Osteopaths diagnose, treat and provide preventative advice about disorders that affect the body's musculoskeletal system, using manual techniques to alleviate stresses and dysfunction to improve the body's function.

Duties & Tasks

Osteopaths may perform the following tasks:

  • diagnose patients' complaints using information from case histories, physical examinations, observation of patients' body structure and mobility, and medical imaging and laboratory tests
  • treat biomechanical complaints (including backache, general joint problems, sports injuries, arthritis, stress and repetitive strain injuries), some breathing problems (such as asthma) and a wide range of general medical complaints (headaches, for example)
  • treat patients using a variety of manual techniques, such as soft tissue stretching, muscle relaxation, gentle mobilisation or manipulation
  • treat children for the after-effects of birth trauma and childhood accidents
  • devise exercise and nutritional programmes.

Working Conditions

Osteopaths work in association with medical practitioners, surgeons, midwives, physiotherapists, podiatrists and a range of complementary and alternative medical practitioners. They have a high level of contact with the public.

Personal Requirements

  • independent and highly motivated
  • interested in health science and human anatomy
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • good communication skills
  • interested in people and their health.

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