What is Osteopathy?
How does Osteopathy help? Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are varied and can cause pain, stiffness and reduced function anywhere in the body from headaches to foot pain and everywhere in between. Whether it’s back pain, knee arthritis or an ankle sprain, if you’re not feeling 100% it can limit your ability to get on with all aspects of life such as work, playing with and lifting children, exercise and sleep.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating MSK conditions. MSK conditions can arise for a variety of reasons such as sports injury, normal ageing processes, postural habits and repetitive behaviours or they can be a symptom of syndromes such as fibromyalgia. MSK problems primarily affect muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons.
Osteopaths make a diagnosis by discussing your medical history and examining you. Problems often arise due to imbalance elsewhere in the body, for example knee pain that has arisen due to hip or back problems. Osteopaths take a holistic view of the way your body is functioning to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.
Osteopathic treatments are varied and may include ‘hands on’ manual therapy techniques such as massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and manipulation as well as cranial methods. Frequently osteopathy includes offering postural, ergonomic and lifestyle advice as well as exercise suggestions to help you take control.
What does osteopathic training involve?
Osteopaths hold either a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy (a BSc Hons, B.Ost or BOstMed) or a masters degree (M.Ost). Courses usually consist of four years of full-time training or five years part-time. A degree course includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition and biomechanics, plus at least 1,000 hours of clinical training. Once qualified , an osteopath must apply to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) in order to practise in the UK. The title ‘osteopath’ is protected by law and only qualifed, registered and insured osteopaths call themselves by this title.