‘What do you FEEL for ?’

I like it when my patients ask me this question. I like that patients tune into what I am doing, and connecting my movements with what they are feeling.

Osteopathy is a very hands on treatment so I, and any osteopathic practitioner use palpation as well as the diagnostic tests and examinations to palpate, or FEEL for what is going on.

If I SEE a lesion I then go on to move your body to FEEL if this is a real lesion affecting the function of your body. So I will feel the sensation of the skin, the texture, temperature, and then slightly deeper for sensations of inflammation and oedema. Then deeper still into your muscles, to feel the quality of your muscles, tension, tissue drag and ascertain which way the joints or vertebra have moved.

You then add this micro information to the bigger picture.

I was working with one of my patients who I see on a regular maintenance basis. Like most of my patients, this particular patient also has a chronic reoccurring problem which needs support. I assess their complete spinal mechanics each time they come in, like I am seeing them for the first time. I know what their chronic symptoms are but I don’t want to miss anything by just focusing on the symptoms. I particularly remember feeling for 2 vertebrae that were sitting incorrectly compared to the vertebrae above and below. I know this patient well, I know their mechanics well, they have a good strong spine and as a person they are very active and invest time to take care of themselves through exercise.

I could feel this pattern was different and was pulling on one side more than the other. I knew for sure the vertebrae were not sitting like this in a previous appointment. After communicating my findings we had a discussion on what could have caused it.

It FELT hard, taught, but not spasm. Their skin was normal and even temperature no exudations, not indicating anything that could be acute or traumatic. Nor did it feel chronic. Through our discussion and elimination of causes I even questioned myself, maybe I missed this lesion last time? our conversation throughout the consultation was bouncing between possible causes. Could it be the work set up? NO. The work station has not changed in the last few months and I am sure I did not feel it in the last appointment. Could it be a move in the exercise they do? No. Because the way in which the muscles are pulling does not indicate injury. Have you been throwing a ball? NO. Have you been painting or cleaning a window? No.

Then after a few moments a memory struck. My patient remembered reaching for something that was behind them whilst in a vehicle. A-ha! That was it!!! The missing link that connecting the action to what I was feeling and what I was seeing. Using osteopathic techniques the corrections were made and symptoms eased.

So to answer the question “what do i feel for”, I hope my convoluted answer gives you some insight to WHAT I am feeling, and how I am using your story to solve the equation and find the cause.

I also feel for the change in tissue integrity when I am treating! More on this another day 🙂

For appointments you can call me directly on 07956 390 217 or book online! Here at www.loveyourback.co.uk/book-now/

See you soon 🙂

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