"An Osteopath is only a human engineer, who should understand all the laws governing his engine and thereby master dis-ease"
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still
Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health. Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness. Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone call themselves an osteopath?
The title 'osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the Register are entitled to practice as osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offense in the UK.
Do GPs refer their patients to osteopaths?
Yes. GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council.
Do I need a GP referral to see an osteopath?
Most patients 'self refer' to an osteopath for treatment. Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.
Can I claim on my private medical insurance?
Many private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment. It may be possible to claim for a course of treatment but you should check in advance with your insurance company before seeking osteopathic treatment, in order to confirm the available level of cover and whether you will need to have a referral from your GP or a specialist.
What training do osteopaths have?
Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating. Osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. They must complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.
What can I expect on my first visit to an osteopath?
At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined. Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body's points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise. The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
We had fantastic service from Anton treating my 14 year old with a rugby injury. He made him feel completely at ease. Friendly, nice and very knowledgable. My son and I were very impressed.
WHAT OSTEOPATHS TREAT
Frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences
Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise
General, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
Generalised aches and pains
Inability to relax
Minor sports injuries and tensions
Inability to relax
Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e. whiplash)
WHAT TO EXPECT
We love helping people get back to doing the things that they enjoy, and are commited to providing a friendly and professional service.
The initial session is 45 minutes to 1 hour - the first 30 minutes will be spent talking about you, where we will explore all aspects of your health and lifestyle. We are dedicated to treating the cause and not just the symptoms. By working with you in a holistic way, we are much more likely to be able to pinpoint the origin of the pain that you are experiencing. The more detail you are able to give us, the better we are able to help you. Before coming along to your appointment please think about your daily routines, eating habits and any other information that could be relevant such as accidents or previous medical procedures. Please be as honest as possible with us, as this will mean we are able to help you in the best possible way.
Once we have finished the case history and assessment and made a diagnosis, it will be time for some treatment. We ask that you wear sensible clothing such as a t-shirt and shorts. All patients are welcome to bring a chaperone with them and this is a requirement for those under 18 years of age.
All our osteopaths are further trained in the use of dry needling and kinesio-taping and fully insured and registered with the General Osteopathic Council.