“Osteopathy is a primary healthcare profession that focusses on the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems and the effects that these can have on your general health”
Osteopathy works with the structure and function of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and internal organs all functioning smoothly together.
An osteopath will take the time to understand their patient and their unique combination of symptoms, medical history and lifestyle. This helps to formulate a working diagnosis of the causes of pain or lack of function as well as addressing the site of the specific complaint. The osteopath can then propose a treatment plan that will achieve the best outcome.
Osteopaths use a range of treatment approaches including soft tissue techniques, joint articulation, mobilisation and manipulation to improve function, relieve pain and restore the person to a state of good health. Osteopaths provide advice on exercise and lifestyle to promote health and well-being and to help prevent problems reoccurring.
In the UK, the osteopathic profession is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and osteopaths are trained to degree level, taking a minimum of four years, including over 1000 hours of contact time with patients at undergraduate level.
Osteopaths are also recognised by the NHS as Allied Health Professionals and play a critical role in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people of all ages. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises that GPs can safely refer patients to an osteopath for treatment.