What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an holistic approach to healthcare based on a well established system of clinical diagnosis. An osteopath will focus on the structure of the body and use hands-on manual techniques to encourage the body’s own healing mechanisms; they may also provide advice on lifestyle issues, diet and exercise.  Osteopathy treats the person, not just the disorder and the objective is the promotion of long-term health. Treatment is tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient – at all stages of life from birth to old age.

At the ESO Clinic we specialise in osteopathic care, providing treatment to the public from our Tonbridge Road site in Maidstone (Kent). For an appointment call 01622 685989.  If you are interested in studying osteopathy and would like more information, please feel free to visit the undergraduate admissions section of this site.


What can Osteopathy help treat?

Osteopathy can help provide relief for the body’s structural, mechanical and functional problems in people of all ages helping to relieve patients from different types of pain and a variety of conditions such as:

  • Arthritic Pain
  • Back pain (general, acute and chronic – not arising from injury/accident)
  • Circulatory problems
  • Cramp
  • Digestion problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen shoulder / shoulder and elbow pain / tennis elbow (arising from musculoskeletal conditions)
  • Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
  • Joint pains, including hip and knee pain linked to osteoarthritis
  • Inability to relax
  • Lumbago
  • Migraine prevention
  • Minor sports injuries and tensions
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neck Pain
  • Neuralgia
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Sciatica
  • General reduction in flexibility and movement

However, giving a list of conditions that osteopaths help treat can sometimes give a false picture. Osteopaths treat people, not conditions, and we are able to help in many ways when a person’s function is affected by their structure, however that manifests. Osteopathy can help people of all ages recover from all types of pain, including those occurring as a result of minor sports injuries or due to changes to the body during pregnancy. The ESO Clinic provides osteopathic treatment to the general public based from the Tonbridge Road site in Maidstone (Kent). For further information or to book an appointment visit our contact page.


What happens during a consultation?

An osteopath will begin by asking about your health and medical history.  This is followed by a physical examination, which pays particular attention to your posture, gait, mobility and musculoskeletal anatomy.  Following diagnosis, a treatment and management plan will be discussed and agreed with you.  Treatment techniques could include massage, articulation, lymphatic drainage, manipulation of joints or gentle balancing techniques and cranial osteopathy.  Osteopaths are also trained to identify conditions they cannot treat and in some circumstances may refer you to your GP, or another health professional, or recommend further investigation using ultrasound or MRI scanning.


Regulation of Osteopathy

Statutory recognition was achieved with the passage of the Osteopaths Act in 1993, thereby making osteopathy the first complementary healthcare profession to be accorded a statutory regulated framework. In the same year the British Medical Association recognised osteopathy as being a “discrete clinical discipline”.

The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was formed to set standards of training, professional and ethical conduct for the whole profession, visit osteopathy.org.uk for more details. Only those who can satisfy the new GOsC’s requirements are admitted to its register and entitled to call themselves “osteopaths”. Thus a patient consulting a fully qualified osteopath is afforded the same safeguards as when visiting a doctor or any other statutory regulated healthcare professional.


History of Osteopathy

It was an American Doctor, Andrew Taylor Still, who in 1874 coined the word “osteopathy” and laid down the fundamental principles. Dr Still, through his clinical experiences, discoveries and inspiration, was the first physician to realise fully the profound relationship between the structure of the body and the way in which it functions. Still’s interpretation of cause and effect in the evolution of disease gives osteopathy a very special place in the history of healthcare.