A restriction of the organ will not only affect its own function but as well the surrounding structures; for example a congestion of the liver can give rise to recurring stitches due to its attachment to the abdominal diaphragm. Similarly a visceral dysfunction can trigger symptoms in musculoskeletal system, such as menstruation induced low back pain.
In fact due to the relative poor innervation of the organs, visceral problems will most often manifest themselves though referred pain elsewhere in the body; and many persistent chronic musculoskeletal conditions are found to be linked with an underlying dysfunction in the visceral system.
Trough palpation, the osteopath can assess for dysfunctions and adhesions of the visceral organs altering their mobility and function.
The practitioner will treat the affected organ using a combination of gentle massage and soft tissue techniques as well as subtle functional techniques to release deeper tissues. Although sometimes mildly uncomfortable, visceral examination and treatment is generally pain free because of the use of light touch. It is suitable for all patients, from babies with digestive difficulties, to adults with visceral or menstrual pain.