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Osteopathy: FAQ

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

In this blog we’ve compiled the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get asked as osteopaths. Keep on reading to learn all about us, what we do and how we can help you and your family.

What is osteopathy?

Probably the most common question we get asked. Osteopathy is an approach to healthcare and treating the body whereby an osteopath (a government-registered, allied health practitioner) carries out clinical assessments, diagnoses, and applies hands-on therapy, as well as providing postural, workplace, diet, exercise, stress-management and lifestyle advice, with the aim of helping a person achieve better health.

What can an osteopath treat?

Osteopath’s can treat a wide range of conditions including:

·       Back and neck pain

·       Shoulder and elbow pain

·       Pelvic, hip and leg pain

·       Headaches

·       Pregnancy-related pain and postural problems

·       Arthritic joint pain

·       Minor sports injuries (including ligament sprains and muscle strains)

And so much more…

Can an osteopath only treat adults?

An osteopath can treat people of any age. An osteo’s patient list will contain a wide variety of people including newborns, children, teenagers, middle-aged, elderly, pregnant, post-natal… basically everyone! Some osteopaths may choose to specialise in treating newborns or young children (i.e. paediatrics) or women’s health and pregnancy-related conditions. Others may solely treat in a sports setting, working closely with a team or club. You will also see osteopaths working within the aged care setting. We are very versatile!

Osteopathy… that’s bones, isn’t it?

You could be forgiven for making the common mistake that osteopath’s treat bones. After all, if you look up the word ‘osteo’ in the dictionary, it is defined as “relating to the bones”. The Greek word ‘Osteon’ also translates in English as ‘bone’. There are also several medical conditions that begin with ‘osteo’ that all relate to the bones and joints of the body (i.e. osteoarthritis, osteoporosis). That being said, having osteo in the name is where it stops… Osteopaths treat the whole body, not a single area in particular.

Do I have to get undressed when I see an osteopath?

Osteopaths rely heavily on being able to feel what is happening with the body through touch. If you have injured your shoulder, then your osteopath is going to need to see and feel what is happening with your shoulder. And as the shoulder relates closely to the neck and back, they may need to see these areas too. Therefore, it is likely you will have to remove some items of clothing in order to be assessed properly by your practitioner, just as you do when you see the doctor sometimes. You will NEVER be asked to remove all your clothes and be naked. Many practices provide gowns for those people who are a little shy or self-conscious about exposing a body part. Others will make use of towels to keep areas of the body covered when it is not necessary to see or touch them. Your osteo will always do their utmost to make you feel comfortable whilst in the treatment room.

These are just five of the most common questions we get asked here in the clinic. If you still have unanswered questions (and we’re sure you will have), call us today on 07733201225 or email us at and we will do our best to answer your enquiries.

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