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  • What is Osteopathy?
  • What kinds of problems can Osteopathy help with?
  • What can I expect when I visit an Osteopath?
  • How many treatments will I need?
  • Do I need a referral from my GP?
  • How does Osteopathy work?
  • Can I have Osteopathy on my private medical insurance?
  • What are the origins of Osteopathy?


What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established recognised system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It is distinctive by the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.

What kinds of problems can Osteopathy help with?

Whilst back pain is the most common problem seen, Osteopathy can help with a wide variety of problems including changes to posture in pregnancy, repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and sports injuries among many others.

If you are unsure if osteopathic treatment would be helpful, please contact the clinic and one of our Osteopaths will happy to discuss your problem with you.

What can I expect when I visit an Osteopath?

When you visit an Osteopath for the first time a full case history will be taken and you will be given an examination. You will normally be asked to remove some of your clothing and to perform a simple series of movements. The Osteopath will then use a highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. The Osteopath may need additional investigations such as x-ray, scans or blood tests. This will allow a full diagnosis and suitable treatment plan to be developed for you.

How many treatments will I need?

Osteopathy is patient centred, which means treatment is geared to you as an individual. Your Osteopath should be able to give you an indication of your treatment plan after your first visit. For some acute pain one or two treatments may be all that is necessary. Chronic conditions may need ongoing maintenance. An average is 4-6 sessions.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

A formal referral from your GP is not necessary. If you may want to claim on your health insurance some require that you obtain your doctors permission first.

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques. These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilisation or specific thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint. Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients. This allows the body to return to efficient, normal function.

Can I have Osteopathy on my private medical insurance?

Yes, most major private health insurers fund Osteopathic treatment. Reimbursement will depend on the insurer and the plan you have chosen. Contact the helpline of your insurance company who will explain the best way to claim on your individual policy.

Your spouse, partner or children might also be able to receive osteopathic treatment on your policy. At Sneyd Park clinic our practitioner are all registered with AXA PPP, Aviva BWCA and BUPA.

What are the origins of Osteopathy?

Andrew Taylor Still, born in 1828 in Virginia, USA, trained as a doctor according to the system of medical education available at the time. As time went on he followed a different path from many of his peers, eschewing alcohol and the habit of contemporary physicians of administering crude drugs at their disposal in heroic quantities. This drove him to seek new methods of treating sickness. The outcome of his research was the application of physical treatment as a specialised form of treatment for which he coined the name 'Osteopathy'.

In 1892 A T Still organised a school in Kirksville, Missouri, for the teaching of Osteopathy and it was from these small beginnings that Osteopathy was brought to England early in the 1900's. The British School of Osteopathy was opened in 1917 and has remains Europes largest Osteopathic establishment to date. There are now over 3800 osteopaths practising in the uk.