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Updated by Fiona on Jan 21, 2016
Headline for Complaints You'd Be Surprised an Osteopath Can Treat
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Complaints You'd Be Surprised an Osteopath Can Treat

Back pain is becoming an increasingly common complaint, due to our desk-bound and busy lifestyles which put more pressure on our backs on a daily basis. Osteopathy is a known method to help detect, treat and prevent the problems of back pain by stretching, moving and massaging the tissues and joints. However osteopathic treatment can also aid pain minimisation and mobilise other areas of the body, helping to treat a surprising number of other ailments:


Sports injuries

Sports injuries

The gentle manipulation of the muscles and joints carried out by osteopaths relieves tension surrounding the injured area and can allow for a faster healing of minor sports injuries.


Arthritis pain

Arthritis is a condition which causes pain, swelling and inflammation, or stiffness in the body’s joints. Osteopathic treatment involves massage techniques to stimulate the arthritic joint and surrounding muscles, which can ease discomfort. Osteopaths can also advise on diet, exercise and lifestyle changes which can improve the symptoms of arthritis.




Osteopaths can help to diagnose common headaches and migraines caused by lifestyle, or more serious pain caused by neuralgia or tension or strain in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back. Again the gentle pressure applied through osteopathy will loosen the joints and reduce the built-up muscular tension that may lead to headaches.


Knee pain

The knee is the largest joint in the body and can be under high amounts of pressure throughout the day. There are a number of causes for knee pain, and an osteopath will be able to offer advice, exercises and treatment.


Tennis elbow and golfers elbow

Tennis elbow and golfers elbow

Tennis elbow causes pain around the outside of the elbow joint, whilst golfer’s elbow leads to pain on the inner side of the joint. Osteopathy can highlight the causes, alleviate the symptoms and provide preventative lifestyle measures.


Digestive issues

Our whole body is connected. Gently manipulating the spine can help to improve blood flow throughout the body and help with the functioning of the organs.


Acquired flat foot

Acquired flat foot

A flattened inner arch of the foot can damage the ankle joint and Achilles tendon. Osteopathic treatment increases the mobility of the joints, works on balance and strength, and flexibility of the muscles in the foot. Osteopaths can additionally advise on support or footwear that may aid healing


Problems sleeping

Helping to reduce the stress in the muscles and joints, will relax body to restore overall functioning. Patients may benefit from relaxed nerves and an ease in sleep.


Baby colic

Baby colic

Cranial osteopathy is an established practice for people of any age, though can help to prevent and diagnose colic in babies. Osteopaths relate the problem to compressed nerves at the base of the skull which link to the stomach and the upper part of the intestines and can irritate them.



Cramps are more commonly caused by the fatigue of the muscles due to metabolic waste built up after exercise. Again, manipulating the muscles will stimulate the flow of chemicals in the body and help to reduce the pain caused by the cramp.


Pelvic Girdle Pain

Here's my addition to the list - osteopathy can also help to manage a lot of pregnancy related issues such as pelvic girdle pain. I experienced this during both of my pregnancies, no amount of NHS physio helped, but a few sessions with an osteopath meant that I had increased mobility and less pain. Although I still needed to use crutches and a support band, it meant I wasn't wheelchair bound which was what my consultant suggested would happen. I would thoroughly recommend osteopathy for any woman experiencing excessive pain during pregnancy.


Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the accumulation of fluid under a tight band of ligament on the inside of the wrist, leading to pain and weakness of the hand and wrist. This condition is often associated with the over use and inflammation of the tendons that flex the fingers and can lead to weakness and muscle wasting if left untreated. Osteopaths can use a number of therapies to reduce fluid in the wrist, mobilise the joints and reduce the tightness of the muscles by addressing the underlying causes.


Bad circulation

Circulation is essential for the body to get the proper nutrients and to clear out waste products. Poor circulation can lead to the congestion of bodily fluids, stasis and other pains and problems. In some cases, circulation can be restricted following the distortion of tissue after an old injury that did not heal properly. By removing tension in bodily tissues, osteopaths can help the body to regain its natural functions and heal itself properly.