Frequently asked questions about osteopathy

What training do osteopaths receive?

All osteopaths are trained at colleges approved by the General Osteopathic Council (“RQ status”). They provide four or five year courses, which include subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, embryology, statistics, biomechanics, research methodology, pathology, practice of medicine, diagnosis, applied anatomy and physiology techniques and specialized areas of patient care. The colleges have out-patient clinics where students treat patients under supervision of osteopathic clinical tutors. Rigorous examinations culminate in the Final Clinical Competence examination, a practical external examination under the aegis of the GosC. Once qualified, osteopaths are expected to undergo continuous professional development (CPD) by attending postgraduate courses and conferences and maintain high standards of theoretical and practical skills.

How are osteopaths regulated?

The Osteopaths Act 1993 established the statutory body – the General Osteopathic Council – to lay down standards, monitor education and regulate the professional and ethical standards of the profession. The GosC inspects the osteopathic colleges, supervises the final clinical competence exams, ensures osteopaths comply with continuing professional development, applies a strict code of professional ethics, and deals with any complaints by the public against osteopaths. The GosC publishes a current directory of all osteopaths on the register. Only practitioners registered with the GosC can legally call themselves osteopaths.

How much does it cost?

Osteopathic fees compare favourably with other professional and medical fees. Our scale of fees is viewable on this website. Fees are reimbursed by all private health insurance schemes.

What is the youngest and oldest you can be to visit
an Osteopath?

Our youngest patients are newborn babies. Our oldest is a lady of 102. Osteopathic techniques are adaptable to all ages.

Should I see my doctor first?

Osteopaths are trained in diagnosis and carry out a full case history and examination. If your case needs further investigation, such as ECG or blood tests, the osteopath will refer you to your GP with a note regarding relevant tests.

How will you know what’s wrong with me?

Osteopaths are trained in diagnosis and carry out a full case history and examination. The information from the case history and examination enables them to arrive at a full diagnosis. Sometimes further investigations, such as ECG or blood tests, are needed and then the osteopath will refer you to your GP with a note regarding relevant tests.

What if my condition is not suitable for osteopathy?

Osteopaths are trained in diagnosis and carry out a full case history and examination. The osteopath will use the case history and examination to make a diagnosis. If the condition would not benefit from osteopathy, they will advise you so. If your case needs further investigation, such as ECG or blood tests, the osteopath will refer you to your GP with a note regarding relevant tests.

Will I need X-rays?

X-rays only show bones and not the muscles, nerves, ligaments or other soft tissues that make up for 95% of the body and are the most usual cause of symptoms. So X-rays are only useful in cases such as suspected fracture, bone infection, congenital anomaly, and some degenerative conditions. There are other imaging examinations, such as MRI scans, which may be more appropriate than an X-ray. But all these techniques have their limitations. Such investigations, if needed, should only be ordered after a thorough case history and examination to ensure that the relevant investigation is ordered. In 90% of cases, the case history and examination provide enough clinical information to arrive at a diagnosis. If your osteopath thinks x-rays or other investigations are needed, he will refer you for them.

How many treatment sessions will I need?

That depends on many factors, such as the severity and nature of the condition, how long it has been there, the patient’s age, occupation and general health. Some conditions recover completely in one or two visits, others take longer. At the first visit, once we have examined you, we will be able to give you an idea of how rapid your progress will probably be.

How long does a visit last?

On the first visit, we allow forty to sixty minutes and subsequently twenty to thirty minutes. And depending on the case, we may need to spend longer or shorter than that with the patient.

What’s the difference between osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors?

Osteopaths and Chiropractors work independently and make their own diagnoses. Physiotherapists mostly work under the supervision of a doctor. Osteopaths and Chiropractors use hands-on treatment on a one-to-one basis. Physiotherapists usually use machines and give the patient exercises. Osteopaths use a wider variety of manual techniques than Chiropractors. Chiropractors tend to use only high-velocity thrust techniques. Chiropractors are renowned for their commercial acumen. Chiropractic treatment sessions are usually much shorter in duration and patients are often seen several times a week and frequently on an ongoing basis. Osteopathic treatment programmes generally involve weekly appointments, allowing the body to heal and to avoid long term dependency on treatment.


“David Rodway is worth his weight in gold.”
– Builth Wells GP

“I have every confidence in David Rodway.”
– Sketty, Swansea GP.

“I write to thank you for referring me back to my GP last week. As you suspected, blood tests have confirmed that my neck and shoulder pains are due to polymyalgia and I understand that your prompt action may have saved my sight.”
– Mrs. P, retired solicitor, Langland, Swansea

“I was most pleased by my progress. I was especially impressed when David J Rodway D O discharged me despite some lingering symptoms, assuring me they would go without further treatment. I would have been none the wiser had you carried on treating me and taking a fee, so thank you again for your skill and integrity.”
– Mr. S, shop owner, Llandeilo

“Just a line to thank you for sending me off in the right direction. As you said, my leg pains were due to poor circulation.”
– Mr. J, retired accountant, Bishopston

“As a nervous patient seeing an osteopath for my first time, I was reassured by your calm and attentive manner and the time you took to examine me and explain the problem.”
– Miss D, local government officer, Brecon

“Thank you for your advice over the phone. As you suggested, my baffling “mystery symptoms” have been confirmed as meralgia paresthetica.”
– Mrs. E, housewife and mum-to-be, Carmarthen

“David J Rodway D O’s professionalism and pragmatism are incarnate. Uncommon skills in getting patients better, they are one of the best there is and yet the last to blow their own horn. Not one to treat patients for more treatments than they need, but to discharge them when they are better. And like to get the patients better as soon as they can. When there is a need to refer they have a network of medical colleagues to send their patients to. They will go the extra mile for you if needed.”
– Jody Jacob, Osteopath, Director Saude International, Portugal

“David is a colleague who has been at the top of the profession for many years. He is well known for putting his brain into use and is a very effective practitioner.”
– Prof Laurie Hartman, Osteopath, Technique lecturer, Author of Osteopathic Technique

“David is one of the best clinical osteopaths in Europe. For many years he was an outstanding examiner for the GOsC. His great strengths have always been his integrity and his intellect. He is a maestro.”
– John O’Brien, Osteopath, Historian at the National Osteopathic Archive

“David is one of the best osteopaths I know. I often recommend patients to him, safe in the knowledge that he will treat them with respect and do a good job.”
– Brian McKenna, Osteopath in Cardiff, GOsC Council member

“David is a true professional who has a wealth of experience in the field of osteopathy. He has a special talent in working out how occlusion affects posture. I have worked closely with him many times with respect to this, with great benefit to the patients.”
– John Anderson, Dentist, Neath

“I have known David professionally for ten years and have found him to be a true and dedicated professional, always striving for the best for his patients.”
– Genevieve Brown, Osteopath, Builth Wells