Should I see an osteopath?
Many problems – such as aches and pains, stiff joints, trapped nerves, headaches, sciatica, the list goes on – can be helped by manual therapy and osteopathic treatment. The question which often comes up is which type of therapist would suit you best? The answer to this may depend on your particular problem. It may depend on who your friends or family might recommend. You may be left feeling a little confused.
As an osteopath, I can try to demystify osteopathy for you, giving you a background on what we treat and how we treat. I will also outline our training and regulation.
If you would rather discuss this then call Osteopathy at the Mews, which is based in Eastbourne on 07710 701 273.
what and how we treat
Osteopathic treatment is very versatile and tailored to individual patients. It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment type. An osteopath will take a case history, including details about your symptoms, past problems, medical history, medication and more. You will then be examined and may be required, in some cases, to undress to your underwear (Bridgette Jones pants alert!). A diagnosis should then be discussed.
Osteopathic treatment can help an array of problems and a full list is available on the Osteopathy at the Mews website at http://www.osteopathyatthemews.com/osteopathy/what-osteopathy-can-treat/
The best treatment for you will then be suggested for your consideration. Treatment usually involves stretching, deep tissue massage-type work, and joint articulations. Posture or exercise advice may also be given. Some osteopathic treatment is very gentle, which is useful for treating people if they are very sore after injuries or don’t like firmer treatments. You should let your osteopath know what you feel most comfortable with.
what is the osteopathy training?
In 1993 the Osteopaths Act was passed through Parliament requiring osteopathy to be officially regulated. The General Osteopathic Council was established to:
“work with the public and the osteopathic profession to promote patient safety by setting, maintaining and developing standards of osteopathic practice and conduct” (https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/home/ , 2018)
Osteopathic training was also put under the spot-light. From then on only degree courses were accepted as a relevant level of training. Within the academic course all osteopathy students must complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinic work – with real patients – before qualifying. Today only those who have successfully completed the degree programme can call themselves an osteopath. The title of Osteopath is protected by law.
Once qualified osteopaths have to prove to the regulator that they have completed 30 hours per year of specific Continued Professional Development (CPD). Only when this has been satisfied may they re-register to practise. This CPD may include courses, practice visits, attending meetings with other healthcare professionals, developing specific skills or techniques, or other learning opportunities.
Osteopaths are now considered as Allied Healthcare Practitioners by NHS England. This sets the profession alongside paramedics and physiotherapists, for example. The profession has also established best practice guidelines, which have recently been updated. There is also a body solely dedicated to providing rigorous research evidence to support osteopathic treatment.
To find an osteopath in your area go to the General Osteopathic Council’s register of osteopaths at https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/register-search/. You may also be able to find answers to any other questions you may have.
I hope that makes things a little clearer regards osteopathy.
Gail Crump, Osteopathy at the Mews, Eastbourne. Tel 07710 701 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org