
  • Tendon rupture

Ligament pathologies

  • Sprained ankle, knee, etc.
  • Dislocation
  • Subluxation

When should I consult an osteopath?

In prevention

Prevention is better than cure

The osteopath performs an osteopathic assessment. He establishes the link between the information given by the patient on his traumatic past, his diseases, his tension points, his visual and palpatory examination and his specific tests. 

The osteopath then performs an assessment of the patient from head to toe in order to treat all the imbalances that could generate disorders on the body.

In case of chronic pain

When we are in pain, the body sets up strategies to protect us, for example, in case of a lumbar blockage, it will cause a strong muscle contraction and thus provoke a lumbago. Then these muscles will relax, but if the cause of the problem is not removed, the pain will return and this more and more quickly. The goal of osteopathy is to lift this vicious circle of pain. To do this, the osteopath will make all the adjustments to the body in order to optimize the proper functioning of your body.

In case of acute pain

Lumbago, torticollis, costalgia, etc., the reasons for acute consultation are numerous in osteopathy.
The osteopath will make sure before any treatment that there is no contraindication to osteopathic treatment. If this is the case, he will first refer you to your doctor for more tests.
It is often good to wait 2 days before being manipulated. Osteopathic manipulations will provoke a reaction from your body and if you are at the peak of the inflammation, the session may not be optimal. However, it is still possible to manipulate you to relieve you, so the consultation will be adapted to your condition. Kinesiotaping is a great help in acute cases. 

In post major trauma, post surgery

After a fracture or an operation, osteopathy has its role to play in optimizing your recovery and lifting the consequences that this may have created on your body.

However, it is imperative to wait 3 months after an operation or a fracture before consulting an osteopath.


Throughout your pregnancy, it is possible to consult an osteopath. The aim is to relieve you of your pain but also to prepare your pelvis for childbirth. Your osteopath will advise you on exercises that can help you throughout your pregnancy and post partum. You should consult :

  • In case of pain at any time during pregnancy
  • 3 weeks before delivery to prepare the pelvis
  • Postpartum:
    • 1 month after the delivery for the lower tract,
    • 1.5 months after delivery for C-sections

For baby: at birth, walking, etc.

At birth, the earlier the better. The earlier a baby is seen in osteopathy, the more we will be able to avoid that disorders settle.
For example, a baby who does not turn his head perfectly to the left, will prefer to turn it to the right, in a few days the skull will flatten on the right side.

The osteopathy consultation also aims to advise you on the right daily gestures to adopt with baby but also on the material.

It is recommended that the child be seen by an osteopath at 6 months of age and when walking is established.

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