Chronic Pain? Cranial osteopathy can help!

What is cranial osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a branch of osteopathy which osteopaths who are interested can specialise in. Cranial osteopathy follows the same principles and objectives as osteopathy which are to improve the quality of life, manage Chronic pain and promote recovery. However, it is important to note that there are some significant differences between osteopathy and cranial osteopathy. Firstly, cranial osteopaths have a very well-developed sense of touch which is crucial for the evaluation of the symptoms and development of working hypothesis. Also, the treatment feels very different from osteopathic treatment as it feels quite static and very gentle and relaxing.

How does cranial osteopathy work?

Because cranial osteopaths have a very well-developed sense of touch, it helps them to feel muscle tension, joint restrictions, and reduced efficiency of body fluid movement in the areas explored by only gently feeling the affected area. Once your osteopath is happy that he/she explored any relevant area which could be related to your symptoms, an osteopath then develops a working hypothesis and proceeds with a treatment which can only be provided with your consent.

What to expect during the treatment?

Usually, there are three main stages of cranial osteopathy treatment.

  •  Firstly, you will be asked questions about your presentation to help your osteopath better understand your complaint and develop an appropriate examination plan. 
  • Secondly, there will be a physical examination where an osteopath will make some observations as well as some gentle hands-on examinations. 
  • Lastly, your osteopath will proceed with an appropriate treatment, only when it is permitted by your consent, to help you to feel better. In most cases, your osteopath will also provide you with lifestyle advice to further improve your well-being.

What is considered as chronic pain?

Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon. Pain is considered to be chronic when it lasts for 12 weeks or longer. On some occasions it can be a result of an injury or trauma. On others, it can appear for no particular reason at all. Furthermore, chronic pain can be so complex that, in some cases, even if one had an amputation of a limb, the pain can still be present in that limb, although the limp itself is gone. It is suggested however, that chronic pain subsides completely in most cases without any intervention, but that does not apply to everyone.

Which areas can be affected by chronic pain?

Any area of the body can develop a chronic pain. The areas mostly affected are lower back, neck and shoulders, and face. Moreover, if you experienced an injury, but failed to rehabilitate it in good time, it is very likely that the injured area will be painful for a prolonged period of time. The longer the area is left unattended, the longer it might take for it to heal later resulting in chronic pain.

What causes chronic pain?

There are numerous causes for the development of chronic pain. It could be the result of an illness or a disease, an old injury which was left unattended, or it may just appear for no particular reason at all.

How can cranial osteopathy help to manage chronic pain?

There is evidence suggesting that cranial osteopathy has a very successful outcome in managing chronic pain. It is suggested that this benefit is achieved by promoting the cerebrospinal fluid movement which improves the function of the nervous system allowing it to recover and have a positive impact on pain.

For further information or contact and osteopath visit:

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!


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