What is Manual Osteopathy? A Case Study.
The best way to understand Manual Osteopathy is to hear about what it has done for others. Here is a case study of a previous patient I worked with. A healthy 40-year-old female came in complaining of lower back pain. This pain had been ongoing for 5 years since the birth of her daughter. The birth was quite traumatic and ended up in her having a c section. Her recovery was quick and she healed well from the surgery, but she started having lower back discomfort that started slowly and then became a constant problem. The discomfort was a constant ache and was impacting her activities of daily life. She had tried other therapies, and although she did have some relief, it was always short-lived.
Upon assessment, her pelvis was not properly aligned and she did have a mechanical restriction in the lower back. I found the greatest restriction came from her c section scar. In Osteopathy we look at the whole body through anatomy and biomechanics. The scar itself was quite rigid and when I worked on the fascia of the scar, the sacroiliac joint (the joint between the sacrum “tailbone” and the right half of the iliac “pelvic bone”) released. So after a thorough assessment, I soon realized the scar was the root cause of the problem. In a c-section, the uterus is cut and then sutured up from the tissue of the uterus to the surface skin. When healing, the uterus can adhere the fascia (Saran wrap-like covering over tissue) attaching to the front of the abdomen. The uterus, if stuck can pull at its attachment to the sacrum possibly increasing tension in the lower back.
Treatment consisted of gentle work on the scar and a correction to the position of the pelvis with muscle energy techniques. The technique is gentle, the patient’s muscle contractions (guided by me) are uesd to correct the alignment. In addition, the patient was asked to treat the scar at home with the application of castor oil, and a home program of specific stretching. The patient had immediate relief, and only had to have 3 treatments before the pain was gone.