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Osteopathy for runners

Can running hurt my back?

There’s a common belief that running is ‘bad for your back’, owning to the impact of the feet striking the ground and reverberating up to the spine. And indeed many patients report experiencing episodes of back pain after running. However, there’s now good evidence to show that running has no detrimental effects on the structure of the spine, and research is actually showing a reduction in spinal damage (such as damage to the joints and discs of the spine) in regular runners. It’s thought that the regular impact of running actually causes the spine to adapt an become stronger and more robust, as well as nourishing the discs and tissues of the spine. So, there’s nothing to fear, it turns out running is actually healthy for the spine!

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Move with confidence

However, it’s not usual to experience short episodes back pain if you’re either taking up running for the first time, returning from running after a period of time off, or increasing your training (such as distance or intensity). On these occasions, the muscles, joints and soft tissues of the spine and pelvis can become sore, sensitive and begin to guard (stiffen). Gradually increasing your running over a period of weeks and allowing adequate rest between runs for spinal tissues to recover and adapt is the mainstay of good advice.

How can an osteopath help?

An osteopath will be able to assess which movements of your spine and body may be stiff and painful, and contributing to your problem. Combined with the above advice, an osteopath can use manual therapy techniques to help facilitate movement of the spine and lower body and help reduce the sensitivity of your sore muscles and joints, to reduce pain and support your running training.


Osteopathic Treatment 

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. Osteopaths are statutorily regulated primary healthcare professionals, who work in the private healthcare and/or primary, secondary and tertiary care in NHS settings

Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to help increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle/joint tension and pain. Your osteopath may combine a range of other treatment techniques in their approach, such as gentle ‘cranial’ techniques, rehabilitative exercises and advice about how you can self-manage your condition.


What can osteopathy help with?

Osteopathic treatment can be helpful for problems associated with many areas of the body and variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain and neck pain, repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and minor sports injuries.


What we treat

Common complaints presenting to our clinic include:

  • Acute and Chronic Back Pain

  • Arthritic Pain

  • Generalised Aches and Pains

  • Sciatica and ‘Lumbago’

  • Joint Pains including Hip and Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

  • Mechanical Neck Pain

  • Headache arising from the neck (Cervicogenic) / Migraine Prevention

  • Shoulder Pain and ‘Frozen’ Shoulder

  • Elbow Pain / ‘Tennis Elbow’ (Lateral Epicondylitis) and ‘Golfers’ Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

  • Muscle Spasms

  • Neuralgia

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Rheumatic Pain

  • Sports Injuries

Osteopathy during Pregnancy

Back and pelvic pain during pregnancy can be extremely uncomfortable, unpleasant and distressing. Osteopathy treatment is safe and can be effective for treating pregnancy-related pain such as back/pelvic pain, sciatica and muscular tension in the back, neck and shoulders.

 Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy involves gentle stretching and soothing movement of joints and soft tissues (e.g. muscles), and combined with reassurance, advice and exercise guidance can be helpful to ease pain and support you throughout your pregnancy.


Effective Treatment

The effectiveness of osteopathic treatment has been recognised by The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). The recent NICE guidelines recommend osteopathy (including spinal manipulation, spinal mobilisation and massage) for the early management of persistent non-specific low back pain.





Dr Oliver Thomson

Fiona Lovett




Initial Consultation 60 minutes - £75
Subsequent Treatments 30-45 minutes - £65


Most private and medical insurance schemes incl. AVIVA, CIGNA, SIMPLY HEALTH and VITALITY cover osteopathy but individual policies may vary. Some insurance companies require a referral from your doctor. Should you like to be treated under insurance cover, please contact your insurer to find out their requirements and notify reception when making your booking.