Advanced search

To think osteopathy is "woo woo" therapy?

(228 Posts)
candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 17:55:00

Apparently, this makes me UR and that it's not comparable to homeopathy. So, MNers what do you think?

waterlego Wed 01-Jan-14 18:14:01

Crosse posts!

Hellothere2014 Wed 01-Jan-14 18:14:06


An osteopath has sorted out my husbands neck problems and cured his eye pain. It was so bad he couldn't read, use a computer without a screen reader, watch TV, and had to wear sunglasses all the time. For 7 years many doctors, neuros and ophthalmologists tried 'fixing' him. He had MRI's, x-rays and various medications and nothing worked and they said no more could be done and he would probably lose his sight.

3 months in of seeing this osteopath and he can now use a screen (he's a programmer). She is amazing and he has his life back after 7 years of hell.

Same lady also sorted out my SPD pain after 2 years of not being able to walk properly.

RicStar Wed 01-Jan-14 18:14:20

I didnt say it was a placebo i said it was no better than one.

MajesticWhine Wed 01-Jan-14 18:15:44

Osteopathy has worked a treat for me with lower back and hip issues and various sports injuries. And yes it is very similar to physio - so is that also pseudoscience?

MissWimpyDimple Wed 01-Jan-14 18:16:21

Yup totally woo as far as I'm concerned. My well meaning but very very woo ex took our daughter to sort out her stomach pains and general anxiety. The woman sort of put her hands on DDs back and legs. Er. Yeah. Right. No difference to DD of course.

Stick with a chiropractor.

Faverolles Wed 01-Jan-14 18:16:53

Plenty of drugs prescribed by GPs every day could be considered as bad science.
Do more harm than good, but it continues because no-one questions drs and big pharma.

People question osteopathy and other therapies such as acupuncture, when very often they can be more effective and less dangerous than prescribed drugs.

lilyaldrin Wed 01-Jan-14 18:20:46

RicStar - I think you're confusing osteopathy (as a treatment for back pain) and cranial osteopathy (which is woo).

lilyaldrin Wed 01-Jan-14 18:22:11

But individual osteopaths can stray into woo territory when they move away from backs and start thinking they can cure anxiety/eczema etc.

Cantthinkofafrigginname Wed 01-Jan-14 18:23:29

Osteopathy is primary health care and as pointed out above is in the NICE guidelines for LBP.

How addressing a problem based on anatomy and function rather than just treating the symptoms can be seen as woo woo is mental to me. If we spent 2 minutes twice a day stretching/exercising and seeing an osteopath every 6months (think cleaning teeth/dentist) then they'd be a massive reduction in chronic pain and a massive benefit to the economy from reduction in sick days due to lower back pain and a reduction in musculoskeletal GP visits.

Cranial osteopathy and (structural) Osteopathy should not be compared.

Osteopathy does not have as much evidence behind it as say acupuncture but that is primarily due to funding.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 18:23:56

I feel like I may also be confusion cranial osteopathy and osteopathy. blush

I have to be honest though, if I had a bad back, I'd much rather see a physiotherapist than an osteopath.

SoupDragon Wed 01-Jan-14 18:25:35

I have to be honest though, if I had a bad back, I'd much rather see a physiotherapist than an osteopath.

Which shows that you don't understand osteopathy and the relief it can bring to a bad back. smile

Cantthinkofafrigginname Wed 01-Jan-14 18:26:38

I don't think osteopathy can cure any thing. Anyone who eats they can cure something is unprofessional. I've never met an osteopath who thinks they can cure eczema/anxiety. Possible help with eczema if they are also a trained naturopath.

Osteopaths are not just trained in back pain. It is effective for many musculoskeletal pains including cervico genic (neck related) headaches, tennis elbow, shoulder pain.

BillyBanter Wed 01-Jan-14 18:26:57

As long as they are sticking to massage, manipulation and advising on posture and exercises then it's fine. Anyone who claims miracle cures is woowoo whatever tool they use. It's not comparable to homeopathy which has no basis in the reality of anatomy, physiology or chemistry.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 18:27:38

SoupDragon Um, I do actually. I used to do ballet as a teenager and had a hip problem. The osteopath I saw was very nice and massaged my hip/back but physio cured the actual problem and allowed me to continue.

LynetteScavo Wed 01-Jan-14 18:28:56

I think osteopaths have really helped me, DH and DS1.

I don't care what anyone else thinks, and I consider it money extremely well spent.

I can see why people might think it woo, as the treatment I and DS received was incredibly gentle (can't speak about DH as I wasn't in the room)

How funny.

I had my back pain (slipped disc, ouch) seen to by GP, then osteopath, who helped me with my back.

I thought he was a specialist, like a dermatologist or something, rather than an alternative medicine practicioner.

I never knew! And I am super sceptical about anything woo!!!!!!!!!

Cantthinkofafrigginname Wed 01-Jan-14 18:29:09

Candy - why physio??

I believe physio's have their place but most are concentrated on exercise (esp NHS). Exercises are important but hand on treatment is also required.

Are you aware that osteopaths study for 4 years full time and have to pass an external exam to practice? That also have to complete continuing professional development every year?

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 18:32:49

Canthink Why physio? Because the exercises were key as I was exercising (doing ballet and other dance). Maybe I just saw a crap osteo and a great physio? My experience of physio is clearly unusual as I've had physio on and off for 12 years and never not had treatment during the sessions.

Cantthinkofafrigginname Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:02

Soup - their are good physio's and good osteopaths. Their are also bad of each.

It's also personal. A lot of good physio's use osteopathic techniques (a lot of good osteo's use physio ideas),

In private practice (not NHS) there is a massive overlap. You might find an osteopath and physio who work very similarly and 2 osteopaths who work very differently.

It's about finding the right practitioner for you.

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:03

Not woo, but you may get the same thing for free from an NHS physio.

Well worth £30 for the massage and manipulation she gave me for awful general back ache and tingling fingers and toes from tying my self in knots with stress.

Not worth it for sciatica, where physio does the same as osteopath for free.

Would be worth it if we weren't spoilt in having almost no physio waiting list.

lilyaldrin Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:09

Lots of people confuse osteopathy and cranial osteopathy, and believe that as osteopathy has an evidence base and is actually recommended as a therapy by the NHS for back pain, CO must be similarly genuine.

Cranial osteopaths don't manipulate joints or muscles, they believe they have a sensitive sense of touch and can feel a "cranial rhythm" in the head, and by using light touch they can restore a natural balance hmm It can "work" for conditions that will essentially sort themselves out fairly shortly (just like homeopathy) - which is why they like to "treat" colic/crying babies.

Cantthinkofafrigginname Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:44

Xpost. Was it a private physio??

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 18:33:50

Btw I do accept I may be unreasonable. I did do some reading on osteopathy btw and I have seen an osteopath but I'm still not convinced. I feel the same way about acupuncture.

stepmooster Wed 01-Jan-14 18:34:03

Both babies had torticolis, eldest couldn't turn head to right, or walk. As we waited for NHS physio appt (3 months plus) thought I'd give osteopath a go.

After first session eldest had more movement. By 3rd she was crawling properly and turning to right. Not long after that she walked!

Osteopath taught me how to manipulate DDs shoulder and some stretches. She also taught me how to relieve tension across youngest sinuses, as he was incredibly stuffy and finding it hard to feed.

I thought it was woo before, but I am converted!

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 01-Jan-14 18:36:12

I've had both private and NHS physio. My NHS one is actually better, I see her monthly. I may be lucky that I have a fab physio department in my local hosp.

I've only seen one private osteopath. He's certainly never claimed to cure eczema or anything random. He was very nice and I loved my back being massaged but I am on the fence given what I have read.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now