Osteopaths census

a C.O.M.E. Collaboration project

SPAIN project info

OPERA Completed!

Synthesis of the census

Time period of the survey

January-May 2018

Target population

Any practitioner who works in Spain and defined himself as an osteopath, regardless of his / her education, academic degrees, whether or not different professions are combined, and where and when the training took place

National partners

Jon Arraiza (AOC: Academia de Osteopatia Craneal); Andeka Bravo de Medina Urtiaga (APREO: Asociación Profesional de Osteopatas de España); Sergio Suarez (APROETENA: Asociación profesional española de Terapias Naturales);Marcos Gómez Lopez-Rioboo (Escuela de Osteopatia de A Coruña); David Herrero (EFO Madrid: Esciuela de Formaciones Osteopáticas Madrid); Albert Paredes (EOB: Escola d’Osteopatia de Barcelona); Mario Luis Gonzalez Díaz (EORA: European Osteopathy Research and Academy);Pedro Cubela (EOTS: Escuela de Osteopatia y técnicas para la salud); David Moreno (ESTENA: Escuela de técnicas naturales); Mario Luis Gonzalez Díaz (FBEO: Formación Belga Española de Osteopatia);Fermín López (FOE: Federación de Osteópatas de España); Diego Etayo (IEOC: Instituto español de Osteopatía Clásica);Esmeralda Cava (INOVA: Instituto de Osteopatia Valencia);Sergio Sanchez (SEMO: Sociedad Española de Medicina Osteopática)

Sponsor or financial partners

ROE: Registro de Osteopatas de España - Lluis Miquel Horta


A total of 517 osteopaths participated in the study, of which 310 were male (60%). Fifty-three percent of the respondents were aged between 30-39 years followed by 32% that were between 40-49 years. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents were self-employed. Fifty-eight percent owns their clinic and 40% worked as a sole practitioners. Almost all respondents had an academic degree (98%), mainly in physiotherapy (75%). A four year part-time training was the most frequent training type (85%) amongst respondents. The majority of respondents worked 5 days per week in clinical practice (60%) and the number of patients visited ranged from 21 to 30 per week as the most frequent choice (31%). While 51% of respondents declare that their patient database is equally split between men and women, 32% report that they are mostly consulted by women. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents reported to treat patients ranged between 18-40 years very often and 36% to never treat patients younger than one month.

The majority of patients seek osteopathic care for musculoskeletal problems, mainly of the lumbar and cervical region and they are consulted almost evenly ‘very often’ for chronic (55%) and acute (53%) problems over the last year. The five most used diagnostic techniques by respondents are palpation of movement, palpation of structures/position, assessment of tender and trigger points and assessment of visceral mobility/motility and cranium. In the top five of the most frequently occurring osteopathic treatment techniques are mobilization techniques followed by visceral, fluid, cranial and functional techniques.

Eighty-five percent of respondents defined themselves as a health practitioner and 78% also defined themselves as osteopaths. Being regulated is an important concern among spanish osteopaths. Actually, 85% of participants answered that regulation could have a positive effect among osteopaths and 74% manifested that osteopathy should be a primary care profession.


Información proyecto OPERA Spain

Presentación de los investigadores



OPERA is a project of Non-profit Foundation C.O.ME. Collaboration