Image by Toa Heftiba


Osteopathy is a conservative and non-invasive form of diagnosis and management of

musculoskeletal conditions. We use palpation and diagnostic testing to assess the condition the

patient presents with, and then use a mixture of manipulation, mobilisations, tissue treatment and

stretching to help aid the body’s recovery.

Osteopaths have been regulated by statute since 1993 by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). A

recent study of 1,700 osteopathic patients found that 96% of patients were satisfied/very satisfied

with their care. Early findings taken from the National Council of Osteopathic Research also shows

high satisfaction and experience levels from osteopathic patients (Institute of Osteopathy, 2019).

Osteopathy is for all walks of life and can help with a much wider range of problems than a lot of

people expect. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the conditions that Osteopaths can treat from the

current evidence-base. This is approved by the ASA regulatory body.

  • Arthritic and rheumatic pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Sciatica

  • General, acute and chronic back pain

  • Lumbago

  • Mechanical neck pain

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Shoulder and elbow pain

  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) and migraine prevention

  • Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise

  • Generalised aches and pains

  • Minor sports injuries

  • Muscle spasms

  • Neuralgia (nerve pain)

  • Tension and inability to relax

  • Circulatory problems

  • Cramp

  • Digestion problems


The term Osteopathy was coined in the 19 th century by Andrew Taylor Still based on his

impression that ‘man is triune’ (Still, 1902). The word is derived from the Greek as a compound of

two words; ‘osteon’ meaning bone and ‘pathos’ meaning suffering or disease.

According to Still, the human body would only function correctly when the convergence of

the mind, body and spirit are working as a unit. His philosophy was that the osteopath is simply a

mechanic with a masterful knowledge of anatomy and physiology (Still, 1902).

By treating patients, he aimed to allow the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to

function harmoniously together to help the body’s self-healing mechanism. When this balance is

disrupted, then the body can express this via musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Based on this,

he implies that the osteopath will not directly cure the ailment, but he will simply be the

intermediary between the patient and the body’s own natural self-healing process.