What is Osteopathy?
As per the European Standard on Osteopathic Healthcare, Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which
recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions.
Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs
function as a whole. Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths
can identify types of dysfunction in the body.
Osteopathic treatment includes techniques such as stretching and mobilisation for general treatment of the soft tissues, along with manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, connective tissues and organs.
Osteopaths are primary contact health practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard clinical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, obstetrical and nervous systems.
Osteopaths work frequently alongside other health professionals. The terms osteopathy and osteopathic medicine
are sometimes, and in some countries, used interchangeably.
Which medical conditions can Osteopaths claim to treat?
Based on evidence submitted to CAP prior to November 2016, the ASA and CAP accept that Osteopaths can claim to treat the following:
- Arthritic pain
- Circulatory problems
- Digestive problems
- Frozen shoulder
- Shoulder and elbow pain
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
- Joint pains
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise
- General, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
- Generalised aches and pains
- Migraine prevention
- Minor sports injuries
- Muscle spasms
- Tension and inability to relax
- Rheumatic pain
- Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e. whiplash)