Osteopathy in West Hampstead
At The Practice at 322, all of our osteopaths are fully qualified to the level of a Masters qualification in osteopathy. They are all registered with the General Osteopathic Council and the Institute of Osteopathy.
We specialise in:
- Treatment of low back pain and sciatica
- Management of slipped discs, also known as lumbar disc herniations
- Treatment of sports injuries
- Workplace ergonomic assessment
- Shoulder and upper back problems
- Running assessment for marathon runners, park runners and triathletes
- Pregnancy-related issues
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment that focuses on the structure and function of the body. It is based on the concept that if the structure is not working efficiently then the body cannot function properly. When everything is balanced and running efficiently, the body functions with the minimum degree of effort and wear, reducing pain and improving quality of life.
Osteopaths consider the whole person. They first take a detailed case history in order to find out as much as they can about your condition and then carry out many of the diagnostic procedures used in conventional orthopaedic assessment. Osteopathic treatment is safe and gentle, combining a knowledge of anatomy in motion with considered clinical testing to find areas causing problems.
Treatment usually involves mobilisation and manipulation techniques, as well as guidance about diet and exercise. Osteopathy also incorporates subtler techniques, including work in the cranial field, and is appropriate for people of all ages including children and babies.
What to expect of your first osteopathy consultation
At the first consultation, a full case history of your symptoms is taken. You will then be asked you to carry out some simple movements to assist with the diagnosis. Usually you will be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.
Osteopaths are trained to examine the body in order to identify points of weakness or excessive strains. Osteopathic care includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, as well as guidance on diet, posture and exercise.
Before treatment begins the diagnosis will be explained, along with discussion about the most appropriate plan of treatment. An estimation will be given of the likely number of sessions needed to restore function and return you to fitness. If it’s thought that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will receive detailed advice about how to seek further care and you will be supported in this process. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP or other specialist.
Treatment is tailored to your individual needs and presenting problem, and is reassessed at each visit. It may involve articulatory techniques to improve joint movement and function, cranial osteopathic techniques, western medical acupuncture (also known as dry needling) and spinal manipulation. At all times you will have a say in which techniques are used and you are encouraged to ask questions if you need clarification of how techniques work.
How are osteopaths regulated?
UK Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners, recognised by the orthodox medical profession and recommended by the NICE guidelines for low back pain. They undertake a rigorous university training lasting from four to five years, including over 1200 hours of extensive clinical training. Since the incorporation of the Osteopaths Act in 1993 they have been regulated by the General Osteopathic Council.
It is not necessary to be referred if you want to see an osteopath, but it worth noting that GPs and specialists do regularly refer patients to osteopaths; indeed they are encouraged to do so under guidance by the British Medical Association. A growing body of research shows the effectiveness and safety of osteopathy. A good summary of the evidence for osteopathic medicine is maintained by the National Council for Osteopathic Research