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All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can use the register to check whether your health professional is currently registered. The date an osteopath was first registered with the General Osteopathic Council can be seen in the Practitioner Details on the Register.

This depends on your condition. Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits. Long term or chronic conditions may require more treatment. Your osteopath will discuss this with you.

Some patients have instant relief. Others discover it can take more time. Many factors can affect your recovery such as your age, how long you’ve had the problem, the severity, your daily demands and general condition of your body.

Whilst every patient reacts differently, your osteopath will be able to advise you on your likely recovery time. In most cases you will feel a definite change for the better early on in your treatment. Most patients do express significant improvement after just one or two treatments, but in general, the longer you’ve had it, the longer it will take to recover. Your commitment to the recommended treatment plan, home exercises and any diet or lifestyle adjustments will also determine your treatment outcome and the long term benefits from osteopathic care.

Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.

There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain. This can generally be alleviated with the application of ice as directed by your osteopath.

Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.

Continuing professional development is a process by which osteopaths have to demonstrate to the general osteopathic council that they are up to date and fit to practice, and meet the relevant professional standards.

A full osteopathic diagnosis relies on viewing the body as a whole. It is therefore ideal for patients to undress to their underwear. Alternatively loose fitting shorts can be worn if preferred.

Undergraduate students follow a four or five year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc (Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating. Osteopaths are required to update their training, skills and knowledge throughout their working lives, through continuing professional development.