(You can find a french translation of this article here)
Nothing at all...
In Fact Osteopathy does not treat anything but helps the patient to treat himself. The Osteopath just sign-posts the patient's body towards a different route of adaptation. In short, helping the body to improve itself.
In general, I would say that Osteopathy can "treat" or help with dysfunctions of the body :
"Dysfunction" could be described as a state between health and disease.
Untreated dysfunctions can lead the body toward uneconomical way to adapt a certain pattern. Uneconomical through a mechanical, physical, physiological, energetic (calories) point of view. It is a bit like driving around with a Porsche forgetting to remove your handbrake ! You can expect a poor acceleration, overuse of the brakes and high fuel consumption.
On the long term the body will be more exhausted and this can lead to potential illnesses (eg : infections) or premature ageing (eg : osteoarthritis).
While Osteopathy focusses mostly on the dysfunctions of the body certain pathologies can also be helped or improved (to a certain extent) ; certain types of asthma, gastritis, endomitriosis, Crohn's... Even if A.T. Still reported to treat cases of dysentery, it is unreasonable nowadays to prefer Osteopathy to an allopathic approach for the treatment of any types of infections, diseases or cancers.
"Osteopathy has no limit, only Osteopaths have some" this is a sentence from Idon'trememberwho, and I find it particularly true.
I have met a few people telling me about there symptoms during casual conversations and they say that Osteopathy can't help it because they saw an Osteopath and their problem didn't get any better. I would say that this Osteopath couldn't help you, how many have you tried ? Because you know there are as many different Osteopath(ies) than there are different Osteopaths. That's right, no Osteopath will practice the same way another one does !
The following list includes a series of patients' complaints or symptoms that I could help with :
Common complaints :
-neck, shoulder pain/sprain
-Thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome
-Temporo-mendibular joint pain
-hip, knee, ankle, foot pain/sprain
-complaints due to wear and tear (osteoarthritis)
-Repetitive strain injury
Less common complaints :
-Crohn's disease (decrease reoccurence of crisis, improve digestion and stress)
-endomitriosis (in certain cases helped with pain and associated symptoms eg : lowback pain/headaches)
-asthma (mostly with stress or effort induced asthma decrease of frequency and seriousness of attacks)
-Bell's palsy (helped to recover but need more patients to say how much the treatments help)
-hemiplegia (might help the recovery after the attack, but mostly decrease the aches and pain caused by spastic muscles and body imbalances)
-paralytic syndromes (see above)
These are cases I have treated over the years where I believe my osteopathic treatments have been helpful in the recovery.
Of course not all complaints are "treatable" and when there are not, it is important to check the reasons that could interfere with the improvements. These maintening factors can be due to daily activities, diet, intoxications, lack of sport, poor posture, psychological barriers or underlying pathologies. In this case your Osteopath is able to refer you to the appropriate consultant or to another Osteopath who may have another method of treatment.