Osteopathy and Sport
Osteopathic Sports Care
Do you have a passion for sport, exercise and physical education? Has it inspired your interest in anatomy and human biology?
Are you looking for a rewarding career, where your specialist knowledge and hands-on skills can help improve people’s health?
Do you want to graduate with a recognised qualification, ready to start your career as a registered healthcare professional?
Study to become an osteopath
The British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in London and the European School of Osteopathy (ESO) in Kent are renowned internationally for providing high quality osteopathic education. Our broad degree programmes and exceptional clinical training ensure we graduate well-rounded healthcare practitioners, able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of health complaints, with patients of all ages and backgrounds.
The breadth of approaches and techniques taught also provides an introduction to different styles of practice, helping students develop their own preferences and areas of special interest.
Specialist sports clinics
BCOM and ESO sports clinics are led by specialist tutors, who are also experienced, practising osteopaths. Under their supervision, students assess, diagnose and devise management and treatment plans for their patients.
Students may enter our specialist sports clinic in their final year, gaining valuable exposure to minor injuries and conditions more commonly associated with sport. The type of patient seen in sports clinic varies but may include weekend enthusiasts, through to professional dancers and elite level athletes. Many dedicated athletes return to the clinic on a regular basis, to maintain their health and help prevent recurrence of injury. Rehabilitation is a vital element of our sports clinics. Often, people return to their sport too early, with the potential risk of further serious injury. The sports clinic team can provide advice to help ensure a controlled and measured return to fitness.
Our integrated masters programme (the MOst) also offers a sport-based elective in the final year, so students can study this subject in more detail:-
- Understand and develop skills in the aetiology, presentation, and management of sports and related injuries (acute and chronic)
- Understand the evidence behind treatment and management, for example, the role of nutrition
- Recognise other conditions that may appear as sports injuries (e.g., malignancy, infection, etc)
- Understand any specific sports-related injury guidelines
Sports osteopathy in practice
After graduating, many osteopaths see patients of all ages and from diverse backgrounds – this includes patients experiencing minor strains and sports injuries, which may be helped through healthcare advice and osteopathic treatment. An osteopath may also refer their patient to another practitioner or to their GP for further tests or specialist support.
Newly qualified osteopaths looking to specialise in sport usually join an existing multi-disciplinary practice, working alongside other physical therapists and sharing clinic facilities. They may decide to set up their own specialist sports clinic, where they may offer complementary treatment approaches and utilise specialist equipment and technology.
Osteopaths can increasingly be found working as part of the medical team at professional sports clubs and at international sporting events. At elite level, additional qualifications, in sports medicine and/or rehabilitation, will usually be required as well as demonstrable experience of working in a sports setting.
A varied and flexible career
Working independently can lead to a better work-life balance; for example, it’s often possible to arrange practice hours around personal or family commitments, to allow for postgraduate study or perhaps around your own training commitments. Transferrable skills can also make Osteopathy a good choice for those looking to build a portfolio career; part-time practice could enable you to lecture or take up a research or consultancy role.
What you'll study
Our osteopathy degree provides all the knowledge and specialist skills you need to treat people of all ages and backgrounds, and introduces you to a range of specialisms. You’ll gain:
- extensive knowledge of anatomy
- access to a team of specialist lecturers and osteopathic tutors
- a broad curriculum, including nutrition and psychology
- a wide range of osteopathic approaches and hands-on techniques
- 1,000 hours of clinical experience, gained within dedicated teaching clinics
- specialist clinics and electives, including sports osteopathy
- modules in leadership, research and business development
- a community of like-minded people and life-long connections with friends and colleagues around the world
Find out more
You can find more information about our four-year Osteopathy degrees programmes on our Undergraduate Courses page. Our friendly Admissions team is also happy to arrange a personal tour of our London and Kent campuses and can offer individual advice on entry requirements and the admissions process.
Case Study: Jon McSwiney, Osteopath Specialising in Sports
Jon McSwiney graduated from BCOM in 1996 and since has specialised in osteopathy and sports. He was selected as part of the medical team for the London 2012 Olympic Games, treating rowing athletes. In 2017 he was also selected for the medical team at the 2017 World and Para Athletics Championships held at the Olympic Stadium and recently was part of the medical team at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Jon also pursues his passion for working in sport covering on pitch for Didcot Rugby Union Football Club and the Oxfordshire Under 20s. Jon was also lecturer in anatomy and osteopathy at BCOM and is a Moderator for the final clinical competence exams at BCOM.Commenting on why he chose to study osteopathy and his career to date Jon said, "I visited an osteopath in my early twenties and was immediately struck by the hands on treatment. At our core we are physical therapists who continue to gain acceptance across a wide range of fields. Sport loves osteopaths. We are able to use our observational skills with our knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics to treat the athlete as a whole and as an individual. Even the simplest soft tissue techniques can have a huge positive effect for an elite athlete but also the weekend warrior visiting your clinic. If you choose to focus more on sport, osteopathy gives you the tools to succeed."
Case Study: Gemma Fisher, Osteopath & Formula 1 Human Performance Consultant
Gemma graduated with a Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost) in 2012 after a career as a gym instructor and personal trainer. She gained additional qualifications in Medical Acupuncture, Cranio-sacral Osteopathy and Kinesiotaping.
She was employed by Williams Martini Racing as a Human Performance Specialist providing the medical care for the Williams Formula One team and their drivers. She went on to look after the health and wellbeing of the wider Williams Group workforce, as well as working with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop innovative technology and protocols for medical applications.
She now runs her own practice in Reading known as Formula Health which includes a sports injury clinic. To find out more about Gemma’s career please click the image.
Case Study: Pierre Meslet, Sports Osteopathy & Rehabilitation
French-born Pierre graduated from the European School of Osteopathy in 2011, after first gaining a degree in Sports & Exercise Science and a Diploma of Physiotherapy (Canada). Pierre has a special interest in sports osteopathy and was a member of the medical team at the London 2012 Olympic Games and 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.
After working as an associate osteopath in Singapore for several years, he now practices in South West London, where he offers office and home visits (osteopathy and rehabilitation).
By managing his own diary, Pierre enjoys a flexible career that allows him to enjoy family life and also pursue his own passions, including training and competing in the Marathon des Sables, a six-day 250km race in the Sahara known as the toughest footrace on the planet.
To find out more about Pierre's career please click the image.
What our students say
“I chose the modified attendance course as it was structured in a way that allowed me to maintain my current full-time employment and study alongside it. I had been looking at Osteopathy courses for a few years, but all the other formats of study offered weren’t compatible with my job. Due to the minimal time required away from work, my employer fully supported me in undertaking the degree.” Jamie, Year 1, BSc (Hons) Osteopathy student and working as a soft-tissue therapist at a Premier League football club
“I chose to study osteopathy because I am passionate about the human body and I am also passionate about helping people… The tutors and staff at BCOM have been brilliant, my fellow students have been great and I have enjoyed every step of the journey.” Takunda Pswarayi, BCOM 2022 graduate
“The quality of teaching and support at BCOM is first class and provides a solid foundation to becoming a well-rounded osteopath. Overall, the course has exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering osteopathy.” Sabrina Chow, BCOM 2018 Graduate
“I feel like the best thing about studying at the ESO is the feeling that you are part of a big family, You get to know each other well during the first term, and you do everything together. The student association organises events at the campus every term which are good fun, Maidstone also has plenty of nice pubs and clubs.” Oliver, ESO 2022 Graduate
“The ESO has so many amazing connections and I like the idea of spending a few years working in New Zealand. I know I made the right choice choosing ESO as I have met so many amazing and like-minded people. I can see why graduates come back as lecturers to teach at the ESO.” Anna, ESO Year 4 Student