Osteopath

Summary

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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