What conditions can osteopathy help with?

In our last two articles on osteopathy we’ve introduced the technique itself and what an osteopath actually does – now we’re moving on to cover the range of conditions that it can help.

Remember what osteopathy is – a very powerful technique of detecting, treating and preventing some health problems by manipulating muscles and joints.  It is commonly used for helping with back pain, although it can be used to help with pain in other parts of the body too.

What conditions can osteopathy help?

Essentially it’s about the relief from pain, which as we all know can range from the level of a minor nuisance to that of virtually unbearable agony – when it can be impossible to function normally.  Whatever the level, there is no doubt that pain relief will significantly improve the overall quality of life and mental health.  So let’s take a look at some of the key conditions that osteopathy can help with.

  • back pain.  This is a very common problem, and one of the main reasons that people visit osteopaths.  Around eight of ten people will experience some form of back pain at some point in their lives, and it’s an interesting and rather sobering statistic that over 5 million working days are lost in the UK each year, which is second only to stress.
  • It can affect anyone, of any age, and is often caused by a sprain or strain of the structures of the back (muscles, ligaments, joints, discs etc.) or sometimes osteoarthritis.
  • headaches.  Again, as we have probably all experienced at one time or another, these are very common.  What’s less commonly known is that some headaches can be caused by tensions or strains in the muscles and joints of the neck and upper back, and as a result manipulation and gentle massage to loosen the joints of the neck and back can relieve the build-up of tension that caused the headache.
  • arthritis.  Another common condition, causing swelling, inflammation and pain, and sometimes stiffness, in various joints around the body.  The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, although there are other types including gout.
  • foot and ankle pain.  The foot and ankle area of the body is quite a complex configuration of small bones connected by ligaments and muscles, so when something goes wrong (such as a sprained ankle) it can be painful and can also seriously affect movement.  Osteopathy can help in various ways, including massage and manipulation but also advice on stretching, balancing and strengthening exercises and the use of supports and/or special footwear.
  • hand and elbow pain.  This can be caused by osteoarthritis or simple wear and tear in the joints, and the resulting pain and discomfort can sometimes be relieved by osteopathic techniques.


We’ve covered quite a lot of ground in our recent articles on osteopathy, and we hope that you’ve found them interesting and useful.  We’ll be moving onto other topics in the future, but in the meantime please follow the link below if you would like more information on how our clinic can help you

Osteopathy Clinic

or we’d be delighted if you called us on

020 3199 6344

and we’ll help you in any way we can.

Useful links (H2)

General Osteopathic Council

NHS Choices on osteopathy

Arthritis Research