What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an extremely safe, ‘hands-on’ form of complementary and alternative medicine, that focuses on the body’s relationship between organs, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Osteopaths spend four to five years training at University where they develop finely tuned skills of palpation, or touch, to find and assess areas of tension, strain or weakness and imbalances within the body.

Palpation is used in conjunction with specific medical tests to form a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to each individual and their problem. A variety of safe and gentle techniques are used to increase joint movement, soft tissue and spinal flexibility and improve circulation, alongside providing lifestyle advice and specific exercises relevant to the individual and their condition. Research has shown that Osteopathy can be highly effective in helping with a wide range of conditions from headaches to back pain and disorders of the musculoskeletal structures throughout the whole body. Osteopaths aim to identify and address the cause of dysfunction rather than just treat the symptoms, with the over-riding philosophy that they are treating the individual as a whole rather than just the area of pain or restriction.

Osteopaths have been regulated by statute since 1993 and are required by law to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is therefore a criminal offence to treat under the ‘Osteopath’ title unless you have completed and passed the full course provided by an osteopathic institution that has been accredited by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The four to five year masters degree (M.Ost) includes over 1,000 hours of osteopathic technique training and a further 1,500 hours of clinical application with real patients in clinic before qulliafying. Osteopaths must then provide evidence of the strict annual continual professional development (CPD) requirements to remain registered with the GOsC. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends spinal manipulation for lower back pain. Osteopaths are trained to offer this form of treatment.

Patients have the same confidentiality and rights when seeing an Osteopath as they do when seeing a doctor or dentist. Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners which means that you do not have to have a referral from a GP or specialist to have treatment. An Osteopath will carry out a full case history, assessment and diagnosis during the initial consultation. The primary concern is patient safety, and patients will be referred on if Osteopathy is not deemed an appropriate form of treatment for a particular condition.

Osteopaths see people of all ages, including babies, pregnant women, the elderly and elite athletes.

How it can help

Osteopathy can be beneficial in managing and alleviating pain through various mechanisms and techniques. Here are some ways in which osteopathy may help with your pain:

  1. Manual Manipulation: Osteopaths use hands-on techniques to manipulate and mobilize joints, muscles, and tissues. By doing so, they can improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension, and restore proper alignment, which can help relieve pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.

  2. Improved Blood Circulation: Osteopathic techniques can enhance blood flow to injured or tense areas. Increased blood circulation promotes healing, reduces inflammation, and can help alleviate pain.

  3. Nerve Function: Osteopaths can work on releasing tension around nerves that might be compressed or irritated. This can help in reducing pain caused by nerve-related issues such as sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.

  4. Posture Correction: Osteopaths assess and address postural imbalances that might contribute to pain. By improving posture, the stress on certain areas of the body is reduced, leading to pain relief.

  5. Holistic Approach: Osteopathy considers the body as a whole, not just individual parts. Osteopaths examine how different body systems interconnect and influence each other. By addressing the root causes of pain, rather than just the symptoms, they can provide more comprehensive and long-lasting pain relief.

  6. Injury Rehabilitation: If you have suffered from an injury, osteopathy can aid in the recovery process. Osteopaths can assist in reducing scar tissue formation, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall healing, which can lead to pain reduction.

  7. Stress Reduction: Osteopathic treatments can have a relaxing effect on the body, reducing stress and tension. Stress reduction can indirectly help with pain management, especially for pain caused or worsened by stress-induced muscle tension.

  8. Patient Education: Osteopaths often provide valuable insights into lifestyle changes, ergonomics, and exercises to help manage pain better and prevent future issues.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of osteopathy in relieving pain may vary from person to person and depends on the underlying cause of the pain. For chronic or severe pain, osteopathy may be used in conjunction with other medical treatments or therapies. If you are considering osteopathic treatment for your pain, it's advisable to consult with a qualified and experienced osteopath to assess your specific condition and receive appropriate care.

Our Practitioners

Pippa Evans


Adam Waller


Amy Hewitt


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