Q: Whenever I have any physical aches or pains, I’m never sure who to consult – an osteopath, a chiropractor, a physiotherapist or a body stress relief consultant. Who does what, and how do I choose?
Looking For Pain Relief ? Pain can be the result of poor posture, injury, repetitive strain, general illness and the normal ageing process. Osteopaths employ a wide range of techniques to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems related to altered mechanics, function and posture. By treating your body as a whole, they address the cause of the pain and not just the symptoms. Chiropractors also use an integrated and holistic approach but their focus is mainly on a range of techniques for manipulation of the spine. They may also do soft tissue massage before adjusting the restricted joints.
Physiotherapy is a conventional medicine practice that involves mobilising the relevant joints and releasing muscle spasm or restrictions in the symptomatic areas. Their core skills include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and the application of electro-physical treatments. Body stress release is a non-therapeutic complementary health technique developed in South Africa. It is concerned with locating and releasing stored tension via light but definite pressure so that the body is assisted in its natural ability to maintain and heal itself. These practitioners all use different approaches and techniques to achieve similar results – the choice is yours. – Dr Guy Ashburner, osteopath, Cape Town on behalf of the osteopathic profession.
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