Recovery and osteopathy

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You’ve trained hard. You prepared yourself both mentally and physically and you gave it your all. But those post-race muscular niggles just won’t go away. What now?

Southern Cross University's Recovery Hub - Kombi

“All training and competing involves some degree of physiological stress. Whether it’s the 10 km run, the half, or the full marathon it’s not unusual to feel like your body has experienced some degree of physiological stress,” said Southern Cross Osteopathy lecturer Bimbi Gray.

Osteopaths are registered primary care practitioners and can support healing and recovery for runners. Common complaints osteopaths see from runners are running stitch, neck and lower back pain, ankle sprains, knee pain, shin splints and muscular strain such as hamstring or calf strain.

Osteopathy is an allied health science, involving a system of diagnosis and manual therapy to treat musculoskeletal and other functional disorders of the body. The discipline has its origins in the late 1800s when an American physician developed a system of treatment that looked at the structure and movement of the whole body and how it functions. His aim was to reduce surgery and medication to a minimum, especially in an era when so-called medicinal ‘tonics’ could be more harmful than beneficial.

Thus osteopathic medicine was born. These days, osteopathic medicine has developed into a precise science. “Osteopaths review the way your body moves, including any restrictions to your range of movement and your speed, agility, flexibility and strength when it comes to running,” said Ms Gray.

At an initial appointment, a detailed medical history is taken and a comprehensive physical examination is performed. This will include assessment of a range of movement and soft tissues. Orthopaedic and neurological examination may also be performed if required.

Southern Cross lecturer and clinical Osteopath Bimbi Gray says osteopathic manual therapy can be beneficial when recovering from the marathon. (1:33)

Combining various clinical tests, osteopaths develop a working diagnosis and a clinical plan that often involves soft tissue massage, joint manipulation and mobilisation through manual therapy. “Manual therapy involves hands-on treatment to support tissue repair and recovery. When recovering from the marathon, manual therapy can support recovery in a significant way,” explained Ms Gray. “Patients are also give lifestyle, exercise or stretching advice to assist management of the problem at home.”

Southern Cross University offers a four-year combined program of a Bachelor of Clinical Studies (Osteopathic Studies) and Master of Osteopathic Medicine to enable professional registration as an osteopath.

The on-campus health clinics at the Gold Coast and Lismore offer osteopathic services to the general public. Click here to make an appointment.