Just went to see an osteopath . . .
I just came back from my first ever appointment with an osteopath and I'm quite chuffed. For those of you who don't know what osteopathic medicine is, you can take a look here. For those of you who are both ignorant and lazy (God bless us every one), osteopaths are essentially bone/joint specialists who take a holistic approach toward overall health and alignment, and rely heavily on physical manipulation Ė albeit a style far more subtle than that of, say, a chiropractor.
The issue that precipitated my appointment dates back several months and was some kind of compression in my foot/ankle that came from stepping down awkwardly while dealing with a throw attempt. The impact seemed to misalign the structure of something or other down there, which never wound up correcting itself. The pain itself was quite minor and came at extremes of flexion (both dorsal and plantar), as well as from walking down stairs or hiking long distances. Itís not that this problem was particularly excruciating; it was that I was worried about it becoming chronic. As such, I had originally scheduled myself to see a physiotherapist, but my girlfriend booked me to see an osteopath, having had positive experiences with one herself.
I showed up at the clinic early and the doctor took me right away. After a fairly detailed chat about what was bothering me and why, she checked out my alignment and general movement before zeroing in on to my ankle. The diagnosis was that the bones were indeed locked up. As such, she proceeded to manipulate them very gently (so gently, in fact, that I actually fell asleep at one point) for the better part of an hour. She explained that the body is designed to heal itself, and that her job was simply to facilitate that process. Somewhat dubious about the likelihood of seeing such miracles transpire in a single session, I asked her if she was making any headway. Surprisingly, she replied in the affirmative.
Once the doctor was done, we talked about alignment in general, including the knees, pelvis and lower back Ė the latter of which was feeling a bit sore. I asked her what my status was, to which she said only that it would change once the ankle issue was sorted out, and that there was no point in working on anything else until then. She then asked me to walk around to see how my ankle felt, which was sort of like trying out a new pair of shoes. Cautious about feeling better just because I was supposed to, I told her that the ankle seemed to have improved. However, it was only when I was putting my socks back on that I noticed that the pain at both extremes of flexion was gone. Noting my big grin, the doctor then recommended that I walk for a while to help facilitate further realignment.
Before leaving, it was suggested that one follow-up session would be advisable, but that it was entirely up to me, and I could always book later if I felt like it. Given the chiropractic M.O. of immediately trying to pin you down for another 25 visits, I found the osteopathís laid-back approach to booking to be quite refreshing. She further mentioned that since she expected my ankle to require little more than a quick how-do, that any remaining time would be left to discuss some of the other questions I had, such as the delightful cauliflowering of my ears. I told her that I would think about it (and actually meant it) before I hit the street.
Several hours have passed since my appointment, and Iím continuing to register increased mobility and decreased pain. Iím quite pleased with the results and plan on occasional visits in the future to ensure that I stay healthy.