How and what Andrew Gilmour treats

Like all Osteopaths Andrew Gilmour applies treatment using his hands with you being a passive subject. He uses joint 'manipulations' to improve the range of motion of individual joints. You will often feel a 'click' as these 'manipulations' are performed. Other stretching 'articulatory' techniques are employed to rhythmically stretch the ligaments of a joint by manually using the patient's limbs as levers. 'Soft tissue' manual techniques are another umbrella term used to describe a wide range of massage type techniques.

Andrew Gilmour believes that the Osteopathic approach is more than a series of manipulations. The skill of an Osteopath is one of blending a number of different manual techniques to improve skeletal function according to the diagnosis. This is carried out being mindful of your physique and with due regard for that you as a whole including prevailing lifestyle factors learned through training practice and experience.
What does Andrew Gilmour treat?
Osteopathy is best known for the treatment of spinal problems. These can happen throughout life and for a multitude of reasons such as lifting, accidents, poor posture, worn joints and disc problems to name just a few. Repeated surveys have shown that what most Osteopaths treat most often is spinal pain which 4 out of 5 people will suffer at some stage.
However Andrew Gilmour's scope of practice is equally concerned with the treatment of mechanical problems throughout the body and in patients of any age. 
Examples include:
  • Muscle and joint pains in active and developing children.
  • Sports related injuries such as 'tennis elbow', 'pulled hamstring' or 'strained ankle'.
  • Muscular pain and circulation problems associated with pregnancy and the changing postural mechanics.
  • Work related difficulties such as repetitive strain and those relating to long hours at a computer, repeated lifting or poor posture. 
  • Problems in later life, for example osteoarthritic hips and knees which hamper activity in later life.
  • Less commonly there are many other problems of pain and function (such as headache, gastric pain, chest pain, gynaecological pain) which seemingly fall into the remit of medical diagnosis and treatment that, once sinister causes have been ruled out, can turn out to be referred pain of mechanical origin and these are often very satisfying to treat.
There are some situations where manipulation of any strength should be avoided. Examples are:-
  • Following major trauma where there could be structural damage 
  • Forceful manipulation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Patients with nerve root entrapment should receive judicious treatment 
  • When pain is out of proportion with the clinical findings.
  • If the patient is too apprehensive or in too much pain
  • Where there is known pathology such as tumour
  • Severe osteoporosis
The General Osteopathic Council states :-
'The risks are minimised in the hands of a properly trained and experienced clinician who is thorough in assessment and monitors progress carefully.'
At the end of an undergraduate degree programme students undertake a clinical examination which is specifically designed to assess safety and competence to practise.
Can anyone have Osteopathic treatment?
Subject to the above anyone can have osteopathic treatment. The treatment is geared to the physique of the patient as well as the problem. For example if one applied the correct level of treatment for a 75 year old frail lady to a twenty five year old 14 stone rugby player it would be ineffective. If one applied the rugby player's treatment to the 75 year old lady she probably wouldn't say 'thank you'!. The treatment has to be appropriate for the situation and Osteopaths are trained in this.
Can chronic conditions be treated?
Chronic (longstanding) conditions can be assessed and treated in just the same way as acute (sudden onset more recent) conditions. It is important to realise that in chronic conditions the tissue changes such as muscle spasm and joint restriction are more established and can be resistant to change. One often expects progress to be slower in chronic conditions. In chronic conditions with a known underlying reason, such as worn joints or occupations which reinjure an area, periodic preventative treatment can be helpful especially if combined with self help exercises and programmes such as pilates.
Overzealous or inappropriate treatment can harm patients and Andrew Gilmour is extremely careful to avoid such situations. He has over thirty five years of full time practice and has been extensively involved in the training and ethical behaviour of osteopaths. Whilst there is risk attached to most clinical interventions this experience within the osteopathic and clinical arenas helps Andrew Gilmour minimise adverse reactions.

Andrew Gilmour practices at Andrew Gilmour and Associates, Tollgate Cottage, Yarmouth Rd, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk. IP12 1QF 01394 387818





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