There are risks with any treatment:

Osteopathy is a very safe form of non-invasive treatment that has a good track record. As with any form of treatment that has the power to do good, there is also the possibility of adverse reactions.  Making sure that your osteopath is informed of your full medical history and any changes to your medications can help to reduce these risks.

Adverse Reactions from Osteopathic Treatments can be characterised as follows:

Mild effects:

Mild effects are common.  About half of all patients experience them.They are as common as getting “heads” when you toss a coin.

Tenderness or stiffness



Numbness and tingling in the first 1-3 days after treatment, which then disappear

Moderate effects:

Moderate effects are quite common.These are experienced by about 1in 100 patients. And 99 in 100 patients (99%) will not have these effects.The risk is about the same as drawing an ace of spades from a pack of cards, or being injured in a fall on your stairs at home this year

More severe pain

Bothersome numbness and tingling lasting weeks or months

Serious effects:

These are rare.Tens of thousands of people have been followed up after manipulative treatment and no serious effects have been observed.

A few patients suffering a stroke had a neck manipulation some time before, but stroke also can be triggered by mild neck impact in sport, at the hairdresser, driving or sneezing.

The best estimate of the risk is 1 in 10 000 treatments.

This is 1 person in capacity crowd at the football stadium at Southend, Bury or Luton.

The risk is like the chance of finding a needle in a haystack. The risk is about as rare as dying in an accident at home.

Requiring medical treatment, some effects may be longstanding or permanent:

Examples are:


Nerve damage

Muscular weakness

Bowel and bladder weakness


Source:Ref NCOR Research


What does this mean for me?


1) You should be aware of the risks and benefits of treatment and give consent before any treatment ensues.

2) You should contact the clinic if you have any concerns after a treatment and be aware of the potential symptoms:

If you experience numbness around the anus associated with an inability to go to the toilet you should seek medical attention.

Contact the clinic on 0113 2867562 or out of hours use the Contact Form.

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