Osteopathy: Myth-Busting

De-bunking the common myths of Osteopathy

1. “Osteopaths just treat bones”

You can be forgiven for thinking that an Osteopath would specialise in treating bones. After all, the word ‘osteo’ translates from classical Greek into ‘bone’. In Osteopathy, one of the fundamental principles is that the body is a unit and needs to be treated as a whole in order to get well again. Yes, we treat problems associated with the bones however, we also treat joints, muscles and all of the systems of the body. Our treatments aim to affect the blood, nerves and other connected systems in the body to restore balance and promote health.

So in a nutshell, we treat all parts and systems of the body – not just bones!

2. “Osteopathy- that is just for back pain right?”

One of the most common myths is that osteopaths just treat back pain. Whilst back pain is the number one complaint that most osteopaths see daily, we treat pain all over the body. Osteopaths can treat a wide range of conditions including headaches, neck and shoulder pain, arthritic pain, hip, knee and ankle pain, as well as other conditions like vertigo, sciatica and pregnancy-related pain. If you need help with pain but are not sure if we can help, head to the link at the end of this blog.


3. “Osteopaths just crack your spine”

Osteopaths are skilled in the art of manipulation (or ‘cracking’) of joints and will use it (with your permission) if we feel it is necessary. Treatment is so much more than just cracking, and we are proud of our toolkit variety. We spend 4-5 years studying at university to become an osteopath, and we learn lots of amazing techniques along the way. There is every possibility you will receive a treatment from an osteopath without the hint of a crack. There are some conditions where cracking is not suitable. We know what to ask and what to look for to know when manipulation is or isn’t required. If you are worried or concerned about anything to do with treatment, our best advice is to simply ask your practitioner and have a discussion about it. We guarantee they will ease your mind. And it is always your choice if we manipulate or not!


4. “Osteos, physios and chiros are the same”

A common question we get asked is, what is the difference between osteopathy and other therapies like physiotherapy and chiropractic. We all treat the body with the same goal in mind – to help someone in need and improve their health. Each of us can treat similar conditions, and we all use similar techniques to do so. Within each profession you will always get some practitioners who lean towards a particular specialty, condition or area of the body they like to treat. Where we differ most is in the philosophy and approach of our treatments. Osteopaths are very holistic in their approach to treating the body.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if someone is an osteo, chiro or physio, if they are good, they can all help you improve your life. Come and find out for yourself!


5. “Osteopathic treatment hurts”

Having your body treated by another person’s hands, it can sometimes leave you anxious about what to expect. Being treated by an osteopath should not be a painful experience. Many of our techniques are incredibly gentle and our aim is to reduce your pain, not increase it. Yes, there are certain techniques we perform which can be uncomfortable however, it shouldn’t be painful. If anything is painful during treatment, always tell your practitioner. There is a good chance we’ll know by the look on your face, but open communication is always best.



Still have questions about Osteopathy? 

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