Despite its name, Osteopathy concerns much more than just bones. Osteopathy is a non-invasive therapy that targets muscles, joints & nerves.
Many people think of Osteopathy as a purely manual (or manipulative) therapy; while this is an important part of it, it’s not the full story. Osteopathy is also a holistic treatment that can be used to tackle a wide range of injuries, pain and disorders.
If you’ve lived with pain for a long time, Osteopathic treatment can succeed where others approaches have failed. Using a range of techniques, we will work to relieve pain, improve your mobility and help you get on with your life, whether you’re suffering from a sport or work-related injury, arthritis, sciatica or other problems.
As well as offering various forms of pain relief at the Clinic, our osteopaths can offer advice on self-help methods for use at home. Osteopathy can use a range of techniques for a patient, but it does not involve surgery or drug treatments.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy works with the underlying structure (and related functions) of the human body. Osteopathy works on the premise that the well-being of a person is dependent upon the smooth, connected and cohesive function of their skeleton and bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues.
Briefly put, if the structure of the body is in a state of balance, then the body as a whole will work better.
Osteopathy can detect, treat and prevent many physical health problems by using physical manipulation, stretching and massage of a person’s muscles and joints. These techniques not only selectively relieve tension in a person’s musculature, but also improve the blood supply to the muscles and nerves; these actions also help the body’s own healing systems.
An osteopath is also able to give advice on good posture, and exercises to help recovery, to prevent symptoms recurring, and to promote good general health.
Osteopathy at the Haslemere Clinic
The osteopathic team at the Haslemere Clinic has eight members: (Andrew Wilson-Smith, Martin Coleman, Beth Forrest, Tatiana Wiles, Peter Black, Jeremy Feilder, Lyndsy Mills and Philip Allen).
All of our Osteopaths are fully qualified and highly experienced practitioners (see Regulation section on this page). Our osteopathic treatments are very highly regarded and receive high praise, as shown by many positive reviews and testimonials from our clients.
Please view our guide to fees here.
You may also be interested in our other specialisms: Cranial Osteopathy, Osteopathy for babies & children, Osteopathy during pregnancy, and the case studies of Andrew Wilson-Smith (Osteopath and Naturopath, and our Orthotics specialist)
How can Osteopathy help me?
Osteopathy is a method of diagnosing and treating a very wide range of medical conditions. A list of the most common conditions is set out below. Remember that treatment from a qualified osteopath is also designed to generally promote the body’s own health and healing mechanisms.
Common upper body conditions…
Shoulder pain treatment
Neck pain or neck injury
Golfer’s elbow (‘Golder’s elbow’ is similar to ‘Tennis elbow’ and is also known as ‘medial epicondylitis’. Generally pain or stiffness is experienced where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony part of the inside of your elbow, but often the pain can extend to the forearm and wrist. Caused by repetitive, forceful wrist and finger motions, the condition can actually affect anyone from racquet or throwing sports, weight training or indeed some occupations such as building or carpentry).
Frozen shoulder (Frozen shoulder can be a very painful condition, and it can last for years. While its causes are not fully understood, it manifests by the tissues around the shoulder joint becoming inflamed, causing pain and restricting movement).
Rotator cuff injury (The ‘rotator cuff ‘ is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint).
Common lower body conditions…
(Please note: Some of the conditions below can also be helped by the use of Orthotics – please see our Orthotics and Gait analysis page).
Lower back pain
Knee pain or knee injury
Acillies pain (The Acillies tendon is the strongest & largest tendon in the body and it connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Although very strong, the acillies tendon is surprisingly vulnerable to injury; it has very high forces placed upon it, and has a relatively limited blood supply).
Lumbago (Lumbago or general pain in the lower back is very common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips).
Sciatica (Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, is irritated. The condition is characterised by pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the bottom, legs, feet, toes, and sometimes the back).
Shin splints (Sometimes called tibial stress syndrome, Shin splints refers to pain in the lower leg, specifically along the tibial bone. Shin splints are generally caused by placing repeated weight or significant exertion on the lower legs and lower leg muscles. Shin splints are mostly suffered by athletes, dancers and even those in the military where running under loads is common).
Slipped disc (This condition is also known as a herniated, prolapsed, or bulging disc. A slipped disc is when a soft cushion of tissue between the vertebrae in your spine pushes or bulges out. Often the bulging disc will press on the nerves running down the centre of the spinal column, and this can cause intense pain and discomfort).
Osteopathy can help the following General conditions…
Aches and Pains
Joint pain treatment
Neck and back pain
A Brief History of Osteopathy
Osteopathy or Osteopathic medicine was founded in the 1870’s by American physician and Civil War surgeon, Dr Andrew Taylor Still.
Still viewed the body as having the natural ability to recover from ill health when functioning effectively, and believed that human illness was rooted in problems with the musculoskeletal system. He posited that Osteopathic manipulations could solve these problems by harnessing the body’s own self-repairing potential.
He developed an integrated system that used manual techniques to affect the function of the body and thus enable it to restore its natural health.
Still described the foundations of osteopathy in his book “The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy” in 1892, and in the same year he founded the ‘American School of Osteopathy’ in Kirkville, USA. He had thus established the first medical school that could produce physicians trained under this philosophy.
In 1898 the American Institute of Osteopathy started the ‘Journal of Osteopathy ‘and by that time four states recognised osteopathy as a profession.
Osteopathy arrives in Britain
One of Andrew Taylor Still’s early students, John Martin Littlejohn, came to Britain in 1913 and set up a practice in London. His aim was to set up ‘a standard of osteopathic science, to show the public what the science is and to clinically demonstrate its efficiency‘.
By 1917 Littlejohn had established the first school of osteopathy in the UK, the ‘British School of Osteopathy’. He subsequently served as Dean of the School for over 40 years.
After many years of existing outside the medical mainstream, osteopathy in the UK was accorded formal recognition by Parliament in 1993 by the ‘Osteopaths Act’. This legislation now provides the profession of osteopathy the same legal framework of statutory self-regulation as other medical professions (e.g. medicine or dentistry).
Ongoing practise and research has meant that Osteopathy has evolved greatly, and it is now a profession that is practised internationally and is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Health Service (NHS), and many other international bodies.
Osteopathic medicine is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council, (GosC), See the ‘Regulation’ section below …
“The Osteopaths Act 1993” is an Act of the Parliament in the United Kingdom that regulates the practice of osteopathy. The Act received Royal Assent in July 1993, and with the Act came the creation the ‘General Osteopathic Council’. (See also: ‘The Register of Osteopaths’ below).
The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) exists to ‘provide for the regulation of the profession of osteopathy’. The GosC sets and monitors practice standards and provides guidance to osteopaths to ensure that patients receive quality care. For further details please visit their website at the following link: https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/
The GOsC also maintains key functions within the profession including: setting ‘Standards of Practice’, vetting and approving ‘Education and Training’ standards and courses, and maintaining ‘Professional Development Standards’ or CPD (Continuing Professional Development).
The Register of Osteopaths
Central to the work of The General Osteopathic Council (GosC), is to maintain a professional register of qualified osteopaths. By law osteopaths must be registered with the GOsC in order to practise in the UK.
Anyone can use the register to check an osteopath’s registration. An osteopath can be searched for by second name, registration number, town, county, postcode and country. You can check the register at the following link: https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/register-search/
Osteopaths at the Haslemere clinic are suitably qualified, individually registered and accredited.
The clinic’s registration page can be viewed at the following link: https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/register-search/practices/3514-the-haslemere-clinic/
There are many organisations, academic and clinical, that continue evidence based research into the development of Osteopathic manipulative treatment.
Osteopathic Research is an active field, and includes the development and efficacy of new or enhanced techniques, peer reviewed articles and clinical trials.
For more information on those organisations involved in research, see our authoritative links section below.
Useful Authoritative Links
National Council for Osteopathic Research – https://www.ncor.org.uk/
The University College of Osteopathy – https://www.uco.ac.uk/research
The Brtish College of Osteopathic Medicine – https://www.bcom.ac.uk/research/
Contact us to book a consultation with one of our Osteopaths here