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Why Osteopathy?


Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and in some cases preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging muscles and joints. Most people who see an Osteopath do so for help with conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints, such as:

  • Lower back pain

  • Neck pain including whiplash type injuries

  • Neuralgia, sciatica and trapped nerves

  • Shoulder pain and elbow pain (for example, frozen shoulder or tennis elbow)

  • Pain from arthritis

  • Problems with the pelvis, hips and legs

  • Sports injuries

  • Muscle and joint pain associated with driving, work or pregnancy

I am often asked the difference between an Osteopath, Chiropractor and Physiotherapist.  Whilst there are similarities across the three professions, what sets Osteopathy apart is the fact it is based on a set of principles that underpin each treatment.

There are seven Osteopathic principles but four of them form the core of Osteopathic thinking and influence:

1. The body is a unit. All parts of the body influence each other and are connected in some way, either directly or indirectly.

2. Structure and function have to work together. Like a well-oiled machine, all parts have to be in good working order for the machine to perform at its best. If one part fails, it puts extra pressure on another part and abnormal wear and dysfunction will occur. Also, from time to time, all machines need maintenance and fine tuning for optimal performance and longevity.

Anatomy Drawing

3. The body can defend and heal itself. When we cut a finger, a scab forms and the wound heals. When we break a bone it repairs. However, from time to time some additional influence is required to aid these self healing mechanisms.


4. Fluid flow around the body is paramount for health. Essentially, the human body is made of fluid which lubricates and nourishes everything. Blood vessels carry energy and oxygen, lymphatic vessels clear away toxins and the spinal cord is a channel for neural fluid to reach all parts of the body.  Health and wellbeing rely on good blood and fluid flow around the body.

Osteopathic training

  • Osteopaths study 4/5 years for a degree.

  • This is similar to a medical degree, with the emphasis on anatomy, physiology and musculoskeletal medicine

  • Training includes over 1000 hours of Osteopathic techniques

  • In the UK, Osteopathy is a health profession regulated by UK law

  • It is an offence to call yourself an Osteopath unless registered with the GOsC

  • Osteopathy is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for back pain

  • The British Medical Association guidance for GPs says they can safely refer patients to Osteopaths

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