Osteopathy is a method of assessing, treating and preventing 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 aid recovery.
The body has the natural ability to maintain itself and, by helping this process, an osteopath can promote restoration of normal function. The principle of osteopathy is that the wellbeing 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 helps to make an accurate diagnosis of the causes of the pain or lack of function (rather than just addressing the site of the condition), and from that, to formulate a treatment plan that will achieve the best outcome.
Osteopaths frequently work alongside other health professionals, such as GPs, nurses and midwives as well as alternative medical practitioners. Osteopathy works well to complement other medical interventions including surgery and prescribed medication.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises that GPs can safely refer patients to an osteopath for treatment.
Safety and Regulation
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. GOsC can remove an osteopath from the register if they fail to maintain a strict code of professional practice. 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.
Conditions Treated by Osteopaths
Osteopathy is a system of assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing a wide range of health problems.
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.
Listed below you can find the common joint and muscle conditions that osteopaths treat.
Osteopathic patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people.
If you want to find out more, any registered osteopath will be happy to talk to you about your health and how you may benefit from osteopathic treatment.
Osteopaths are trained to check for signs of serious conditions they cannot treat. In these circumstances, they should inform you of what they believe is the problem and refer you to see your GP or hospital for further investigations.
Along with treating the conditions listed here, osteopaths can provide a range of health advice. For more information please click here
Catherine Clair is StoneRock’s Registered Osteopath, for more information about Catherine please click here and to book an appointment please contact our reception team on 01580 752202