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What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is the science of human mechanics. It is the system of diagnosis and treatment which lays emphasis on the structural and mechanical problems of the body, which may lead to disease.

Osteopathy is a method of diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions using the body’s musculo-skeletal system for people from birth to old age.

We consider the whole body and your individual circumstances when determining the cause of your symptoms, meaning the area giving you symptoms may not be the only part of your body that requires treatment.

Osteopathy and the Body

Although osteopathy’s reputation is mainly built on the treatment of back problems we are trained to consider the function of the entire body and so can give our attention to many other areas including:

  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Osteo-arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches associated with neck problems
  • Sciatica
  • Minor sports injuries
  • Inability to relax

History of Osteopathy

Osteopathy was founded at the end of the 19th Century by an American doctor, Andrew Taylor Still. In 1917 the first school was set up in London and there are now eight osteopathic schools with over two thousand osteopaths in Britain. In 1935 the GCRO (General Council and Register of Osteopaths) was set up to control standards of training and an ethical code of practice.

In 1993 the Osteopaths Act was passed, giving osteopaths state recognition and the same responsibility for patients as doctors and dentists. The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was set up in May 1999 so that no-one can call themselves an osteopath unless registered with the GOsC.

Osteopathy Training

Registered Osteopaths have trained full time for four years at the recognised schools. The pre-clinical course is equivalent to that of medical school, allowing students to make an orthodox diagnosis and to recognise the presence of serious pathology. The osteopathic student receives advanced training in the detailed examination of the musculoskeletal system and this is followed by over one thousand hours of supervised clinical training, allowing students to absorb the art and science of osteopathy.