An osteopath aims to restore the normal function and stability of the joints to help the body heal itself. They use a hands on technique to treat your body in a variety of ways, using a mixture of gentle and forceful techniques.
Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.
Osteopathy is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.
Osteopaths use physical manipulation, stretching and massage with the aim of:
- increasing the mobility of joints
- relieving muscle tension
- reducing pain
- enhancing the blood supply to tissues
- helping the body to heal
They use a range of techniques, but not medicines or surgery.
When it’s used
Most people who see an osteopath do so for help with conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints, such as:
- lower back pain
- uncomplicated neck pain (as opposed to neck pain after an injury such as whiplash)
- shoulder pain and elbow pain (for example, tennis elbow)
- problems with the pelvis, hips and legs
- sports injuries
- muscle and joint pain associated with driving, work or pregnancy
You do not need to be referred by your GP to see an osteopath.