Osteopathy is an increasingly popular treatment; it revolves around the muscles, nerves and joints. Osteopathy focuses on the treatment of conditions relating to the muscles, nerves and joints in order to improve the overall health of an individual; it is based on the principle that problems with the structure of the body may inhibit the function of the organs inside the body. Osteopathy is suitable for people of all ages. Osteopaths use their hands to stimulate muscle contraction, improve circulation and improve muscle tone.
What is osteopathy used for?
Most people associate osteopathy with back pain but it can also be used to treat other problems, including:
- Neck pain
- Back problems (including sciatica and stiffness)
- Pain in the joints
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Poor posture
- Sports injuries (including overuse injuries)
- Colic (in babies)
- Digestive disorders
- Ear, nose and throat problems
Is osteopathy available on the NHS?
Osteopathy is available in some areas of the country but it is not widely available on the NHS yet; the number of trusts using osteopaths is increasing, however it is still fairly uncommon. If you want to find out if the NHS provides osteopathy in your area you can consult the NHS website to contact your local Primary Care Trust.
Does osteopathy work?
Osteopathy has been proven to be effective in the treatment of some conditions, including back and neck pain, but in some cases it has been proven ineffective. Osteopathy is widely regarded as an effective treatment but research is still ongoing and some critics are still sceptical.
How much does osteopathy cost?
If you choose to have private osteopathy you should expect to pay anywhere between £30 and £60 per half hour session; prices vary according to the location of the clinic and the expertise of the osteopath. You can find details of all qualified registered osteopaths in your area by consulting the General Osteopathic Council website.