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.
Osteopaths also carry out many of the diagnostic procedures used in a conventional medical assessment and diagnosis. All the Osteopaths practising at the Summertown Clinic are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), which is the governing body for Osteopaths. To be registered with the GOsC Osteopaths must have graduated from a recognised college, be properly insured, and adhere to specific standards of practice much like GPs.
Most of the main Private Health Insurers, including BUPA, now cover Osteopathic treatment. If you have private health cover do check with your insurance company to see if they will pay for all or part of your treatment.
What can I expect on my first visit to an osteopath?
At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.
Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body’s points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a ‘package’ of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.
The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
Osteopathy can help with a wide range of different conditions, and though as osteopaths we treat you as a patient rather than just the area of pain, we have proven (evidence based) success at treating:

  • generalised aches and pains,
  • joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise*
  • arthritic pain,
  • general, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)*
  • uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e. whiplash)*
  • headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)* / migraine prevention
  • frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences*
  • circulatory problems,
  • cramp,
  • digestion problems,
  • joint pains, lumbago,
  • sciatica,
  • muscle spasms,
  • neuralgia,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • inability to relax,
  • rheumatic pain,
  • minor sports injuries and tensions

This however is by no means an exhaustive list, many of our patients find that seeing an osteopath can help with a wide range of other conditions, and helps with an overall sense of well being where a cure is not possible.

FAQ’s
  1. 1
    What can I expect on my first visit to see the osteopath?
    At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.
    Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body’s points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a ‘package’ of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.
    The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
  2. 2
    Do I need a GP referal to see an osteopath?
    No. As highly trained primary care practitioners we are trained to clinically diagnose, and assess our patients using a range of different conventional medical tests, and osteopathic tests. GP’s can refer to us and this is happening more frequently since the NICE (National Institute of Clinic Excellence Guidelines) for non-specific low back pain stipulated referal to an osteopath would be deemed best practice in for patients with this problem. The only time this may be necessary however would be if an insurance policy required an inital consultation with a GP.
  3. 3
    What’s the difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor
    This is a commonly asked question and one that is difficult to answer simply. The reason for this is that they are both very similar, and like most activities that are similar to each other, both wish to maintain their independent identities. Essentially the major difference is with regard to one of the principles which underpins the intention with which the practitioner treats their patient. Originally osteopathy focused on fluid dynamics, and blood/lymph flow, however the early chiropractors thought nerve supply was more important which led them to being more spinally orientated. Since then both therapies have become more holistic and there is a great deal of cross over.

Our Osteopaths (please click to learn more about them…):