What’s good about Osteopathic Treatments for Fibromyalgia? They feel great! And there is a strong chance that seeing an Osteopath can bring you some much needed relief.
The healing hands of an Osteopath can really work to tone down symptoms and leave you feeling refreshed and back on track.
What makes them particularly beneficial for treating Fibromyalgia, is that their supremely gentle healing techniques are not only some of the most effective for Fibromyalgia, they can also be the most cost effective.
Due to Osteopathy’s full body healing approach, a session can blend various treatments, and can be the equivalent of seeing a masseuse, a chiropractor, a physio and a specialist therapist all in one.
That not only means that seeing an Osteopath can be financially beneficial, it can also mean that doctors of osteopathy can be one of your best allies and one of your best defences against Fibromyalgia.
What Is An Osteopath?
Like Chiropractors, Osteopaths are trained medical professionals who primarily specialize in musculoskeletal dysfunction. They work with the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, connective tissues and circulation. All areas that are usually prominent problem zones for Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Some of their techniques such as massage, manipulation and stretching are very similar to Chiropractic work, and for this reason you might find that your Osteopath is also a qualified Chiropractor.
But what really sets Osteopathy apart from Chiropractic work is the number of additional ‘hands on’, gentle manual therapies that Osteopaths provide that Chiropractors do not.
Examples Of Osteopathic Treatments For Fibromyalgia
An Osteopathic treatment will usually always start with massage. This is a wonderful way to start a treatment. It immediately begins to put you in a state of relaxation mentally as well as physically.
The purpose of Osteopathic massage is to free up any restrictions within the joints and muscles, while also assisting in the removal of any blockages or restrictions to nerves, blood and lymph flow. Osteopathic massage also works to improve connective tissue health by increasing nutrition and oxygen to the blood, while improving the drainage and the removal of waste from tissues.
The Osteo will likely use a variety of massage techniques to help get the desired affect, without compromising your pain levels.
Osteopathic Spinal Manipulation:
Osteopathic spinal manipulation is a generalized therapy that restores joint mobility by increasing circulation at the site of an injury or problem area.
There are many different types of spinal manipulation used, with some being quite subtle, while others utilize more speed and force.
Osteopathic spinal manipulation differs to Chiropractic adjustments as Chiropractors usually only work on the spine, while Osteopaths work on all joints and soft tissues as well as the spine.
You may find that a new Osteo may always want to start with manipulation when treating you. If you are comfortable with this and your body is loose enough to allow it, then this may bring you a lot of relief.
If however, you suffer from extreme muscle tightness, they will soon realise that this may not work for you. If this is you, try not to get discouraged. The Osteopath with soon adopt new techniques that will likely help you.
It’s all part of getting to know you, and how your individual body works, which is what they would have to do with any new patient.
Dry needling involves very thin needles being inserted into trigger points with their purpose being to shock the muscle knot in to letting go. Once the needle hits the knot, usually it will begin to release straight away, and you will likely feel a nice relaxing/unwinding sensation as it does so.
Dry needling is commonly a very effective and positive treatment for Fibromyalgia. Firstly as it is not usually painful, and secondly because it can be a more effective way to release muscle knots and trigger points than other more forceful methods. An Osteopath will likely use dry needling at the beginning of their session, as a way to help relax the body, before continuing with other Fibromyalgia treatment methods.
Cranial Sacral Therapy:
Cranial Sacral Therapy, (or CST) is not only one of the most gentle of all Osteopathic treatments, it’s also considered one of the gentlest treatments for Fibromyalgia.
CST It is a full comprehensive treatment that works to restore pain causing restrictions in the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems; as well as the organs and connective tissues.
What makes this pain relieving treatment so gentle is that it only requires the lightest touch, as the Osteopath 'taps' in to the cranial sacral rhythm of the body. In doing so, they manipulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, that releases blockages and fascial restrictions, while assisting with the body's self healing process. Some of the effects of CST are deep relaxation, pain relief and improved sleep to name a few.
Counterstrain and Stretching Techniques:
Osteopathy also includes supported stretching and counterstrain techniques that are generally used after massage or dry needling, to further help the body release into a more relaxed state.
Counterstrain can be used on various parts of the body such as neck, legs, arms etc. The Osteo will apply pressure to the area and ask you to push back against them. This gentle resistance helps to engage specific muscle groups they are wishing to target, and allow them to release on their own.
Supported stretching will often be done after the counterstain method. Once the affected muscles have been worked on the Osteo will further stretch the area. This can include positioning your body in a particular way to gently encourage a natural stretch, or by them holding the weight of the muscle (i.e if it’s a leg) and gently stretching out a more relaxed muscle.
What Are Some Of The Effects Of These Blended Osteopathic Treatments?
How Might You Feel After A Treatment?
In a lot of cases, one of the most advantageous benefits of osteopathic treatments is how wonderful they can make you feel. Taught, sluggish and inflexible muscles are swiftly relaxed and toned down giving immediate strong relief. Also, once the endorphins have kicked in, you can enjoy a lightheaded sensation and overall pain relief as your body shifts from stressed high alert, to cool calm and collected.
Alternatively, some people may not feel instant pain relief. However, that does not mean the osteopathic treatment has not been successful. In some cases, it can take a few hours for your symptoms to subside. Or you may feel better after a session has allowed you a better sleep, and you may feel your symptoms have lessened over night.
All in all, osteopathic treatments should not cause you more pain. A trained and skilled Osteopath will know the limitations that come with Fibromyalgia and should advise you if any of their treatments can be expected to leave you with any muscle pain.
Is there an Osteopathic Treatment that you just can't live without? Share it! Let other Fibro sufferers know what really works well for you.