What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that dates back to 1872 in Kirksville, Missouri, USA and its founder A T Still. He was an American Doctor of Medicine, who developed an approach to general medicine placing emphasis on the inter-relationships of the whole body and how this affected the overall health of an individual. It relied on a non-invasive approach and used manual techniques such as articulation (wiggling and waggling), soft tissue massage and occasionally more forceful mobilisation techniques (clicks and cracks) to restore a person’s health, along with more naturopathic approaches (diet, hydration, exercise etc).

Many modern day osteopaths still follow this holistic/integrative philosophy and practice. Over the years, research has shown osteopathy to be a highly effective form of treatment for many conditions, especially those of a musculo-skeletal nature i.e. low back and neck pain, sciatica, joint strains (hip, knee, shoulder, ankle etc), ligament and tendon strains. There is also a large empirical body of evidence supporting the success of osteopathy in a wider physiological context. All osteopaths differ in their own style of osteopathy, but we are all guided by an underlying osteopathic philosophy.

For more on this topic see: What are the differences between and an Osteopath, a Chiropractor and a Physiotherapist?