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How to manage chronic pain with Osteopathy

How to manage chronic pain with Osteopathy

How to manage chronic pain with Osteopathy

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, pain associated with the musculoskeletal system impacts one in three Australians and chronic pain is the most common reason that people seek medical help.

Chronic pain can disrupt the quality of life and become debilitating. According to Pain Australia, a third of patients who experience chronic pain (31%) will experience higher levels of psychological distress, one in five (20%) will suffer from depression and the probability of early retirement because of pain-related disability increases by 40%.

Osteopath, Dr Michelle Funder says, “Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, races and genders and one in five GP consultations involves a patient suffering with chronic pain.

“Australians suffering from chronic pain can often feel invisible or helpless as their diagnosis may not meet medical definitions of what constitutes an illness. This leaves the patient feeling at a loss for an explanation for their pain and therefore a management plan to help them.

Treating chronic pain may involve a wide range of medications, therapies and invasive surgeries. President of Osteopathy Australia, Dr Bill Adamson says, “An osteopath can form a diagnosis and prognosis to help someone feel better. If the condition is deemed to be a musculoskeletal issue, the osteopath will help the person understand what is happening under the skin.”

Reduce pain

Osteopathy is a manual therapy, integrating physical examinations and manipulative treatments for a range of conditions. It was developed in the US in the mid-1800s, and it’s recognised by the World Health Organisation as a traditional system of medicine. Osteopathy has been developed in more than 50 countries and has been regulated in at least 15 countries including US, UK, and Australia.

Last year a study was published by BMC Health Services Research that looked at Australian osteopathy. The study found that 3.9 million patients were estimated to consult with osteopaths every year and that Australian osteopaths do provide a service under the government’s Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plan.

Osteopaths are trained to understand how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and circulation function as a unified body and osteopaths develop a treatment plan based on the sources of pain. Ostepoath Dr Michelle Funder says, “It is so important to get a good health team on your side, which may comprise a GP, Psychologist, Osteopath or Exercise Physiologist. Once you have a health team you can trust, you will be helping yourself to reduce your pain experience.”

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MiNDFOOD recently sat down with a spinal surgeon to discuss effective strategies for dealing with chronic back pain.

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