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The Effects of Ageing


In life, ageing is a natural physiological process. One part of the body, which is greatly affected by the process of ageing, is the musculo-skeletal system. As we get older, the elasticity present within our body deteriorates and thus increases the chance of injuring the soft tissues and bony structures of the body.

The effects of ageing on the body's structure gives rise to symptoms such as:

  • generalised, early morning stiffness
  • lower back pain and stiffness
  • neck pain and arm pain
  • hip pain
  • arthritis and joint swelling

Arthritis can be broadly divided into two types:

  • degenerative (osteoarthritis)
  • inflammatory (rheumatoid)

It is common for people 55+ to suffer the effects of osteoarthritis, namely, pain, stiffness and restricted mobility. Osteopathic treatment can be used to relieve these distressing symptoms.

Often when people reach the age where they have more time on their side for recreational activities, it can be disheartening if pain in their body's framework restricts them from enjoying these activities.

Many people mistakenly believe that the effect of ageing on the body's joints is untreatable and have no alternative but to learn to live with their pain. Medications prescribed for these symptoms such as anti-inflammatory drugs can often have undesirable side effects.

Therefore, osteopathic treatment may be very rewarding to patients if their pain can be substantially reduced using the body's natural healing systems.

Osteopaths often work in conjunction with medical practitioners and realise that patients benefit from a more holistic approach to their health management. Osteopaths may well require X-rays or other tests to help them assess whether treatment will be suitable.

What does Osteopathic treatment involve?

Osteopathic treatment involves a variety of manual techniques such as gentle mobilisation of the joints (also known as articulation), soft tissue stretching, indirect release and manipulative techniques. All of the above techniques aim to improve the quality and range of motion in joints throughout the body.

Osteopathic treatment is designed to improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and alleviate disruptive influences on the nervous system.

It is particularly suited to the treatment of aged people as these techniques are gentle and non-invasive. Osteopaths use a wide range of techniques that can be adapted to suit the needs of the patient and their specific conditions.

Osteopaths may also offer you advice on exercise to help your particular condition. They will also advise on correct posture and lifting techniques.

Is Osteopathy covered by private health funds?

Yes, osteopathic treatment is covered under the 'extras' scheme by all major funds. Workcover & CTP Insurance also covers osteopathic treatment for their members, by recognised osteopathic providers, however a referral from your general practitioner is necessary.


Courtesy of the Osteopathy Australia