Osteopaths focus on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. It is a distinct clinical discipline. Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body and aid its intrinsic ability to heal through applying the model of tissue healing. Following a detailed case history and examination, treatment is based on pain modulation with use of a hands-on approach and involves skilled manipulation of the spine and joints, as well as connective tissue massage techniques. Osteopathic treatment is re-enforced by guidance on lifestyle, environment, posture and exercise. A wide range of musculoskeletal disorders may respond especially well to osteopathic pain relief. Osteopathy offers a timely, cost-effective healthcare service through prevention, early intervention, active recovery and enhancing the quality of life.
Training to be an Osteopath
Osteopathic training varies between countries. In the United Kingdom, osteopathy is integrated into the university system. In order to qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. Training courses generally lead to a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy (BSc) or a Masters degree (M.Ost). This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of clinical training. In the United States, osteopathic training is integrated in to medical system and osteopathic clinicians are given the title Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). This degree is equivalent to that of Doctor of Medicine (MD). In Israel, osteopathic training is not yet integrated into universities and the current title held by Israeli trained osteopaths is DO (Diploma in Osteopathy).
In Israel the osteopathic profession is not currently regulated in government and there is a great disparity amongst clinicians using the title ‘osteopath’. In the UK, osteopathy is a statutorily regulated profession and it is against the law to use this title unless you have received the appropriate training and registered with the General Osteopathic Council (Link: http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/). In the United States the title ‘osteopath’ is restricted to osteopathic physicians who have earned the degree Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Elsewhere in the world regulation varies between countries.