Osteopathy is a way of detecting and treating damaged parts of the body such as muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves. When the body is balanced and efficient, just like a well-tuned engine, it will function with the minimum of wear and tear, leaving more energy for living.

Osteopathy is regulated

The title "osteopath" became protected by law from May 2000 and as a result it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as an osteopath in the UK unless registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Only practitioners meeting high standards of safety and competency are accepted on to this register.


Potentially everybody, of any age, could benefit from osteopathy. Osteopathy is a hands-on, drug-free therapy. If a problem is recent, you may only need one visit. If you suffer from a long-term problem, it may take a little longer but can still be treated successfully.

Conditions treated

Most people associate osteopathic treatment with back pain, and research shows a high level of supporting evidence for its efficiency. Patients consult with a wide range of problems, from sciatica or frozen shoulder to RSI and sports injuries. Pain associated with arthritis and discomfort from digestive problems can also be treated using osteopathic techniques.

Osteopathic training allows the practitioner to recognise and understand health conditions. If other treatment is more appropriate, you may be advised to see another practitioner, such as your GP.

Osteopaths do not have prescribing rights. No medications or drugs are kept on the premises.

What to wear

You may be asked to undress to your underwear. However, if this would make you feel uncomfortable, loose clothing such as shorts and t-shirts can be worn. No jeans, please. Currently, patients are to wear a fluid resistant face mask (provided) while attending the clinic. 

Further information:


(The General Osteopathic Council)


(The Institute of Osteopathy).

With thanks to the late Peter Mason for original text, and to Dr Alastair West for above photo.