Osteopathy is an allied health profession which takes a holistic, whole-body approach to healthcare. It uses manual ‘hands-on’ techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics. An osteopath will focus not only on a patient’s pain or discomfort but also address any associated changes to healthy function throughout the body. In doing so they aim to address the cause of an issue rather than only the symptoms.
Osteopaths consider all the tissues of the body, including joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, the circulatory system, connective tissue, and organs. They provide musculoskeletal and nervous system assessments, manual therapy, clinical exercise programs, including ergonomic and postural advice. They may also offer ongoing support and educational advice about a patient’s lifestyle factors which may influence their pain, injury, or movement.
Osteopathy for breast cancer patients
After surgery, lymph node removal, and other treatments such as radiotherapy, the tissues of the breast, chest, axilla (armpit) and shoulder can become hardened, thickened and tight. Internal and external scars often develop, as well as other side effects such as adhesions, seroma, and “cording”. Osteopaths gently unwind these tissue restrictions and restore function and flexibility. This can significantly reduce pain and discomfort, whilst also reducing the risk of other complications developing such as lymphoedema or frozen shoulder. Osteopathic treatment is particularly effective for patients who have undergone lumpectomy procedures, allowing the residual hardened scar tissue within the breast to soften and resolve. It is also important to care for the abdominal donor tissue site in DIEP reconstruction patients to resolve any side effects such as tissue tension and scarring quickly and efficiently.
Osteopaths use techniques such as soft tissue massage, stretching, fascial unwinding, manipulation, and exercise prescription, all with the intention of returning your tissues to normal pliability once more. At NBBC we address any post-surgical side effects such as scarring quickly and proactively as addressing any tissue restrictions during the early healing process can improve outcomes significantly.
Breast care osteopathy addresses the changes in the soft tissues of the body including the breast, axilla (armpit) and chest.
Treatment works to:
Soften and release external scar tissue which may remain after surgery or radiotherapy
Soften and release hard scar tissue within the breast tissue itself
Soften and release thick tissue within the axilla (armpit) after lymph node surgery including ‘cording’
Soften and release scar tissue in the abdomen following DIEP surgery or other reconstruction surgeries
Release and mobilise restrictions within the shoulder after surgery or radiotherapy
Soften and reduce the impact of capsular contraction