What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a way of treating damaged parts of the body, such as muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. When the body is balanced and efficient it will function with the minimum of wear, stress and energy and therefore with reduced pain and disability. Andrew Gilmour's aim is to achieve the best possible mechanical balance within the body. Most of his work is carried out using his hands, although he frequently involves investigations such as MRI scans and X-rays and the skills of a network of medical colleagues as and when appropriate. Andrew aims to work with and alongside conventional medicine communicating, when necessary, with your General Practitioner and Consultants whom you may have seen. This ensures that all parties involved in your care are best informed.

The training and regulation of Osteopaths

The Osteopathic profession is controlled by the General Osteopathic Council, whose role is to regulate the practise of Osteopathy. This is carried out by government controlled Statutory Regulation. Training is generally via a four year degree course. After this, Osteopaths are obliged to conform to compulsory codes of training, ethics, practise and professional behaviour for the protection of their patients.

Evidence and Research

Whilst the research and evidence base for Osteopathy is at a relatively early stage of development, there are many papers helpful to Osteopathic practise.
Andrew Gilmour has collated those he believes to be most useful and developed categories for them

1. For the use of Osteopathy for spinal pain, particularly low back pain.
2. For the use of manipulation in general.
3. For patient assessment, management and advice.
4. For the use of treatment modalities shown to more effective than Osteopathy for certain conditions.
5. Research helpful to medical referrers.


Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy describes a very subtle and gentle approach to the treatment of the whole body (not just the head as is implied by the name). Cranial Osteopathy is not different to Osteopathy. It simply recognises the importance of subtle mechanics at work within the head, and the effect that subtle mechanical strains can have on influencing the health of the whole body.

The difference between Osteopathy and Chiropractic

Patients’ often ask ‘what is the difference between Osteopathy and Chiropractic’. Whilst working at the General Osteopathic Council in the mid 1990’s, Andrew Gilmour had the opportunity to work with a Chiropractor in an attempt at defining the similarities and differences. This list is intended as a "rough guide" for patients to compare the two disciplines.