Frequently asked questions
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a complete system of health care founded over 100 ago. The basis of treatment is to encourage the body to heal itself through non-invasive manual techniques. Osteopaths aim to improve the function of muscles, the range of motion at joints and blood flow through the tissues, thus ensuring that the body has an optimum-healing advantage.
Your osteopath will use massage, stretching, manipulation and mobilization to treat you. You may be given advice on lifestyle and exercise to do at home. Osteopaths look at the person as a whole and how outside factors may influence your condition.
Who should visit an osteopath?
Osteopaths treat people of all ages, from children to elderly, from professional athletes to desk-bound office workers. You do not have to have a sports injury to see an osteopath. We treat backache, joint pain, headaches and postural related problems.
What happens when I see an osteopath?
The osteopath will ask you lots of questions about your pain or injury, your medical history, occupation and lifestyle. You should bring shorts or suitable underwear so that you can be examined fully.
It is helpful to bring any medical reports of x-rays or scans that you have had but this is not essential. You may bring a friend or relative with you to the appointment. Your osteopath will ask you for consent to examine and treat you and will make sure you understand exactly what is going on at every stage of the consultation. If you need further investigations you will be referred to your GP or other health professional, usually with a letter.
How do I know my osteopath is safe?
Osteopaths undergo 4 years of full-time training to gain a Masters Degree. During that time, they complete at least 1200 hours of clinical practice in general and specialist clinics. The title of osteopath is protected in the UK, which means that it is unlawful to practice unless you are suitably qualified and registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Osteopaths must have suitable medical malpractice liability insurance in place and be able to provide copies of such on request. Most osteopaths display their registration certificate in their clinic room, with their personal registration number. To check that your practitioner is registered you can visit www.osteopathy.org and go to the ‘find a practitioner’ area of the site.
Your osteopath has been subjected to an enhanced check by the disclosure and barring service (DBS). They must complete at least 30 hours of continued professional development each year to maintain high standards of practice.