"Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It 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 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, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.
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 may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring." (www.osteopathy.org.uk)
What we treat
Osteopathy can help with such a vast array of problems that we have highlighted just a few below which are perhaps some of the most commonly seen conditions/symptoms presented to us daily.
- Pins & needles
- Stiffness/restricted movement
- Disc problems
- Joint problems
- Tennis/golfers elbow
- Repetitive strain injury
- Sports injuries
- Chronic muscular tension
- Back pain
If you are unsure if we may be able to help with your symptoms or you do not know which discipline
may be most suitable for you, please do contact us either by phone or email where we can provide
you with further information and advice.
What training and qualifications do osteopaths have?All osteopaths receive training at colleges approved by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). These 4-5 year courses cover a very wide range of subjects including anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical methodology, biomechanics, osteology, cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal studies and osteopathic techniques. These subjects are all necessary to ensure osteopaths can act as Primary Care Physicians.
This means we are trained to diagnose not only bio-mechanical problems but have a good grounding in general medicine. This enables us to assess whether your problem is suitable for osteopathic treatment or whether you need to be referred to your doctor or a specialist.
All trainee osteopaths are required to spend many hours treating patients under the supervision of qualified clinical tutors and only qualify after rigorous final examinations. The title osteopath is protected by law now and all osteopaths are registered with the GOsC.
Should I see a doctor first?This is not necessary as osteopaths are trained to diagnose and should you require further investigations, or your condition would be dealt with better by your doctor or specialist, we will refer you as necessary. However, if you will be seeking to claim your treatment costs back from a private insurance company, many will insist on a referral from your GP to your osteopath, so in this circumstance, you will have to see your GP first.
How will you know what is wrong with me?Osteopaths are trained to diagnose and carry out a detailed case history and examination including many of the tests you might associate with a doctor. Should you require any further tests such as x-rays, MRI scans or blood tests we will liaise with your doctor or specialist to ensure your problem is diagnosed accurately.
What will my doctor think of me seeing an osteopath?Most doctors are now in favour of osteopathic treatment and indeed we treat some of the local GPs. Recently the Royal College of Physicians advised doctors to refer patients for manipulation for mechanical back pain. Our relationship with local GPs and specialists is very good so you should find your doctor supportive.
Should I bring my x-rays or MRI scans with me?Yes. If you have had any investigations already carried out these can be very useful in diagnosing your problem. We are trained to read x-rays and scans from a mechanical perspective.
What should I wear when I come in for treatment?You may be asked to undress down to your underwear, depending on the area that requires examination. Patients are welcome to wear shorts with elasticated waistbands if they feel more comfortable and if you would like a friend or relative to be in with you during examination and treatment we are very happy to do so. Should you request not to remove items of clothing your osteopath will still be more than happy to assess you however, it is important to note it may mean the assessment is more limited.
Does treatment hurt?Treatment can be uncomfortable for brief periods of time, but we always keep this to a minimum and make sure you are happy with the level of discomfort you feel. However, the majority of the treatment is painless and most people find it quite a pleasant experience. There is often a period of time after treatment when you may feel achy or sore, and this may be felt for around 48 hours after your visit.
How long do consultations and treatments last?Our consultations last half an hour. On your first visit most of this time is used for a case history and examination, but subsequent visits usually comprise of a brief check on any examination changes and then you will receive up to 25 minutes of treatment. The number of treatments you require depends on the severity and nature of your condition, your age, state of health and often level of fitness. You may only need one visit, but more commonly several sessions will be necessary. We should be able to give you some idea of how quickly it will progress after we have seen you on one or two occasions.
Do osteopaths treat just backs?No. Osteopaths treat the whole body. Any injury of pain felt in the body’s framework, (joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc) can be treated by an osteopath. For more of a specific idea of certain conditions visit the what we treat page for more information.
What is the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor?Both professions treat the same group of bio-mechanical problems, but have different philosophy. As a result the treatment is a little different. Chiropractors usually concentrate on the high velocity “click” manoeuvres to correct the joint position whereas osteopaths use more soft tissue and articulatory techniques as well as high velocity thrusts, as they are called, to achieve our goals. Chiropractic treatment is usually much shorter in duration and patients are often seen several times a week.