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 Osteopathy: Osteopathy in Practice 
 

Hiatus Hernia
This distressing condition involves a bulging upwards, through a gap in the diaphragm, of part of the stomach. Osteopathy's normalizing treatment of the structures to which the diaphragm attaches itself can be of great assistance, and there are also soft tissue manipulations which can be applied direct to the diaphragm, the muscles of the abdomen and the stomach itself. By thus improving the mechanics affecting the diaphragm, as well as the other factors involved in the problem, the distressing symptoms of hiatus hernia may be minimized. Other factors, such as obesity, bad posture, stress and poor nutrition, must not be overlooked, but osteopathy can in a number of cases be decisive in relieving symptoms and helping to correct the mechanical strain which allows the initial upwards displacement of the stomach.

Hypertension
If high blood pressure is the result of tension then osteopathic manipulative therapy can have a very beneficial effect on the condition. Both research and clinical experience shows that the normalization of spinal and general mechanics seems to have a stabilizing effect on the systolic and diastolic readings for a number of weeks. It is not suggested, though, that osteopathy should be used as the major method for treating hypertension, but such treatment can be a useful additional therapy.

Menstrual Problems
Dramatic improvements in menstrual function, in terms of regularity, less pain and discomfort, and shorter periods, have been achieved through the normalization of dysfunction of the lumbo-sacral area of the spine. There are many possible contributory factors in menstrual problems. Some of these are hormonal, others emotional, and others involve nutritional imbalances. However, in many cases the cause of the problem lies in mechanical and postural factors. In some cases there is a marked increase in the angulation of the lumbar spine causing a hollow, or 'sway', back and this can result in the pelvic organs being literally tilted forward and crowded into the lower pelvis. This can be helped toward a more normal position by osteopathic treatment.

Sciatica
If there is a pain radiating down the leg, then it may be the result of some degree of nerve root irritation involving the sciatic nerve. Some forms of this condition are not amenable to osteopathic care; for example, when the nerve is actually inflamed (neuritis). However, in the majority of cases of sciatica the nerve is irritated and not inflamed (neuralgia) and in many such cases removal of the cause of the irritation by osteopathic treatment relieves the pain. The cause may lie in the low back or in the pelvic or buttock regions. In acute cases it may be the result of a prolapsed disc, in which case osteopathy may be of only limited value.

Tinnitus
This intensely aggravating condition, which involves a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in the ears, can be relieved by cranial manipulation.

(Excerpted from Osteopathy: A Complete Health Care System )
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 About The Author
Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
 
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