osteopathy have any side effects

Is osteopathy safe, does it have any side effects?

Osteopathic treatment is one of the best joint and muscle treatments available today. And due to its gentle nature, you would be hard-pressed to find a patient suffering any side effects or exposed to risks from it.

However, like other forms of treatment, osteopathy also has its share of risks and side effects. There have been rare cases where osteopathic treatments have worsened patients’ symptoms or pain. When this happens, ensure that you notify your osteopath immediately. Further information about safety and regulation of osteopathy can be found on the NHS website.

Here’s a detailed elaboration of the risks, dangers, and side effects of osteopathy treatment

Common side effects of osteopathy

Most of the side effects that result from osteopathy treatment usually disappear after a day or two from the time of treatment. The most common side effects include:

  • Bruising
  • Headache
  • Tenderness
  • Mild pain or discomfort at the point of manipulation

However, there are also more severe side effects that result from osteopathic treatment. Here’s what we know so far.

1. Allergic reactions

In most treatments, your osteopath may use creams or oils to ease friction when moving his/her hands over the point of manipulation. Though it may not be common, there are instances where a patient may be allergic to some of these creams or oils or the ingredients in them.

At worst, you will suffer an allergic reaction. This is a possibility, especially if you have hyper-sensitive skin or suffer from dermatographism (skin hives)

It is, therefore, advisable that you check with your osteopath the ingredients that are in the oils he/she intends to use. If, however, you suffer an allergic reaction from the oils used, then it’s best to wash off all the oils from your skin thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

In case you suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction, then it’s best to rush to the nearest hospital for check-up. This very rarely occurs, but it is still a possibility.

2. Worsened infections

Equally, there is also the chance that the oils and creams used may react with open wounds and infections. This is why you must always inform your osteopath of any infections before beginning the treatment.

Often, osteopathy treatments end up making an infection worse before it gets better. This is because the treatment stimulates the flow of infected fluids around the body, which can cause an unpleasant feeling. However, this only always lasts a few days before the infection starts to drain.

At worse, an infection may cause adverse symptoms like chronic pains and headaches that persist for extended periods. In such instances, it’s best to seek medical attention. Ensure that you consult your osteopath for the best advice and way forward.

3. Tiredness

Since osteopathic treatment deals with muscle and joint manipulation, you are more likely to suffer from fatigue after treatment. Like massage therapies, this may not be an issue and usually fades after a good rest. However, there are rare occasions where this could actually be dangerous to your health.

It’s, therefore, not advisable to drive or operate heavy machinery after receiving osteopathic treatment. Instead, organise your sessions appropriately so that you don’t inconvenience yourself and others.

If possible, you can have someone pick you up after your sessions. Also, try to avoid rigorous activities straight after your sessions, as this may result in injuries or accidents due to your tiredness.

Wrapping up

The chances of suffering any of the above side effects after receiving osteopathy are extremely low but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still risks. If you have any questions about any of the above, our friendly team is here to help.

For further information or if you have any questions or concerns please contact us

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