WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. To an Osteopath, for your body to work well its structure must also work well. So Osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.
The British Medical Association’s guidance for general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to Osteopaths.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO OSTEOPATHS TREAT?
Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including:
Back and neck pain
Headache and sinus pain
Shoulder and arm problems
Pelvis, hip and leg problems
Postural discomfort during pregnancy
Repetitive strain injuries
Sports and whiplash injuries
Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people.
WHAT DOES AN OSTEOPATH DO?
Before starting to treat you the Osteopath will make a full clinical assessment.
They will take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure they understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. They may ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these can all give clues to help their diagnosis.
They usually look at your posture and how you move your body, and may also assess what happens when they move it for you; seeing what hurts, where and when. The Osteopath will use their hands to identify abnormalities in the structure and function of your body, and to assess areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain.
Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms, but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Treatment is different for every patient but may include touch, gentle massage, stretching, rhythmic joint movement and manipulation to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues and to help the body’s own healing mechanisms. The particular range of techniques the Osteopath uses will depend on your age, fitness and diagnosis; this breadth of approach allows them to focus on every patient’s precise needs.
They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health, improve quality of life and prevent symptoms recurring.
OSTEOPATHY AND PATIENT PROTECTION
To qualify, an Osteopath must study for four to five years to attain 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.
All Osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an Osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety.
BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN OSTEOPATH AT THE WAINWRIGHT THERAPY CENTRE
We have at least one Osteopath available each weekday. We always endeavour to arrange an appointment to suit each individual following contacting us. Anyone wishing to discuss whether Osteopathy is suitable for themselves can speak to an Osteopath beforehand either in person or by telephone.
Many private health insurance schemes offer benefit for osteopathic treatment, although some will require GP or specialist referral prior to treatment.
Mark qualified from the British School of Osteopathy in 1978. He works structurally, his treatment consisting of soft tissue massage, gentle stretching, articulatory and manipulative techniques; he has extensive experience treating patients of all ages.
“Educating the patient to help them to understand their condition is an essential component of my approach. When a cure is not possible, the goal should always be to live with the condition but without the pain.”
“I discovered that osteopathy provides a unique opportunity to treat the patient as a whole person. You deal with the mechanical problems of the body whilst also taking into consideration the patient’s way of life.”
He has a structural approach using soft-tissue, massage and manipulation with a strong interest in sports injuries, optimising functional movement and improving breathing. Mike is a member of the Osteopathic Sports Care Association.
Bill qualified as a Naturopath and Osteopath in 1988 and has been practicing as a Registered Osteopath since then. The majority of his work is osteopathic, but he is interested in nutrition and how it benefits the body’s health.
He works structurally and cranially, and also uses therapeutic ultrasound. Bill treats a wide variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions as well as colic, migraine, sports and whiplash injuries. He enjoys treating people of all ages, from all walks of life, including babies, children, the elderly and expectant mothers.
We have osteopaths registered with AXA, PPP, Simplyhealth (formerly HSA) and Westfield Health.
All our Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council. It is a criminal offence to call oneself an Osteopath if one is not registered. The GOsC will prosecute individuals who practise as Osteopaths but are not on the GOsC register. All our Osteopaths renew their registration each year and have current protection indemnity insurance. They all meet the mandatory continuing professional development requirements. GOsC sets high standards of safety, competence and conduct. To qualify an Osteopath must study for four or five years. The training has emphasis on anatomy and includes more than 1000 hours of Osteopathic technique training.
Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office workers, pregnant women, children and sports people.
Some private health insurance schemes offer benefit for Osteopathic treatment, although some require GP referral prior to treatment. All our Osteopaths are registered with Westfield Health and simplyhealth.
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. 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.
GPs may refer patients to Osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council.
The standards of osteopathic training and practice are maintained and developed by the General Osteopathic Council, the profession’s statutory regulator established under the Osteopaths Act 1993.