Alternatives to Osteopathy

Depending on your problem (include the type of pain or illness and the area of your body that it is primarily affecting) there may be a number of alternatives to osteopathy.

Visiting Your GP

In most cases when you feel ill or experience pain, your first port of call is your GP. This is certainly a good idea as your GP will be able to advice you if you require any serious medical or surgical intervention. This is especially important if you have a chronic medical condition and you should certainly not go to your osteopath instead of your GP if you have a medical emergency. However, your GP may not be able to help you if you experience back pain which has a non-specific origin (known as non-specific back pain) or a number of other problems and they may even refer you to an osteopath in some of these situations.


You may be unfortunate enough to have injured yourself to such a degree that you in fact require surgery to realign your bones and restructure your soft tissue. This could also be true if you suffer from a chronic medical condition that has caused you to accumulate a problem to such an extent that you require a more invasive procedure to cure your pain. This could be the case if you have a bad shoulder separation, knee injury, ruptured disc etc. However, your osteopath will be able to advise you if they think you should see a surgeon.


If you have a sports injury or are experiencing pain in your soft tissue (muscle, ligaments or tendons) then you could also consider visiting physiotherapist. Physiotherapy will also treat your problem using manipulation however your physiotherapist will use a less holistic treatment method and will only work on your area of injury. If you use a physiotherapist then you should expect to be given more exercises to carry out at home in order to improve the structure of your soft tissue in the injured area.

Chiropractic Treatment

If you are experiencing pain in your back or joints then you may wish to consider visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment could also help you in your suffer from a range of other conditions including migraines, whiplash and arthritis. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the position of your bones and joints (especially the spine) in order to realign your body and increase the efficiency of your nervous system.


If you are considering using osteopathy as a form of relaxation and preventative treatment or to help you to recover after an injury, then you might also want to think about having a massage treatment instead. Massage will also act to relax you, stretch and stimulate your muscles and reduce your stress levels and it may be a cheaper alternative to osteopathy. However, masseurs are not trained to the same level as osteopaths and they will probably not be able to diagnose your condition.

Sports massage clinics (that are often found in gyms and leisure centres) will be more suited for you if you are recovering from a sports injury or if you are trying to reduce your risk of picking up an injury through repetitive strain. These clinics are often manned by trained sports physiotherapists who will have a level of anatomy and physiology training that will allow them to help your condition in a more direct manner.

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