My name is Sharon Dempster and I am an Osteopath working in Devizes, Pewsey and Amesbury.
Although osteopaths are primarily thought of as back specialists, I treat all manner of aches and pains anywhere in the body; also mild sporting injuries. My patients include adults, children and newborn babies.
I have a special interest in using osteopathy to relieve the stresses and strains on the body during pregnancy and after birth.
My method of treating patients is to use a combination of structural and cranial osteopathy, myofascial release and soft tissue work.
Together with my colleagues, we form a group of practices, located in the Wiltshire towns of Devizes, Pewsey and Amesbury. We offer a variety of clinics and services including Structural Osteopathy, Cranial Osteopathy, Expectant Mothers’ and treatment for Sports Injuries.
Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance. Imagine, for example, a car that has one of its front wheels not quite pointing straight. It may run well for a while, but after a few thousand miles, the tyre will wear out. You can apply this example to the human body, which is why it is so important to keep the body in good balance.
We use a wide range of techniques, including massage, cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as ‘cranial osteopathy’) and joint mobilization and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs.
Before we start to treat you, we will make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. We’ll ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give clues to help our diagnosis.
We may feel your pulse and check your reflexes. We may also take your blood pressure and refer you for clinical tests, such as x-rays, if we think you need them.
We usually look at your posture and how you move your body. We may also assess what happens when we move it for you and see what hurts, where and when.
Using touch, we may also find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what’s going on.
When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition. We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your GP or another specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Treatment is different for every patient but may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints.
Sometimes, when we move joints you may hear a ‘click’. This is just like the click people get when they crack their knuckles.
We may discuss exercises that you can do to improve your posture and movement in your workplace and everyday life.
All of the Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The GOsC regulates the practice of osteopathy in the United Kingdom. By law osteopaths must be registered with the GOsC in order to practise in the UK.
Osteopathic training is demanding and lengthy, and a recognised qualification is only available from osteopathic educational institutions accredited by the GOsC these are called RQ colleges. Trainee osteopaths study anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics and clinical methods during a four or five year BSc honours degree programme. Such wide-ranging medical training gives osteopaths the skills to diagnose conditions when osteopathic treatment is not advisable, and the patient must be referred to a GP for further investigation.
• The GOsC keeps the Register of all those permitted to practise osteopathy in the UK.
• They work with the public and osteopathic profession to promote patient safety by registering qualified professionals and they set, maintain and develop standards of osteopathic practice and conduct.
• They help patients with any concerns or complaints about an osteopath and have the power to remove from the Register any osteopaths who are unfit to practise.
• They also assure the quality of osteopathic education and ensure that osteopaths undertake continuing professional development.