Osteopaths believe everyone can benefit from a tailored, whole-person approach to health. We are Allied Healthcare Professionals who take time to understand your individual history, circumstances and unique physiology, to provide you with a personalised health improvement plan.
Osteopaths provide safe, effective treatment and care that aims to promote the health of patients. Using manual therapy, health advice and sometimes exercise, tailored to the needs of the individual, people of all ages see osteopaths, from babies to the elderly.
As highly trained healthcare professionals, we are experts in the musculoskeletal (MSK) system – that is the muscles, joints and associated tissues and their relationship with other systems of the body.
People who visit an osteopath consistently report high satisfaction with the care they receive, expressing high confidence in the treatment and advice of their osteopath, with rates in excess of 90% for both satisfaction and trust.
They also work closely with other healthcare professionals such as consultants, GPs, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists.
What do osteopaths do?
Osteopaths will use a wide variety of gentle hands-on techniques that focus on releasing tension, improving mobility and optimising function, together with providing useful health advice and exercise if required.
They will also work with, or refer you to, other healthcare professionals as needed to ensure you receive optimum care. They take the time to understand each patient – your unique combination of symptoms, medical history and lifestyle. This helps to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your issue, (not just addressing the site of discomfort), and formulate a treatment plan with you that will achieve the best outcome.
How can osteopaths help?
People commonly visit osteopaths for MSK conditions, such as back, neck, joint, muscle and arthritic discomfort. Osteopaths have a well-deserved, evidence-based reputation for expertise in the treatment of these conditions.
People also visit osteopaths for a variety of other health reasons including neuromuscular conditions such as sciatica, digestive issues, headaches and migraine prevention. To find out more about how osteopaths can help, please click here.
Most osteopaths work in local private healthcare clinics and you can visit them without the need for a GP referral.
Training and registration
Osteopaths are regulated by law and recognised as an allied health profession by NHS England. This gives them a similar status to dentists or physiotherapists and guarantees the equivalent high level of care.
By law, an osteopath must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) to practise in the UK.
Before an osteopath can obtain registration, they must attain specialist degree-level training, plus complete over 1000 hours of clinical placements (direct patient contact time).
To maintain their registration with GOsC, which is renewed annually, osteopaths must meet mandatory continuous professional development (CPD): keeping skills and knowledge up-to-date and maintaining high standards of professional development.
Areas of Expertise
Pain from arthritis
Hip and knee problems
Shoulder and elbow problems
Sprains and strains
Headaches coming from the neck
What to expect
The first thing is to get the history of your particular problem in your own words, and to establish your goals of treatment. I will ask you some specific questions to get a clear picture of what has been happening and how I can help you.
Next I will carry out a physical examination related to your problem, this may involve removing some clothing. Usually I will get you to perform some specific movements, carry out some orthopaedic tests and perhaps gather some basic neurolocical data.
The consultation and physical exam lead to a diagnosis. This may be specific such as Plantar Fasciitis, or more general encompassing several possibilities such as most back pain. This determines how to treat or whether more tests are required.
Treatment follows in the same session and is likely to consist of gentle or firm massage like techniques, stretching, repetitive joint mobilisation, optional manipulation and even acupuncture. Non of it is compulsory and it is tailored to the individual and their pain limits.
Exercises are given to build on the effects of treatment. These may one or two be very simple movements to perform, or a more complex graded exercise program when required. For this I use software that helps me produce a program with diagrams and video clips.
Along with exercises comes some advice. Simple aftercare suggestions such as heat or ice, postural advice or workstation ergonomics may be covered. Suggestions on how to pace yourself if wishing to return to sport may also be included.
Follow up visits
Some problems do resolve with one treatment. Follow up visits are necessary for the rest, 2 to 4 being typical. During these the history taking and examination are shorter as we already have much of that information and the emphasis is on treatment, exercises and advice.
Follow up visits
If you have a problem not suitable for treatment or not responding to treatment then we need to rethink. I will refer you on, usually to your GP with a letter expalining my thinking and perhaps suggesting an opinion from a specialist with a view to a scan or other tests.