What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a hands-on healthcare profession specialising in the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. It considers the patient in the context of their life, and tries to assess not only the presenting problem but the collection of predisposing factors which lead to it, and works to help restore patients’ ability to compensate for temporary issues.

Treatments span the whole range of musculoskeletal techniques, often including firm massage and joint manipulation.

It is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as treatment for low back and neck pain, and is also used for digestive and circulatory problems, cramp and spasms, and joint pains amongst others. While in the UK osteopathy is mainly used for treating back and neck pain, historically, osteopaths used to treat all manner of conditions such as high blood pressure, digestive disorders and infectious diseases. Recent evidence on the effect of osteopathy on the immune system suggests a solid theoretical basis for many of these techniques. It therefore seems reasonable to reassess the ability of manual therapy to improve systemic health.