Is Osteopathy safe? In fact, Osteopathy is immeasurably safer that driving in a car, riding a bike, walking in a park, flying in a plane, staying in bed or taking an aspirin.

The risk of injury from spinal manipulation is related to the upper cervical spine, with the head held backwards and rotated as far as is possible… like in the movies. It doesn’t happen that way in real life and certainly not in our clinic. In the rare instance that the upper cervical spine needs to be manipulated, a ‘provocation’ test is performed, and if negative – that is, it doesn’t provoke any strange symptoms or signs – the manipulation is performed with the head held forward and rotated only minimally. There is no strain on the vertebral arteries when the practitioner uses this positioning.

The other extremely rare risk attributed, often incorrectly, to manual therapy is dissection of the arteries of the neck. This is a pathology that begins to develop days or weeks before the patient develops a one sided sore neck and headache… and so visits the osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage therapist or GP. However the dissection is undetectable without specialist scanning, and the process is already in train. The hapless practitioner can get the blame for a process that had started days before and is otherwise undetectable.

Of course, practitioners or a therapeutic approach can be deemed dangerous because of what is NOT done - danger by neglect. We might miss something. You can be assured that our practitioners have had a comprehensive and extremely detailed medical education, with particular emphasis on the screening and diagnosis of the kinds of injuries and illnesses likely to turn up to a musculoskeletal clinic. All our patients have a comprehensive history taken, all have a clinical examination. We do not ever vacillate or hesitate to refer to a different modality or a GP or Emergency should that be necessary.