Def of elucidating
osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.Both groups were equally amazed when told that it would make no difference.The is the statement that the sum of (the areas of) the two small squares equals (the area of) the big one.I guess, this comes as a bit of a surprise to many consumers who have been told over and over again by osteopaths and their supporters that the evidence is sound.Personally, I am not at all surprised because, two years ago, we published a similar review, albeit with a wider spectrum of conditions, namely any type of musculoskeletal pain. Five of them suggested that osteopathy leads to a significantly stronger reduction of musculoskeletal pain than a range of control interventions.In the UK, they are regulated by statute, in other counties not.And as to the “wide range of conditions”, I am not aware of any disease or symptom for which the evidence is convincing.
The question is how well are these techniques supported by reliable evidence.
In case this sounds a bit vague to you, and in case you wonder what this “wide range of conditions” might be, rest assured, you are not alone.
So let’s try to be a little more concrete and clear up some of the confusion around this profession.
Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms.
They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.And as so often, the victims of bogus claims are the consumers who are being misled into making wrong therapeutic decisions, wasting money, and delaying recovery from illness.