What is Osteopathy?


Osteopathy is a system of investigation, diagnosis and treatment founded by Andrew Taylor Still in 1874 due to the loss of his children due to dangerous orthodox medical practices of the time and partly due to experimentation with treating himself for his own physical ailments.

There is almost certainly some influence of “bone setters” and what might be called rudimentary physical therapists of the day on his theories as these skills are documented as being practised at the time and were usually passed down familial lines.

Osteopathy has been carried and developed by an ever growing number of practitioners, from starting in Virginia, USA to now being practiced and taught widely throughout Europe and Australia as well as many other countries.

Frequently asked questions about Osteopathy include:

What is the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

There are more similarities than differences between these practitioners in all honesty. This is already suggested by the fact that B.J Palmer, the founder of Chiropractic, was in fact a student of Andrew Taylor Still.

Both Osteopaths and Chiropractors study for 4 years, with the first two years being predominantly theoretical besides the practice of therapeutic techniques and the final two years are primarily based in a live clinic situation with ongoing classroom teaching.

The only significant difference between their education’s is that Chiropractors are taught a level of radiology which enables them to both refer for and take X-rays in practise. Some Osteopaths do an additional qualification to enable them to do this as well.  

After qualification one key difference between Chiropractors and Osteopaths is that on the whole Chiropractors do more joint manipulation. However this is more accurately assessed between individual practitioners as some Osteopaths will do more manipulation than Chiropractors.

There is actually more difference between practitioners in the same profession:

Cranio-sacral Osteopathic technique is an extremely gentle and subtle technique which is far more different from structural Osteopathic techniques such as manipulation, stretching and articulation than an Osteopath and a Chiropractor who both practise structural techniques.

Similarly a McTimoney Chiropractor will use what look like pinching movements on the soft tissues as their sole form of treatment. This differs widely from Chiropractors whose treatments centre around joint manipulations, or adjustments as they are commonly referred to be Chiropractors.

What kind of conditions do Osteopaths treat?:

•Lower Back Pain

•Upper Back Pain

•Neck Pain

•Hip Pain

•Knee Pain

•Ankle Pain

•Foot Pain

•Shoulder Pain

•Elbow Pain

•Wrist  Pain

•Hand Pain

To name a few!

Contact today to find out whether Osteopathy can help you