frequently asked questions

This page tries to answer some common questions, about osteopathy and Alison's practice please read to the end of the page as it covers some useful information you may not have been aware of.


Why should I go to Alison for Osteopathic treatment?


Over 25 Years of Clinical Expertise 

Alison has been in practice for 25 years and is thus has a vast experience and therefore deals with very complicated cases, she offers high quality bespoke osteopathy. She is passionate about helping to improve people's health and general well being and finds it particularly rewarding being able to help someone recover after an accident or trauma and she also enjoys educating patients so as to understand the condition and help prevent further problems in the future. She very rarely uses high velocity manipulation (when you hear a click) believing that there are for more effective and safer ways to treat a problem.

Bespoke Osteopathy

Each consultation / treatment is tailored to suit each individual, there is no one size fits all when it comes to treatment at Alison's practice.

Expertise to deal with complex cases

Alison's clinical expertise in dealing with very complex cases is down to her long career in which she has worked as a clinical osteopath, clinical supervisor, lecturer in  undergraduate osteopathic colleges and as an examiner for end of year examinations and an occupational osteopath assessing the individual within their working environment to help prevent future injuries and health problems.  The 5 years spent at the osteopathic centre for Children in London treating children and babies has given her a solid foundation not only in paediatrics but in treating adults where many problems may result from childhood.  

Osteopath to performing artists

Alison specialises in helping musicians and caring for the voice.

Is Osteopathy Safe?

Yes. Osteopathy is a a statutorily regulated health profession under the Osteopaths Act 1993. The title Osteopath is protected under this law which states that all osteopaths are required by law to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council and to undergo a minimum amount of professional training each year. Osteopathic academic and clinical training lasts several years making them primary health professionals who can be consulted and diagnose and treat without a GP referral.  Osteopaths are trained to differentiate those conditions which would benefit from osteopathic treatment from those which would not. If your condition would benefit more from other type of treatment Alison will refer you to your GP or the most appropriate health professional ensuring you always receive the most appropriate clinical care.   

What about training?

After the initial university degree all osteopaths are required by law to undertake at least 30 hours of CPD each year;  Alison usually far exceeds this requirement as she continually attends lectures and seminars on osteopathy and other related medical fields to ensure her skills are constantly updated.   She also attends regular seminars and courses on performing arts medicine, and the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) also has their minimum requirments for their registered practitioners to ensure performers receive safe and effective treatment.  Please see the Breadth of Knowledge Page to see Alison's recent CProfessional Development.

What is the difference between an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Sports Therapist?  

Osteopathy is a unique profession which differs from other manual therapy professions and as such is statutory registered.  It is illegal to call yourself an osteopath or practice osteopathy without being qualified and registered by the General Osteopathic Council.  

Osteopaths are trained to assess the biomechanics of the body, this involves the mechanics of all the tissues of the body, not just joints or bones of the spine but  muscular, ligamentous, organs, connective tissue, nerves etc. Injuries are not treated in isolation but as a part of the whole body so that compensatory factors are taken in to account. Therefore it is a very thorogh type of treatment suitable for all ages from infants to sports people, from office workers to the very elderly.

Osteopaths are trained to differentiate medical conditions and to to refer for medical tests when appropriate. Rehabilitation exercises are used, but after treatment, not in isolation. Osteopaths are trained in manipulation but this  is only one technique of many that can be used. Alison prefers to use the most gentle technique possible to treat a problem so as not to cause undue strain on the body. Xrays, MRI scans and Bone Density Scans may be referred for when appropriate to confirm pathology, degeneration or anatomical abnormalities. Xrays and scans are used only in the same way as doctors.

Physiotherapists generally concern themselves with exercises and muscular disorders or rehabilitation after illness such as stroke.

Chiropractors tend to focus on the facet joints of the spine and use high velocity thrusts ( when you hear a click) a of the spine and  use Xrays or scans as routine to look at spinal alignment.

Sports Therapists are trained to improve sports performance and to treat injuries which are related to sport.

Could I go to a Massage Therapist?

Massage can be a relaxing treatment and can help with relieving muscular tension. However, if you are experiencing pain or in particular if you have any tingling, burning or swelling symptoms it is essential that you are examined and diagnosed by a health professional who is clinically trained  first such as an osteopath or a doctor before seeeing a massage therapist as massage may be contraindicated and other types of treatment may be necessary to relieve your symptoms and treat the underlying condition.

Do osteopaths only treat backs?

No. While evaluation of the mechanics and disorders of the spine is a major part of Alison's training there are many other injuries or problems that can be effectively treated.

Do osteopaths treat muscle and ligaments as well as joint injuries?

Yes, Osteopathy can help with muscular and ligamentous strains as well as joint injuries. Alison has many years experience in treating muscular, tendon and ligament injuries as well as injuries to the spine and other joints. It is a common misconception that osteopaths only treat bone. Osteopaths assess the mechanics of all the tissues aand assess the mechanics of all the tissues of the body bone, muscle ligaments, fascia, nerves, blood vessels, fascia, organs, etc.

I have been told I shouldn't have manipulation, or I don't like manipulation can I still receive osteopathic treatment?

Yes. Alison very rarely uses high velocity manipulation and always uses the most gentle technique possible to correct the problem as she believes that too much high velocity manipulation is damaging to the spine. 

Sometimes people understand manipulation and osteopathy to be synonymous, this is incorrect Alison has a range of techniques she can use some so gentle they can be used on a new born baby and others firmer to restore fitness to an ahtlete.  Your age and medical history are always taken into account when choosing which technique to use.

I have osteoporosis or osteopenia, can I still receive osteopathic treatment?

Yes. Alison is very experienced in treating people with osteoporois and through gentle treatment can help to relieve the discomfort, spasms and pain associated with this condition. Certain techniques are contra-indicated with low bone density however Alison always adjusts the treatment to suit you, your medical history and age. Alison can also help with advising on general lifestyle to deal with this condition.
Alison also refers directly for scans to check bone density when appropriate.

Am I too old to have osteopathic treatment?

There is no upper age limit at Alison's practice. Alison is very experienced in treating the very elderly and uses very gentle techniques. The oldest patient treated to date was 97!

Is my baby too young for osteopathic treatment?

Alison is an experienced and qualified paediatric osteopath.The youngest baby Alison has treated was just 2 days old! Only very gentle techniques are used on babies, so gentle in fact they can often sleep or feed whilst being treated.

What professional bodies does Alison belong to?

Statutorily Registered with the General Osteopathic council no. 2517
Registered Practitioner with the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine
Member of the Osteopathic Performing Arts Care Association
Member of the Institute of Osteopathy
Member of the British Voice Association.
Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine