What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a safe effective form of manual therapy that works on the basis that structure governs function (and vice versa), whereby any given tissue of the body, (bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, joint, organ) that is not in its correct alignment or position will be unable to function properly, which may lead to pain, restriction and inflammation.

Osteopathy aims to help the body to return to its normal function and works with the body’s own natural healing process via soft tissue techniques (massage), mobilisation of the spine and joints and occasionally manipulation which involves a quick but gentle release of a joint.

Osteopaths also practice cranial and visceral (organ) Osteopathy, which are particularly effective for children and for conditions such as IBS.

Although most patients self-refer to an Osteopath, GPs and other health care practitioners fully recognise Osteopathy as an efficient system of diagnosis and treatment and commonly work alongside Osteopaths.

In 2006, the Dept. of Health published guidelines in recognition of Osteopathy being effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders (The Musculoskeletal Services Framework. A joint responsibility: doing it differently, DH 2006).

In 2009, The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), published guidance on the treatment of non-specific low back pain. They stated that manual therapy is recommended for patients who “have been in pain for longer than six weeks but less than one year, where pain maybe linked to structures in the back such as joints, muscles and ligaments.”

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 General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety. Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year and GOsC provide registrants with 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.

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