Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
It is often thought that osteopaths only treat backs, and it is true that NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines recommend manipulative therapies including osteopathy for the treatment of low back pain. However, we can deal with a very broad range of problems; from muscle spasms to arthritic pain, sciatica to circulatory problems. Treatment can be tailored to suit people of all ages and states of health and can be effective whether the problem occurred yesterday or has been troublesome for years.
It is impossible to produce a definitive list of what conditions can be helped by osteopathy. Many conditions have been proven in clinical trials to respond to our treatment, and they are listed below. In our experience and that of our colleagues there are much wider collection of presentations which are known to respond to osteopathic treatment but, due to a lack of clinical trials, we cannot advertise our treatment of these.
The Advertising Standards Association list of conditions which they accept osteopaths may claim to help includes……Generalised aches & pains, joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis (as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise), arthritic pain, general, acute & chronic backache and back pain no arising from injury or accident, uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury ie. whiplash), headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)/migraine prevention, frozen shoulder/shoulder and elbow pain/tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck but not isolated occurrences, circulatory problems, cramp, digestion problems, joint pains, lumbago, sciatica, muscle spasms, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, inability to relax, rheumatic pain and finally minor sports injuries and tensions!
If you are unsure as to the suitability of osteopathy for treating your condition, please telephone us.
There is much truth in the adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’. In order to minimise the chance of a condition recurring or to keep chronic problems at bay, many patients choose to attend at 3-6 month intervals for preventive treatment.
Training & Professional Regulation
All the osteopaths at the practice have undergone a minimum of 4 years training to degree level. All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year and are given an annual licence to practise. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths have current professional indemnity insurance, remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory continuing professional development requirements. The title ‘osteopath’ is protected by law. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety.
Postgraduate training in medical acupuncture is restricted to those who already hold a recognised medical qualification – doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors etc. Membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society is optional, and many practitioners who practise their medical acupuncture alongside their core discipline, rather than as a stand-alone discipline, hold affliliate membership and therefore do not feature on the BMAS register.
Links to other useful sites
The General Osteopathic Council – The regulatory body for the osteopathic profession.
Back Care – The charity for healthier backs