What do you do as an Osteopath?
Hopefully try and help people reach a goal, which they are being prevented from by a physical obstacle or pain. I treat various ailments from lower back and neck pain to headaches and overuse type injuries. I also see babies and pregnant women. My main aim is to get the body moving better and become more functional for what people want to use it for.
How did you get into Osteopathy?
I used to be a sports acro gymnast and was forever injuring myself and had a lower back injury when I was about 11. I started seeing a very inspirational osteopath, the late Johnaton Betser, and went to him for regular treatments. It was from there that I became very fascinated in how the body works and was always so intrigued how he could treat my foot and it would affect my back! Coming from a sporting background and being interested in the mechanics of the human body meant osteopathy was a natural career path for me.
What is your top tip for lower back care?
Movement is key! I cannot tell my patients enough how important movement is. We are not designed to sit for 12 hours a day. Many people say that they have a great ergonomic desk set-up, which is better than a rubbish set-up, but if you just aren’t moving from it then things start to stiffen and muscles start to shorten. Even when people are in pain movement is vital for recovery, gone are the days when a neck brace or bed rest are prescribed!
What is the difference in your opinion between Physiotherapy and Osteotherapy?
This is the most commonly asked question I get from patients. There is a huge crossover between the types of complaints we see and many techniques we use.
However I would say the biggest difference is that osteopaths are very much holistic in their approach. We assess the body as a whole and evaluate whether one part of the body is affecting another. We mainly use hands on examinations to palpate (sensation of touch) joint mobility, muscular tension, weakness and imbalances. Osteopaths are trained to diagnose pathologies within the body and can examine other body systems. I also incorporate exercise rehab into every treatment plan, although this is where physio’s specialty is. Physiotherapy evaluates movement dysfunction by observation and functional assessment. Physios are trained more in exercise rehab and functional recovery. At fix it is great to work alongside each other as we can cross-refer when a patient is more appropriate for either type of approach.
What do you get up to when you’re not in the clinic treating?
I am a big foodie! I love cooking, experimenting with food and baking and trying out different restaurants and food markets. ‘You are what you digest’ is so true, so I keep to a fairly clean healthy diet and have a real interest in nutrition, although a cheeky glass of wine sneaks its way in there too!
I also love to move with yoga and pilates and keep to a regular routine, which is good for the body and soul.
Laura Maidment works at our East Village clinic in Stratford, if you would like to book in for Osteopathy at Fix, please visit www.fixlondon.co.uk for further information.