The ABC’s of Osteopathy

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a manual therapy that exists within the world of physical medicine. Although Osteopathy was first defined in 1874 by its founder A T Still, it is thought that a lot of the skills used within Osteopathic practice pre-date this time and have evolved since. It differs from other manual therapies because of its founding principles, which are: the body has the capacity to heal itself if it’s in the right environment, there has to be an integration of mind, body, and spirit, and the structure and function have a reciprocal relationship.

What is an Osteopath?

We are primary healthcare professionals regulated by law. Training is at degree level and Osteopaths complete 4/5 year Masters Degrees and over 1,000 clinical hours before qualifying.

When should I see an Osteopath?

I get asked this question a lot. But it really depends on the individual. However, I recommend going to see an Osteopath: if an injury or pain has persisted, or if you’re currently struggling with a certain aspect of mobility/flexibility and it’s not improving, or if you’re thinking about taking up/trying some new activities/movements and are unsure about your capacity to do so.

The patients I work with at Reebok Crossfit Thames mainly fall into 3 categories: 1) ‘Prehab’ –  When athletes are leading up to a competition and know their training volume will be high, and they want to be in peak condition.  2) ‘Rehab’ – When athletes need to rehabilitate from an injury. 3) ‘Mohab’ (I just made this term up!)  – When athletes seek help to address painless mobility issues.

Why should I see an Osteopath?

You should see an Osteopath if you think an aspect of your physical being is not ideal, and you want it to be better. 

For those of you who like an EBM approach to your ‘whys’, check out the meta-analysis concluding that Osteopathic Manipulation significantly reduces lower back pain, or the NICE guidelines which advocate Osteopathic manipulation, or the recent BEAM trial which concluded that spinal manipulation can benefit lower back pain.

I hope you feel a little more enlightened about the world of Osteopathy.