Common steps and sub-activities

Osteopathic ‘HVLA-thrust’

See also Osteopathy.

One of the principle treatment mechanisms that the osteopath uses is known as the HVLA thrust.

Normal 'stretching' or vigorous manipulation where there is a restriction of movement, only activates the noci-receptors and so worsens the somatic dysfunction. It generally exacerbates the problem and causes pain.

But an ‘HVLA- thrust’ is a very gentle form of manipulation in which the articulation is built up carefully round the edge of the restriction so that the noci-receptors are not stimulated.

The manipulation is fast (high-velocity) so that the relatively slow nociceptive reflexes cannot react. In this way, the vicious circle of damage causing pain, pain causing tenseness and tenseness causing pain and possibly more damage can be broken. The massage and manipulation has to be ‘low-amplitude’ in order to minimize or avoid damage to the tissue.