Osteopathy is not new. It is a safe, well proven and effective physical therapy that has been practiced around the world since the late 19th Century.
Currently in the UK Osteopaths see around 30,000 patients every working day of the year.
Osteopathy uses a comprehensive system of Examination, Diagnosis & Treatment to help restore normal, pain free function to any area of our bodies where it has been lost.
Although we are best known for treating ‘bad backs’, Osteopaths can effectively treat a wide range of injuries throughout the body.
We treat people of all ages and backgrounds, helping them regain their optimal health through personally tailored treatment, exercise and advice.
Treatment techniques commonly include Joint manipulation, articulation and stretching along with soft tissue and massage.
As highly trained healthcare professionals, we aim to provide the most effective long-term solution to problems affecting the function of the musculo-skeletal system, by finding and treating the root cause. Working in this way helps us minimize the chance of your problems recurring.
Each patient is treated as an individual, with every treatment and care plan tailored to their specific needs.
So whether you have suffered the sudden unexpected trauma of a car crash, a sport related injury or simply a build-up of poor posture over months or years – Osteopathy will often be able to help you.
Safety & Regulation
In the UK, since 1993 the Osteopathic profession has been regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and by Statutory Law
An Osteopath must be registered with the Council to practise.
They must comply with strict regulatory requirements, high standards of professional practice and maintain regular professional development.
These requirements give patients the same sort of guarantees and protection as those given by Doctors and Dentists.
Osteopaths are recognised by NHS England as Allied Health Professionals, playing a critical role in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people of all ages.
Your first visit – What to expect
At your initial consultation we will take a full and detailed history of your condition, including previous medical history.
We will then carry out a thorough physical examination, looking at both injury-specific and general body mechanics.
We should then be able to make a diagnosis of your problem, which we will discuss with you, explaining all relevant treatment options.
If you are happy, we will then usually proceed with treatment – this consists largely of soft tissue and manipulative techniques and should not be painful.
After your treatment, you will often be given advice on appropriate exercises and self-help. If at any point you have any questions or concerns about any part of your treatment, please do discuss them with your Osteopath.
If you wish, you are more than welcome to bring someone with you to your consultation.
Assessment / Examination
As part of your consultation we will examine the area(s) of your body causing discomfort and may undertake various clinical tests, such as taking your blood pressure or checking your reflexes.
To examine you effectively we may ask you to undress to your underwear, you are welcome to bring loose clothing such as shorts, t-shirt etc if you are not comfortable with this.
As Osteopaths we feel for changes in your muscles and joints to identify problems.
We may also assess your posture and the way you move.
Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, so we will frequently examine other related areas.
If at any point we decide Osteopathic treatment is inappropriate we will make suggestions for onward referral and further tests.
Osteopathic care is based on the individual needs of the patient and so varies depending on your age, fitness levels and diagnosis.
We use a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques that focus on releasing tension, stretching muscles and mobilising joints.
These are often used together with exercise and advice, designed to help you relieve or manage your pain, keep active and maintain the best of health.
Research has shown that manual therapy such as that used by Osteopaths, can have beneficial effects, especially for back pain, helping you to return to normal movement and activity.
The health risks associated with having osteopathic treatment are extremely low.
Treatment itself should not be painful or uncomfortable – although some soreness, stiffness and muscular aches may be felt for 24 – 48 hours afterwards.
This is sometimes known as a ‘treatment reaction’ and is caused by your muscles, joints and posture changing and adapting following treatment.
This reaction is usually most prominent after your first treatment and decreases progressively as you improve.
There is no set number of treatments for any condition – every injury and every patient responds slightly differently; although as a rough guide, most conditions will show a good response between 2 & 6 visits and many patients will then decide to have occasional, preventative treatment once they have made a full recovery.
At your first consultation we will discuss the anticipated number of treatments you may need and we will reassess this at each subsequent visit.
If you do not improve as expected, we may consider sending you for X-ray or MRI (either via your GP or privately); alternatively onward referral to an appropriate specialist may be considered.
Common symptoms for visiting an Osteopath
- Neck Pain & Stiffness
- Arm Pain / Tingling (Brachial Neuralgia)
- Shoulder / Elbow / Wrist Problems
- Back Pain
- Trapped Nerve
- Hip / Knee / Ankle Problems
- Occupational Injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Posture related problems