What is Osteopathy?

History of Osteopathy

The practice of osteopathy has a long history in the UK. The first school of osteopathy was established in London in 1917 by John Martin Littlejohn. After many years of existing outside the mainstream of health care provision, the osteopathic profession in the UK was finally accorded formal recognition by Parliament in 1993 by the Osteopaths Act.[62] This legislation now provides the profession of osteopathy the same legal framework of statutory self-regulation as other healthcare professions such as medicine and dentistry.

Staffordshire based Osteopath at work

To qualify as an osteopath

To qualify an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. 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.

Osteopathic Treatment

Although osteopaths treat many different conditions, most people think of them as back specialists and back problems is what many osteopaths treat a lot of the time. Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms only but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths use a wide range of techniques, including massage, cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as 'cranial osteopathy') and joint mobilization and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient’s precise needs.

Osteopathic care is by no means restricted to back pain, osteopaths commonly treat a wide range of other conditions, many related to posture problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint degeneration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health. Osteopathy is a flourishing healthcare profession in the UK with around 30,000 people currently consulting osteopaths every working day.