Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. Using a combination of osteopathic and conventional diagnostic techniques, treatment is based on mobilising and manipulative procedures tailored to the individual patient, reinforced by guidance on diet, lifestyle and exercise. This approach emphasises the integration of the musculoskeletal system with other body systems, and the influence that impaired function of each has on the other. It also seeks to empower patients in assisting their recovery to good health.
Osteopathy is a safe and effective treatment for anyone from newborns to the elderly, and everyone in-between. Osteopaths are strictly regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and are required to renew their registration each year. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory continuing professional development requirements to maintain high standards of competency, conduct and safety.
Most patients visit an osteopath of their own accord, but some may be referred by a doctor. Osteopaths are trained to recognise when osteopathy will not help a medical condition, and will refer a patient to a GP when necessary.
The Department of Health and The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have both published guidelines recommending Osteopathy for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.