What Is Osteopathy? 

Osteopathy is a type of manual therapy that diagnoses and treats a wide range of conditions. An Osteopath emphasises the restoration of the structure and function of the human body by encouraging its innate ability to heal itself. They use various techniques on muscles, joints and viscera to help relieve tensions thus improving mobility. Therefore enhancing blood circulation and promoting health.

How Did It Begin 

Osteopathy was founded in Kirksville, America in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still who was a American physician who recognised the body’s natural ability to heal from ill health when functioning effectively. Motivated by the three deaths of his children during a pandemic he wanted to find an alternative from the medical approach medicines and surgeries offered at the time. Osteopathy came to Britain with John Martin Littlejohn (one of Still’s early students) in 1913 who returned to London to practice. He set up the first osteopathic school in the country (British School of Osteopathy) and served as Dean for 40 years. Today there are now over 5,000 Registered Osteopaths in the UK.

Is Osteopathy Considered To Be Alternative Therapy 

Some people refer to it as alternative therapy, however, Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners who are able to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions or refer when necessary. Osteopathy is considered to be a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) which are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare. The General Osteopathic Council is the statutory regulator for Osteopathy in the UK. Their powers were awarded to them by Parliament under the Osteopaths Act in 1993. By law, Osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year. As part of this process, the GOsC checks they have the correct insurance, are meeting professional development requirements and remain in good health.

Types Of Osteopathy 

There are several distinct styles of osteopathic treatment and whilst some osteopaths will draw on several, others will focus essentially on one form only.

Structural Osteopathy

The majority of osteopaths will practice in a structural manner which is a combination of muscular stretching, joint articulations and joint manipulations (if appropriate). The treatment is aimed to move joints and stretch muscles to have an effect on the blood circulation, nervous system and organ function to improve health.

Classical Osteopathy

Will always treat your whole posture, it follows a specific routine for hands on treatment but with more traditional principles. The treatment aims are to remove restrictions to give your body the best chance of finding health.

Cranial Osteopathy

A more gentle and subtle approach involves holding and interacting with the patient’s fluid dynamics and tensions. Small movements in the bones mainly of the head and sacrum (but also other areas) are so important for health which can become restricted by trauma or injury. Cranial osteopathy focuses on removing these restrictions and encourages overall physical well being.

Visceral Osteopathy

This approach looks at the relationship between your posture and your organs (viscera), such as the digestive tract or respiratory system. Your viscera may be treated directly to reduce stresses developed by poor posture, diet or lifestyle pressures. Visceral treatment can aid digestive tract movement, good function of abdominal organs as well as the lungs.

What is involved within an Osteopath session?

  • Take a case history to find out about you and your problem. We listen to you.
  • Perform assessments and necessary tests to reach a diagnosis.
  • We will provide explanations and double check you understand and will not do anything without your consent.
  • Always be professional and safe
  • Provide hands-on treatment
  • We treat the bigger picture, rather than just the sore bit
  • We give exercises, nutrition and lifestyle advice to give your body the best chance of recovery
  • Your goals will be addressed and a treatment plan formulated to find better health.

What Conditions Can An Osteopath Treat

Whether you have been living with chronic pain for years, or if you have experienced an injury more recently it would be worthwhile seeing an Osteopath. We are highly skilled and can treat any musculoskeletal condition. Even if you are experiencing a lot of pain we can advise on how best to make your situation a little easier. Here are some examples of what our Marylebone Osteopaths can treat

  • Sporting Injuries
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Foot Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Runners Knee
  • IT band syndrome
  • Hamstring strain
  • Calf strain
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries
  • Muscular strains: Quadriceps, hamstrings and groin strains.
  • Lower back pain

Shoulder Pain

You don’t have to be a sporting superstar to suffer from shoulder pain. The pain can strike anyone and at any time, such as reaching into the top cupboard and stretching too far. The shopping bag was much heavier than you thought or you experienced pain whilst drying yourself with a towel after a shower. This could be a general shoulder pain or one of the following,

  • Rotator Cuff Strains & Tear
  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Acromioclavicular joint pain
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder instability


Osteopaths are pain specialists who help busy professionals in their 40s and 50s who find that they have lost focus on their own health and wellbeing after decades of working and child-rearing. We can help you move more, worry less and feel stronger in your bodies. Osteopaths diagnose musculoskeletal conditions and deliver hands on treatment to relieve tensions, improve mobility, enhance blood circulation and promote health.

Alternative To Osteopathy

Sometimes if the treatments you receive form an osteopath are not working then another option is posture rehabilitation physio.