Osteopathy is a hands-on therapy which is tailored to the individual. Osteopaths understand the body and are experts at evaluating, diagnosing and treating problems within the musculoskeletal and related systems.

They use a variety of techniques to increase joint mobility, relieve muscle tension and to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues to help your body’s own natural healing mechanisms. As well as having a hands-on approach they also offer education and advice on posture, pain management and rehabilitation exercises to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms from recurring.

As allied health professionals osteopaths train at degree level for four years and are registered with the General Osteopathic Council.

Can Osteopathy help me?

Osteopathy can help with all sorts of problems including:

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches arising from the neck
  • Mechanical neck pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Minor sports injuries
  • Neuralgia (nerve pain)
  • Tension and inability to relax
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hip and knee pain
  • Frozen shoulder and elbow pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Arthritic Conditions

This list is just an example, if you are wondering if we can help you please call and chat to one of the practitioners about your specific issue.

What should I expect during my first appointment?

At your first visit your practitioner will begin with taking a full account of your medical history. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your current problem and your day-to day routine. We may ask you about things like your work, your diet, exercise and hobbies and general lifestyle as this will often give clues to help in our diagnosis. Once we are happy that we understand your history we will perform an examination. This will include looking at your active movements, particularly in the symptomatic areas. We will perform tests to check for any joint , muscular or nerve issues. We may perform muscle testing and check your reflexes. We will also look at any postural asymmetries that might be contributing to your problem.

Osteopathy is very hands on, so we will also be using touch to assess which areas are sensitive or holding tensions that need addressing, and examining your joints so we can see how they are functioning. When we have completed our examination we will discuss our thoughts and diagnosis with you. Together we will decide how to proceed. If osteopathic treatment is appropriate in your case we will normally start some treatment on the first session. We will also try and give you a guide to how many sessions you might need. For a recent/ acute problem this is likely to be 1-3 sessions but with more perisistent or chronic conditions it is likely to be longer.

We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and if this is the case we can refer you to your GP or recommend another specialist.

You are welcome to have a friend or relative with you during the consultation if you wish. If you are under 18 we do require a parent/guardian to be with you.

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What does Osteopathic treatment feel like?

Osteopaths use a variety of techniques including stretching, massage and manipulation. Treatment can be very gentle, and is usually aimed at increasing the mobility of joints, relieving muscle tension, and enhancing the blood and nerve supply to tissues. Some techniques are firmer than others but that will depend on how comfortable you are and how much pain you are in. Each treatment will be adapted to the individual.


We always try to follow up with our patients to check that they have done well. It is quite common to feel a little stiff and sore after treatment, rather like after exercising for the first time. Advice will be given on what you should do if you are sore. If you feel uncomfortable post treatment and are worried call us, we will talk through your case and advise you.

Your practitioner may give you some simple exercises to do at home to help with your recovery. If you are unsure about any of them or they are uncomfortable to do, please just call us and we will advise you.

Professionalism and Safety

To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques.

By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered. The British Medical Association’s guidance for general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths.

At Bedale Osteopaths we are guided by the Institute of Osteopathy Patient Charter

More about Osteopathy

Take a look at this short video from the Institute of Osteopathy:

Or take a look at the General Osteopathic Council’s
information leaflets:

I have been seeing Suzanne for some years now after I had a road traffic accident. I initially had multiple broken bones, which ended up causing me disc problems and back pain. It got to the point where it became so severe I needed spinal surgery. I had regular osteopathic treatment leading up to the operation and it was a godsend. At that time I could hardly walk, I was bent over and on a very high dose of painkillers but the treatment gave me the relief I needed to get to the next week; without it, I would have been in bed unable to move a lot more than I was. During this time I was pregnant with my second child and it was a further 8 months following his birth that I had the surgery. I am now 1.5 years post op and have osteopathic treatment about every 4-6 weeks just to keep me on track.

I recommend osteopathy to anyone suffering from back or leg pain as I simply could not have got by without it.

S W - Northallerton