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. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
How is Osteopathy Regulated?
All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year and we provide registrants with an annual licence to practise. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths have current professional indemnity insurance, remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory con-tinuing professional development requirements.
Who and What do Osteopaths Treat?
Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, joint pain, changes to posture in pregnancy, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and minor sports injuries.
What are the Risks to my Health from Osteopathic Treatment?
The vast majority of treatment involves little or no reaction to treatment. Some people, however, feel a little bruised for up to 48 hours after treatment. On rare occasions, there may be actual evidence of bruising or redness of the skin, although every effort is made to avoid this during the treatment process.
Please note that certain medication that you are taking, may exacerbate this bruising. Please advise your osteopath of any change of medication prior to each treatment.
There is always an element of risk of serious harm with all manipulation, especially involving High Velocity Thrust (HVT) manipulation to the cervical spine, although the incidence of this is extremely low.
We make every effort to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for manipulation and that this is the correct selection of technique that will markedly improve the outcome, without harm, and for each individual patient. We use our professional experience and take into account your exposure to risk in each individual case**.
Certain treatment techniques DO NOT have to be used. If you are at all concerned about a particular treatment technique then please advise me and I will AVOID USING THESE TECHNIQUES.
THERE IS NEARLY ALWAYS AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
Your osteopath will try to explain all diagnoses and treatment, in detail, before commencing. If you feel you have not understood the treatment objectives and risks, please stop your osteopath going any further and ask her to explain.
If it is felt that it is inappropriate for treatment you will be advised by your osteopath. You may also be recommended that you seek further advice from your GP or another specialist. The osteopath will ask for your consent to write a letter of referral to them.
**Your medical history, family history, age, frailty, anxiety, medication, neurological indicators and stability of the local area are all taken into account.
The most minimum of force is used with minimal leverage techniques applied.