The Questions You Ask (F.A.Q.'s)

What is Osteopathy ?

Osteopathy is an established recognised system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It recognises that much of the pain and disability which we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease. [Description by General Osteopathic Council, 28th October 1998]

What kinds of problems osteopathy help with ?

Whilst back pain is the most common problem seen, osteopathy can help with a wide variety of problems including changes to posture in pregnancy, babies with colic or sleeplessness, repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, children with glue ear, the pain of arthritis and sports injuries, among many others. Your Osteopath will be happy to advise whether they can help with your own particular problem.

What can I expect when I visit an osteopathy ?

When you visit an osteopath for the first time a full case history will be taken and you will be given an examination. You will normally be asked to remove some of your clothing and to perform a simple series of movements. The osteopath will then use a highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. The osteopath may need additional investigations such as x-ray or blood tests. This will allow a full diagnosis and suitable treatment plan to be developed for you.

How much do treatments cost ?

Treatments are £45 for a 30 minute session. Often the first session is longer and may cost slightly more.

How many treatments will I need ?

Osteopathy is patient centred, which means treatment is geared to you as an individual. Your osteopath should be able to give you an indication after your first visit. For some acute pain one or two treatments may be all that is necessary. Chronic conditions may need ongoing maintenance. An average is 6 to 8 sessions.

Do I need a referral from my GP ?

A formal referral from your GP is not necessary, the majority of osteopathic patients self-refer.

How does osteopathy work ?

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques. These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilisation or the high velocity thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint. Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients. This allows the body to return to efficient normal function.

How can I be sure I am in safe hands when visiting an osteopath ?

A Registered Osteopath has demonstrated to the General Osteopathic Council via a detailed application process that they are a safe and competent practitioner, that they have adequate malpractice insurance and have agreed to abide by a Code of Practice.

I have noticed many osteopaths have the letters DO and/or BSc(Ost) after their names what does this mean ?

These are osteopathic qualifications. The DO stands for Diploma in Osteopathy the BSc is a degree in osteopathy. The length of training is the same for both - at least four years full-time training. The diploma course has been around the longest but recently some courses have been validated by universities allowing them to offer their students degree passes.