Career outlook for osteopath
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would use your hands to manipulate or put pressure on people’s bodies. You’d aim to help the person feel better by helping them to develop muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and joints that work efficiently together.
You would work see people with different problems including:
- Older people with arthritis
- Babies with colic
- Adults with lower back pain
- People recovering from a sports injury
- Women experiencing posture changes caused by pregnancy
To find out what is wrong, you would ask the person about their health and medical history. You’d examine how they sit, stand and walk, paying particular attention to their muscles, ligaments and vertebrae. You might also use X-rays to help with your diagnosis.
You would then plan a course of treatment for the person. This would involve using gentle, hands-on techniques such as:
- Joint mobilisation
- Deep pressure
You’d use your highly-developed sense of touch to reduce swelling, ease pain, locate strains and increase mobility.
As part of the treatment you would also advise people about their diet and lifestyle. And you might give clients exercises to do at home.
Osteopathy is a complementary or alternative therapy. You would not use not use surgery or drugs.
People will trust you to do your best to help them and look to you for reassurance. But if you can’t resolve the person’s problem you’d refer them to a doctor or another complementary therapist. People might also be referred to you by their GP.
This work can be physically demanding.
Having the administrative skills to run your own business, such as marketing and financial management, would also be useful.
UK employment status
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- Verbal communication
- Social conscience
- Attention to detail
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