What is Osteopathy?

By Ernesto DE La Cruz Valdes, in-house Osteopath

Osteopathy is a diagnostic and therapy approach for a wide variety of medical disorders. It focuses on the structure and function of the body and is founded on the premise that a person’s health is dependent on the bones, muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues working in harmony.

To an osteopath, for the body to function well, its structure must also function properly. Therefore, osteopaths attempt to return your body to a condition of equilibrium without the use of medicines or surgery. Osteopaths utilise touch, physical manipulation, stretching, and massage to promote joint mobility, relieve muscular tension, improve blood and nerve supply to tissues, and aid the body’s natural healing process. With addition, they may provide recommendations on posture and exercise to aid in rehabilitation, improve health, and prevent recurrence of symptoms.

  • Osteopaths use physical manipulation, stretching and massage with the aim of:
  • increasing the mobility of joints
  • relieving muscle tension
  • reducing pain
  • enhancing the blood supply to tissues
  • helping the body to heal

They use a range of techniques, but not medicines or surgery.

When it’s used

Osteopathy can help with these symptoms

Patients of osteopaths include the young, the elderly, manual labourers, office employees, pregnant women, youngsters, and athletes. Patients seek therapy for a wide range of ailments, including back pain, posture changes during pregnancy, postural issues induced by driving or work strain, arthritis pain, and minor sports injuries.

Most people who see an osteopath do so for help with conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints, such as:

  • lower back pain
  • uncomplicated neck pain (as opposed to neck pain after an injury such as whiplash)
  • shoulder and elbow pain (for example, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder)
  • arthritis
  • problems with the pelvis, hips and legs
  • sports injuries
  • muscle and joint pain associated with driving or work
  • headaches
  • sciatica
  • muscle spasms
  • balance problems
  • stress-related muscle pains

If you’re pregnant, make sure you seek advice from a GP or midwife about your symptoms before you see an osteopath.

Listening and examining

Osteopathy is a patient-centered healthcare system. A first appointment typically lasts between 45 and 60 minutes to enable the osteopath sufficient time to:

Listen and inquire about your condition, general health, additional medical care you are receiving, and medications, and include this information in your case notes. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.

Examine you carefully. The osteopath will likely request that you remove part of your clothing. Inform your osteopath if this causes you discomfort. You should anticipate privacy to undress, as well as a robe or towel. You might request a friend or family member to accompany you and be there during your treatment.

Request that you perform simple motions and stretches in order to assess your posture and mobility. Due to the nature of the human body, discomfort or stiffness in one area may indicate a problem elsewhere.

Palpation is the examination of the health of the joints, tissues, and ligaments using the hands and a highly developed sense of touch.

Your osteopath will also look for indicators of significant diseases that they cannot treat, and they may recommend that you see your primary care physician or go to the hospital. They should send you a letter detailing what they perceive to be the issue.

Diagnostics and therapy


 Osteopathy specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of musculoskeletal and other associated conditions.

Your osteopath will provide a detailed explanation of their findings (their diagnosis) and discuss a suitable treatment plan with you. They will describe the treatment’s benefits as well as any potential hazards. It is essential to comprehend and agree upon the goals of the treatment, as well as the expected number of sessions required to produce a perceptible difference in your state of mind.

Self-help methods and exercise guidance may be provided to aid with your rehabilitation, prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms, and expedite your recovery.

Continuous care

Due to the physical nature of the treatment, it is common to experience soreness during the first 24 to 48 hours. Your osteopath will describe any potential adverse consequences. If you have any concerns, it is imperative that you contact an osteopath for help. Your problem may take multiple visits before it is remedied. At each subsequent visit, the osteopath will evaluate your progress and obtain your approval for any adjustments to the treatment plan.

Is a doctor’s referral necessary?

The majority of patients recommend themselves to osteopaths for treatment. This website’s statutory Register of osteopaths can be used to locate nearby osteopaths.

 Although referral from a primary care physician is not required, you are advised to keep your primary care physician informed so that your medical records are up-to-date and thorough. This will ensure that you receive the best possible care from both doctors. With your permission, your osteopath may report your condition and treatment to your primary care physician. If it would be useful, you can also request a letter for your employer. If you’d like to know more or book a consultation with Ernesto, contact the clinic on 01732 666050 or email info@edensportsclinic.com