‘In the hands of a skilled practitioner, I truly believe that for many types of back pain, osteopathy is a better line of treatment than conventional medicine.’
Dr Hilary Jones
Osteopathy is recognised by the British Medical Association and in 1993 became the first complementary health care profession to be accorded statutory recognition.
Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by the American Andrew Taylor Still. According to Still, all diseases are caused by obstruction of arteries or nerves because of the pressure of maladjusted bones especially of the vertebrae of the spinal column. He therefore maintained that most ailments can be prevented or cured by techniques of spinal manipulation.
Osteopathy is a system of manual treatment to the spine and other parts of the body and its aim is to restore impaired blood and nerve supply to muscular skeletal structures. Osteopathy looks at back pain in relation to the whole spine, pelvis, lower limbs and muscle imbalance. Osteopaths spend a minimum of 4 years training in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, disease processes and clinical examination of muscular and skeletal disorders.
The aim of osteopathy is to correct problems in the body frame, making it easier for the body to function normally and reducing the chances of problems occurring in the future. An osteopath often stretches the soft tissue around the joint to bring back the total range of movement. An osteopath may also advise on posture, lifestyle and stress. Osteopathy and medicine have a lot in common. They use scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology. They both use clinical methods of investigation.
An osteopath knows enough about pathology to recognise conditions that should be referred to a medically qualified practitioner.
Osteopathic medicine holds that true health involves complete physical, mental and social well being, rather than merely the absence of disease. The body is viewed as having a capacity for health that the osteopath can help the individual fulfil. He or she must therefore treat the whole patient, considering such factors as nutrition and mental habits in addition to physical symptoms.