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These are some of the frequently asked questions that Ed and Mariska have been asked during their time as Osteopaths.

  • What is Osteopathy training like?
    Osteopaths train for a minimum of four years to degree level, achieving either a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Integrated Masters (MOst). Osteopathy degrees cover a range of topics including Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Nutrition, and Biomechanics. Osteopathy students spend a long time learning examination and treatment techniques, and spend at least 1000 hours gaining clinical experience with patients prior to registration. Osteopaths are recognised by the NHS as Allied Health Professionals, and play a critical role in providing musculoskeletal services to patients of all ages.
  • Is Osteopathy regulated?
    The Osteopathic profession is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council in the UK. This means that only people who are appropriately qualified can work as an Osteopath. It is a legal requirement for Osteopaths to be registered with the council in order to practice. In order to remain registered, Osteopaths have to maintain a high standard of practice and undertake regular continuous training. This training and regulation gives patients the same guarantees and protection as when they visit the dentist or doctor.
  • Do Osteopaths just treat back problems?
    Osteopaths complete complex training, giving them the skills to treat all body regions from heads to toes! Osteopaths are holistic in their approach so will commonly address stiffness and tightness in multiple areas during your treatment
  • What is the difference between an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, and a Chiropractor? Who should I see for my problem?"
    Whilst Chiropractors, Osteopaths, and Physiotherapists are all Musculoskeletal healthcare workers, there are some differences in training, philosophies, and treatment approaches. Training to become a Physiotherapist requires 3years of university study which covers different aspects of patient care, including neurological, cardiovascular-respiratory, and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Physiotherapists then select one of these areas to work in once graduated. Chiropractors and Osteopaths train for four years at university, but specialise purely in musculoskeletal health. The easiest way to explain the differences in treatment approaches is to imagine you have a problem with a joint, take the knee for example. Traditionally if you saw a Physiotherapist for a knee problem they would assess and treat the structures such as ligaments and muscles around the knee. They would do this through massage, stretching, and mobilisations. You would usually be prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises to help with your condition. Physiotherapists frequently use adjuncts to treatment such as laser therapy and ultrasound. Osteopaths are biomechanical in their approach to the body. They would likely provide treatment to the knee, but might also assess and treat your feet, hips, and pelvis if any stiffness or weakness in these areas is contributing to your knee problem. Osteopaths also treat using massage, mobilisations, stretching and exercise prescription, but frequently use joint manipulations in addition to this. Joint manipulations are quick movements applied to a stiff joint in order to improve joint motion. Chiropractors also use joint manipulations in their treatment, but for Chiropractors they are traditionally used to influence the ‘alignment’ (position) of a joint, rather than joint motion. Joint manipulations are generally used more intensely as a treatment technique by Chiropractors than by Osteopaths. Chiropractors traditionally would treat the part of the spine where the nerves to your knee come from. There is a lot of variation in treatment styles and approaches across the professions, and within the same profession. As such, treatment with any professional may significantly differ from the descriptions above.
  • How many treatment sessions will I need?
    The amount of sessions needed varies depending on your problem, your self care, and response to treatment. Your condition may be significantly improved in one session and you may not need further visits, or you may need several treatments, especially in the case of long term / chronic conditions. An average patient requires 3-8 sessions. We pride ourselves in getting you back to health in the fewest number of treatments possible.
  • Is treatment safe?
    Osteopathy is a safe, gentle form of hands-on treatment. There are some medical conditions which increase the risks of receiving manual therapy, which your Osteopath will screen you for in your health history and examination. If there are additional risks associated with any techniques then your Osteopath will talk these through with you before providing treatment, and alternative techniques can be used if you wish.
  • Will I be sore after treatment?
    You may feel some stiffness or be a little sore following osteopathic treatment. This is normal and is a good response from your body. The symptoms will usually subside within 24 to 48 hours. Your practitioner will tell you what to expect following treatment and how best to manage any discomfort. Your osteopath may recommend using heat, ice, or stretches to help.
  • Do I have to get undressed at my appointment?
    It is helpful for the Osteopath to be able to see, move, and treat your problem area easily without clothing getting in the way. As such you may be asked to remove outer layers of clothing or to partially undress e.g. remove a t-shirt. Flexible, thin clothing such as vest tops and leggings or shorts are ideal to wear for treatment without the need to undress. If you are uncomfortable with undressing then please let your Osteopath know and they will work through your clothing.
  • Can I bring a friend or relative to my appointment?
    Yes, but please try to limit this to one person. If you are feeling nervous about coming to your appointment please bring a chaperone with you. Should you not be able to come with one then your appointment can be rearranged for another time.
  • Do I need to be referred by my GP to have Osteopathic treatment?
    You can self refer for osteopathic treatment if you are paying for it yourself, without the need to see your doctor first. Some insurance companies may require you to see a doctor prior to treatment. Osteopathy isn’t widely available on the NHS, and as such most patients come for treatment without being referred by their GP.
  • Will treatment be covered by my health insurance?
    Most private health insurance companies provide cover for osteopathic treatment. If you are unsure about whether your insurance covers Osteopathy treatment or how much cover you have, please contact your health insurer before starting treatment. Unfortunately the clinic does not currently work with BUPA.
  • Can I come for treatment whilst waiting for my musculoskeletal referral to come through?
    Yes, many patients decide to come for treatment whilst they are on the waiting list for musculoskeletal services. Many also decide to continue with Osteopathic treatment alongside their NHS treatment
  • Do you have parking?
    Road side parking can be found directly opposite the clinic. Alternatively, there is a free car park about 100 yards away located by Tadcaster Medical Centre, (LS24 8HD).
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