What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a method of assessing, treating and providing relief from a wide range of health problems. Osteopaths use a combination of movement, stretching, targeted deep tissue massage and manipulation of a person’s muscles and joints to improve function, relieve pain and to aid recovery.
An Osteopath believes that the body has the natural ability to maintain itself and, by helping this process, we can promote restoration of normal function. The principle of osteopathy is that the well-being of an individual relies on the way that bones, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and internal structures work with each other.
An osteopath will take the time to understand their patient, and their unique combination of symptoms, medical history and lifestyle. This is necessary in order to make an accurate diagnosis of the causes of the pain or lack of function and from that, to formulate a treatment plan that will achieve the best outcome.
Regulation and safety
Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is against the law to call yourself an osteopath unless you are qualified and registered with the GOsC. The minimum qualification for an osteopath is completion of a four or five year degree, which includes at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice. Many osteopaths also study for masters degrees. They must then continue to update and expand their knowledge by logging a minimum of 30 hours per year of continuing professional development. You can check whether an osteopath is registered by visiting the GOsC website.
Osteopathy is very safe. It is estimated that between 1 in 50,000 and 1 in 100,000 patients will suffer a reaction to osteopathic treatment that is serious enough to require further medical treatment or does not resolve within 48 hours.
What we treat
Osteopaths are commonly known for treating back pain and postural problems including changes due to pregnancy, caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and minor sports injuries.
Patients have also found osteopathy helpful for conditions such as digestive issues, circulatory problems, neuralgia and problems sleeping and for the symptoms of many others.
Osteopathic treatment is not only for sports people and can be used for the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals and children.
What to expect from an Osteopathic treatment
When you first visit us, we will spend some time taking a medical history, which will include questions about your general health and lifestyle as well as asking you about the symptoms or injuries that you are seeking help with. With your consent, we’ll then perform a physical examination which is likely to involve touching the areas of your body that are experiencing pain and asking you to move around. We may also look at test results, x-rays and scan reports if these are available.