Osteopaths specialise in the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal conditions (problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body). All osteopaths undertake a rigorous 4 year university degree in order to become a practitioner. The osteopathy degree course includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition and biomechanics, plus at least 1,000 hours of clinical training.
Regulated by law
Once qualified, osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council who work to ensure patient safety by maintaining a register of qualified professionals, as well as setting, maintaining and developing standards of osteopathic practice and conduct. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath in the UK, unless they are registered with the General Osteopathic Council.
Safe, effective treatment
Osteopaths use a number of safe treatment techniques designed to provide effective pain relief as well as relieve muscle tension, enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. These include physical manipulation, stretching and massage. They can also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Your osteopath will always explain what they are doing, ask for your permission, and only ever use techniques you are 100% comfortable with when it comes to treatment, but if you have any questions or concerns at any point, your osteopath will be happy to discuss them with you.
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For more information on the common conditions chiropractors and osteopaths can help with, click here.
To find out what to expect on your first visit to a chiropractor or an osteopath, click here.