Is Osteopathy safe and effective?
Osteopathy is a statutory regulated profession, which means that you are offered the same protection as with seeing a doctor or a dentist. It is an offence to practise as an Osteopath unless you are registered with the General Osteopathic Council, whose criteria are very stringent including education to a degree level, ongoing continual professional development and full indemnity insurance. All Osteopaths at the Sussex Back Pain Clinic are registered.
Osteopathy treatment is very effective with studies showing that 80% of people improve after 3 to 4 treatments*.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which sets the national clinical guidelines for care and management of adults, has recommended osteopathic treatment as a primary treatment option for non-specific back pain. It is also extraordinarily safe, with a risk of serious complications from treatment so low as to be virtually immeasurable (1 in 36,000 or 0.000027% chance).
The average treatment length will depend on what you have done, what you want to do and how long you have had your symptoms. An initial treatment course is usually between 4 and 6, although some patients require some longer term treatment for more chronic conditions.
Unfortunately, many spinal conditions have a high recurrence rate as it is easy for many patients to revert back to bad habits once their pain has subsided and so do not fully heal. So once we have achieved your goals we actively encourage you to maintain your improvements and not slip back again by checking that you keep up with changing lifestyle, postural improvements and exercises which we do via regular check- ups to prevent recurrence and accumulation of problems, that can lead to a recurrence of a painful condition after a while, if not picked up.
*Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18:3