What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a safe and effective form of manual therapy that works on the basis that structure governs function (and vice versa). Therefore any given tissue of the body – bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, joint, organ) that is not in its correct alignment or position will be unable to function properly, which may lead to pain, restriction and inflammation.
Osteopathy aims to help the body return to its normal function and works with the body’s own natural healing process via soft tissue techniques (massage), mobilisation of the spine and joints, and occasionally manipulation, which involves a quick but gentle release of a joint.
Osteopaths also practice Cranial and Visceral (organ) Osteopathy, which are particularly effective for children and conditions such as IBS. Although most patients self-refer to an osteopath, GPs and other healthcare practitioners fully recognise Osteopathy as an efficient system of diagnosis and treatment, and commonly work alongside osteopaths.
What do Osteopaths treat?
- General, acute and chronic back ache/back pain
- Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain
- Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
- Arthritic pain
- Minor sports injuries
- Joint pain and lumbago
- Muscle spasms
- Rheumatic pain
- Joint pains, including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis (as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise)
- Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, shoulder/elbow pain arising from musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck)
- Postural strain/problems (e.g. from work, driving or pregnancy)
What happens in a consultation?
Your first consultation with an Osteopath will involve taking a thorough case and medical history, after which the Osteopath will examine you. Usually you will be asked to undress down to you underwear, so please feel free to wear shorts or leggings if this would make you feel more comfortable. You are also welcome to bring a chaperone with you.
After taking you through active movements and performing the relevant orthopaedic and neurological tests, the Osteopath will inform you of their diagnosis and, where appropriate, will proceed with treatment.
The Osteopath will inform you of their proposed treatment plan and give you an idea of how many sessions it is likely to take to resolve your problem. They may also provide you with advice on hot or cold therapy, exercise and posture.
We have two Osteopaths at the York Clinic, Adam and Terri. To book an appointment or for more information, phone 01904 709688 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, or between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our contact form. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.
1. In 2006, the Department of Health published guidelines in recognition of Osteopathy being effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
‘The Musculoskeletal Services Framework. A joint responsibility: doing it differently’ (Department of Health, 2006). Available online.
2. In 2009, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance on the treatment of non-specific low back pain. They stated that manual therapy is recommended for patients who “have been in pain for longer than six weeks but less than one year, where pain may be linked to structures in the back such as joints, muscles and ligaments”.
‘Low back pain: Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain’ (NICE, May 2009). Available online.