One figure that’s often quoted by osteopaths when promoting their services is that 30,000 people visit an osteopath in the UK every day. However, we know that misleading patients and the general public is widespread within the profession. This means that some of those 30,000 people will have been misled into having a treatment that was unsuitable for them.
The people who are misled into having an unsuitable osteopathic treatment include:
- Anyone with a condition that is not on the “allowed” list.
- Any pregnant woman, baby or child who is misled into taking treatment by information in conflict with the ASA guidelines
- A significant number of people with low back pain or sciatica as osteopathy is no longer a first-line treatment.
- Anyone who has a “preventative” or “maintenance” osteopathic treatment. There is no evidence that either of these is effective.
It’s impossible to quantify how many of the 30,000 people who visit an osteopath every day are misled into doing so. However, there are a large number of conditions that osteopaths CANNOT treat. Osteopaths also treat more people with back problems than any other condition and their treatments are no longer a first-line option for these people. It therefore seems likely that a significant proportion of the people who visit an osteopath every day have been misled into doing so.
The next time you are told that 30,000 people visit an osteopath every day, just remember that a significant number of them should not have done so.