As osteopaths, our role is to guide patients back into health. This involves raising their awareness of general principles applied to their own specific health. Eventually, patients will be given the means to remain balanced by themselves.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of medicine which aims at restoring the body’s fine-tuned ecosystem (“homeostasis”) in order for it to use its own healing mechanisms.
Osteopathy does not usually advocate the use of conventional medicines nor treat symptoms alone.
Osteopathy tries to address the root of a complaint rather than just its symptoms.
Osteopaths use the following approaches:
– Manual therapy, including soft tissue work,
– Advice on exercises and hydrotherapy,
– Advice on naturopathic principles.
When the body is eventually balanced and efficient, just like a well-tuned engine, it will function with the minimum of wear and tear, leaving more energy for living.
For further information, you can read the Fact sheets available at the website of the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).
What is an osteopathic session?
Osteopaths treat the body as a whole.
As in conventional medicine, diagnosis is set thanks to specific questions and examination/palpation of tissues.
On your first visit, the osteopath will spend time taking a detailed medical history including important information about your lifestyle and diet. You will normally be asked to undress to your underwear and perform a series of simple movements. This will allow a full diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs.
The osteopathic treatment itself is mostly performed with you lying on the couch covered with a towel.
The practitioner will then work specifically in some areas, always seeking your consent first.
Some techniques might be slightly uncomfortable, but most are relaxing and never painful.
You might be advised of specific exercises to practice between sessions or some change in diet.
Your osteopath might also liaise with your general practitioner, with your consent, in order to suggest further appropriate investigations if necessary.
How safe is Osteopathy?
The Statutory Register of the General Osteopathic Council (GOSC) opened on 9 May 1998. The title “osteopath” became protected by law from 9 May 2000, and every osteopath in the UK must be registered with the GOsC.
Only those practitioners who have been able to show that they are safe and competent Osteopaths have been allowed onto the GOSC register. All Osteopaths are obliged to have medical malpractice insurance and to follow a strict code of conduct.
Conditions seen in practice:
Osteopathy is now one of the therapies for low back pain recommended by the NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Osteopaths see patients with the following not exhaustive list of conditions:
- Back pain, Lumbago, Sciatica,
- Whiplash, Neuralgia, Joint pains
- Neck ache, Frozen or stiff shoulders,
- Minor sports injuries,
- Inability to relax,
- Digestion problems,
- Rheumatic pain, circulatory problems ,
- Arthritic pain, muscle spasm and stiffness
However, patients with a suspected or diagnosed condition should always been seen by their GP first.
The osteopath might also refer the patient back to the GP if more diagnosis is needed or if the treatment is beyond the scope of osteopathy.
What is soft tissue work?
The SOFT TISSUE is the muscles and the soft structures that bind the body parts together such as ligaments, membranes, aponeurosis, tendons and fascia.
The manipulation of SOFT TISSUE consists of various osteopathic techniques such as:
- Neuromuscular Inhibition
- Muscle energy technique
- Joint articulation, etc..
It can also be used for general body maintenance thanks to its promotion of blood and lymph circulation, muscle relaxation, pain, relief and restoration of metabolic balance.
General Osteopathic Council
British Osteopathic Association
the journal of Osteopathic philosophy
British Institute of Osteopathy
promoting Classical Osteopathy
Health Insurance provider
Health Insurance provider
World Osteopathic Organization
Osteopathic International Alliance
Institute of Thermal and
Thermal therapy based on Naturopathic Principles
Thorough information about the therapeutic usage of clay internally and externally
unbiased medical website, financially independent from the pharmaceutical industry.
charity that aims to reduce the burden of back pain by providing information and support, promoting good practice and funding research.
Epsom Salt Industry Council
Use of Epsom salts in hydrotherapy for sports and electrolyte balance.
University of Manchester and Norwegian Institute of Air Research.
for sprains, strains, bruises, nerve pain, swelling, and post-surgical pain, widely researched and used in professional sport medicine.