To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered.
WHAT WE DO
Osteopathic treatment does not only look at the symptoms but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance. We use a wide range of techniques, including massage, cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as 'cranial osteopathy'), dry needling and joint mobilization. Osteopaths can treat people of any age from elderly to the newborn and from pregnant women to sports people.
HOW WE DO IT
Before we start to treat you we take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. We'll ask you about things like exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give clues to help our diagnosis. We may check your reflexes, we may also take your blood pressure. If necessary we may refer you for clinical tests, such as x-rays, if we think you need them.
We usually look at your posture and how you move your body. We may also assess what happens when we move it for you and see what hurts, where and when. Using touch, we may also find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what's going on. When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition. We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your GP.
This is different for every patient depending on your age, diagnosis etc. It may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage, dry needling and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise your joints. We may discuss exercises that you can do to help yourself.