Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a Doctor’s referral to see an Osteopath?
No. Although it is always advisable to refer to your GP to discuss health issues, Osteopaths are highly trained in differential diagnosis, meaning that they are generally able to ascertain that the condition being treated is within their scope of practice and when needed, they are able to refer for further examinations or to another health care professional. No treatment is performed unless the Osteopath is sure of the diagnosis and the presenting condition. If you are claiming insurance, the company will ask you for a Doctor’s referral to be filled in beforehand.
2. How long does an Osteopath train for?
In Most of Europe, Osteopathy training takes place within 4-5 years of University study, leading to a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) degree or an integrated Masters degree (M.Ost.) Some Osteopaths choose to pursue higher education in order to explore a specific area of interest or to contribute to teaching or research.
3. Is Osteopathy a speciality of Medicine?
No. Osteopathy is an entirely separate system of manual medicine and separate from other healthcare professions.
4. Are Osteopaths also Physiotherapists?
No. The two are separate healthcare professions, and although it is common in Europe for some individuals to have qualifications in both, they generally choose to practice predominantly only one of them.
5. Are Osteopaths ‘bone specialists’?
Whilst osteopaths have a very thorough knowledge of bone and joint structure and function, they look at health from an entire perspective: body, mind, muscles, ligaments and organs. They do not focus on one area of the body but rather, on the overall structure and function of all the physical mechanisms of the body and how they interact. It is for this reason that they are particularly helpful in conditions which involve the musculoskeletal system, however their knowledge and focus spans all the body systems.
6. Does treatment hurt?
Osteopaths are known to be very gentle when it comes to treating a patient. Feedback from the patient is constantly requested to ensure the experience is comfortable. At times, treatment may cause some discomfort when working through problematic areas, although this is generally tolerable, and only performed if the patient is comfortable. Some soreness may be present after a treatment session, this is a normal reaction to treatment and generally subsides after 48hours.