What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established, recognised system of diagnosis and treatment that focuses on the structural integrity and function of the body. It is recognised by the British Medical Association as a discrete clinical discipline. It is distinctive in the fact it is holistic and recognises that a lot of the pain and discomfort we feel is derived from changes in the function of the body’s structure as well as damage caused by disease.


Osteopathy uses many of the same diagnostic and examination procedures used in conventional medicine. Its core strength however lies in the unique way the patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint. This is complemented by the distinctive manual methods of treatment applied to suit the needs of each individual patient.


Osteopaths use their hands both to investigate the underlying causes of pain and to carry out treatment. Treatment focuses on the musculo-skeletal systems of the body (the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints etc) and uses a variety of techniques. These may vary from muscle and connective tissue stretching, rhythmical joint movements (articulation) to high velocity thrust techniques. More gentle techniques are often also used, especially in the very young and more elderly.


Osteopathy is a safe, natural and non-invasive treatment tailored to the individual patient. Osteopaths assess and treat people of any age from the elderly to the newborn and from pregnant women to sports people. Osteopathy is mostly associated with the treatment of low back and neck pain. However, it is not confined to the study of backs, which is a common misconception. Many other conditions can be successfully alleviated with osteopathic treatment.


All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).