What is osteopathy

  • Osteopathy is recognised as an Allied Health Profession by NHS England. Osteopaths may work alongside other health professions in multi-disciplinary practices or work on their own.
  • Osteopathy is a gentle and effective hands-on approach to healthcare, based on the principle that the way your body moves influences how it functions.
  • Osteopaths treat a wide range of patients from babies to the elderly. Patients visit an osteopath seeking pain relief. Some patients will have ongoing underlying conditions such as arthritis, others will be seeking treatment for pain relating to an injury or accident. An osteopath is trained to treat pain anywhere in the body that may be caused by the musculoskeletal system.

Why study osteopathy

  • Osteopaths treat people not the disease.
  • As an osteopath you will take the time to understand your patient. Osteopaths learn how to take a patient’s medical history  and how to perform a range of orthopaedic and diagnostic tests.
  • Osteopaths learn how to use their hands to find and treat problems.
  • Osteopaths become experts in the human body and are able to provide advice and support regarding posture, exercise, stress reduction and other lifestyle issues that may form part of the ongoing management of a patient’s recovery.

What do osteopaths study

  • An Osteopathy degree covers a diverse range of subjects, with the focus on modules which help you gain a detailed understanding of how the human body works. You will be taught a range of therapeutic approaches that osteopaths use to treat patients with a range of symptoms.
  • Osteopaths don’t just learn about the body, the course also includes about reflective practice, research and criticality along with business skills to enable you to transition into practice.
  • During the first part of the course you will be introduced  into the theory, philosophy, concepts & principles of osteopathy. Alongside written lecturers you will also start learning practical skills such as case history taking, palpation, observation, joint movement and soft-tissue techniques.

How does osteopathy differ from degrees in related subjects

  • There is overlap between professions such as physiotherapy and chiropractic in that all courses include elements of anatomy, physiology, pathology and clinical diagnosis. The amount of time spent on modules will differ according to the different degrees. Students studying an osteopathy degree will focus much more on hands on manipulative techniques compared to physiotherapy students.
  • Whilst all degrees include a practical element for physiotherapy students this will take the form of placements. For London School of Osteopathy students practical training is an integral part of the course and is carried out at our dedicated osteopathic teaching clinic throughout your studies.
  • On completion of your degree most osteopathy graduates work within a primary care setting, either in a multi disciplinary clinic or in their own private practice. On the other hand physiotherapy students tend to work in NHS within a hospital setting.

Postgraduate options

  • There are opportunities to gain a deeper understanding and special in areas of practice such as paediatrics, geriatrics, sport and rehabilitation, visceral, and animal osteopathy.
  • For those who are more interested in research there are expanding opportunities to develop a career in research.
  • For those who want to give back to the profession there are teaching and tutoring opportunities on completion of further training.
  • There are expanding roles within the NHS setting for example the Musculoskeletal (MSK) first point of contact practitioner role which is currently being piloted.