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Which conditions can Osteopathy help to treat?

Osteopaths are now perceived as musculo-skeletal experts especially for cases such as back pain and neck pain. Whilst it is true that a majority of our work relates to the spine, osteopathy can be effective with a number of other conditions involving other areas of the body. The emphasis is always on the individual and not the complaint.

At every age, osteopathic healthcare has much to offer – from pregnancy to childbirth to sports injuries to degenerative problems with the elderly. Please see below for a list of conditions frequently treated in practice.

This list is by no means exhaustive but outlines the most prevalent complaints seen in practice. If you would like to discuss your complaint further prior to booking an appointment please call 01732 850836 and have a chat with Rob Thomas who should be able to advise you further on the best course of action.

The Status of the Profession

Statutory recognition was achieved with the passage of of the Osteopaths act in 1993, thereby making osteopathy the first complementary healthcare profession to be accorded a statutory regulated framework. The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was formed to set high standards of training, professional ethical conduct for the whole profession (

Currently there is only one osteopathic register and only those who can satisfy the GOsC’s strict requirements are allowed to be on that register and to call themselves ‘Osteopaths’.

Structural and cranial osteopathy can help treat...

Neck and back pain
Hip, buttock and leg pain
All joint pains
(hip, knee, ankle and shoulder)
Shoulder stiffness, pain, and restricted movement
Trapped nerves
Arthritic pain and stiffness
Sports injuries
Repetitive strain and work related injuries
Elbow and wrist injuries
(Tennis and Golfer’s elbow)
Postural problems
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Osteopathic and professional training

There are ten osteopathic training institutions in the UK offering either a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical studies. The courses are very intense and similar to a medical degree but with a stronger emphasis on musculoskeletal conditions. Students also have to complete in excess of 1000 clinical hours working with patients in the school clinics. The original qualification for osteopaths was a D.O (Diploma in Osteopathy) but this has since been superceded by a degree qualification such as a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Owing to the nature of the profession most Osteopaths continue to study after their initial training.

Once qualified the individual applies for registration with the GOsC and successful application enables them to be placed onto the register od Osteopaths of which there is only one in the UK. It is therefore a criminal offence for someone to masquerade as an osteopath and use the title if they are not registered. Osteopaths are required by the GOsC to consistently update their knowledge throughout their professional lives. They have to submit evidence every year demonstrating at least 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD).
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Do I need a GP referral?

It is a myth that you have to be referred for treatment by your GP. About 80% of patients consult an osteopath privately and of their own volition. On the odd occasion, with some private medical insurers, you may need a letter of referral from your GP as a formality to initiate the process.

If you osteopath feels that it is necessary for you to see your GP, he/she will ask your permission first. They may need to contact them either informing them of examination findings (i.e. high blood pressure) or to request further information such as results of x-rays, scans or blood tests to help with the formulation of an effective management plan.

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