WHY SHOULD I SEE AN OSTEOPATH?
Information on our other pages should answer most of your questions about osteopathy in general. Remember that we are fully trained to diagnose and treat. We maintain a program of ongoing training, have full insurance and must in law be registered with the General Osteopathic Council who uphold professional standards in the public interest. We offer a gentle hands on approach and experience tells us that osteopathy frequently helps where other therapies have failed to offer relief.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM MY DOCTOR?
No. You simply contact us directly if you wish to book an appointment. We are trained to diagnose and treat independently. However if you are claiming under your health insurance policy you might then need a written referral from your doctor in order to activate your cover; if in doubt please speak to your insurer. The osteopath will seek your consent to liase with your doctor if this is thought to be necessary so that you receive the best care from both professions.
I HAVE OTHER HEALTH ISSUES. CAN I STILL ATTEND?
Usually yes. There are very few illnesses which prevent us carrying out any treatment at all but there may be certain techniques which are more suitable than others. These will be carefully chosen to reflect your other health issues and we will always try to gauge the depth and intensity of the treatment to suit the problems you have; this is one area where experience can make a difference.
WILL I NEED AN X-RAY OR MRI SCAN BEFORE I SEE YOU?
No, not routinely. However, if we feel it is necessary to obtain more details about your complaint then we can quickly arrange for you to be referred to a private clinic and the scans are back with us within the week. Alternatively, we can refer back to your doctor for NHS investigations but this usually takes longer and is dependent upon your GP agreeing that such investigations are necessary.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
This will naturally vary depending upon your problem but we will always give you an idea of the number of sessions you will require after your initial consultation. Acute patients tend to need around 1-4 sessions whilst long standing or more complex conditions may need more treatment. Some patients benefit from a program of maintenance treatment and they sometimes attend every few weeks or months. This will be discussed with you as your case progresses but you are never committed to do anything you do not wish to and lots of people contact us purely on an "as needed" basis. We have lots of regular clients who having experienced the benefits osteopathy can offer, choose to receive regular treatments in the form of maintenance sessions, typically between 2-6 month intervals. This can be especially preventative in those with degenerative, arthritic conditions or in those who are prone to relapses and flare-ups of pain following significant past injuries. This is something that can be discussed during the course of your treatments but will only be suggested if relevant to your needs and you can chose whether to do this or just see us as needed.
HOW DO OSTEOPATHS MAINTAIN PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS?
The title "Osteopath" is legally protected and only those who are qualified AND registered with the General Osteopathic Council are permitted to call themselves an Osteopath. This body exists to safeguard patients by upholding strict standards of practice, and registration with the GOsC depends upon the Osteopath being adequately insured, completing an annual cycle of regular training and following a code of practice, Osteopathic Practice Standards as laid down by the regulator. Many Osteopaths are also members of the Institute of Osteopathy, our professional association, and which facilitates Osteopaths in meeting the standards as set out by GOsC.
Don’t see your question or still have other queries? Get in touch for more information.
SOME IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
..a few things we think you should know...
For your convenience, we've put together a list of some of the most commonly asked questions and their respective answers. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, please call and we will be happy to assist. Help is just a phone call away.
THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHEN YOU ATTEND
On arrival you will be asked to complete our standard registration form giving a few personal details but also indicating your consent to giving a case history and being examined. For this, you should try to arrive 5-10 minutes before your actual appointment time There will be more information about what we do available at the clinics and we suggest you take some time to familiarise yourself with this whilst waiting, particularly if you have never seen an Osteopath before. Please note that we are ourselves unable to offer a chaperone to accompany you during your treatment but if you would feel more comfortable with someone to support you then please bring along a friend or relative to sit in on your sessions, subject to our current Covid-19 policy and which is available on this site for your consideration.
The consultation consists of the following elements;
1 Case history
A history of your presenting complaint but also including your previous history, general health, operations, illnesses, prescribed medication etc. It is a chance for you to give us your history and for us to understand your expectations for treatment. Please disclose details as fully as you can, even those which you think might be unrelated to your current complaint as this helps us make informed decisions about your care.
It is also important to make sure it is safe to treat you and we use this medical history to inform the techniques we select when treating you. You should also bring any results you have from investigations such as X-ray or MRI scans and your repeat prescription form if relevant.
It is likely the Osteopath will ask you to remove some clothing but only as far as is necessary to make a full appraisal of your condition. Some patients like to wear shorts or sportswear which is fine. We do not have gowns but the osteopath will leave the room whilst you dress and undress. After a thorough physical examination, where necessary, other diagnostic tests such as blood pressure, urine tests etc. might be performed at this point.
The above elements, case history and examination, are used to form a diagnosis i.e. what is actually causing your pain and this will be explained to you in full. We will also try to establish if there are any lifestyle factors which could be contributing to your complaint and to address these where possible. Please ask questions if you are unclear. It is occasionally necessary to make a recommendation for further investigations such as X-ray or MRI although this is not routine. If so, we can arrange this as a private referral or liase with your GP if you prefer a NHS pathway.
The selection of techniques we choose and which comprises your treatment is largely based on the diagnosis although other factors such as age, build and other health considerations are also taken into account. Osteopathic treatment is hands on but we often supplement our approach with other methods such as ultrasound, exercises, postural advice and so on. The osteopath will then also give you an idea of how many sessions you will need and this is called the prognosis, a forecast of how long it will take for you to improve. Osteopathy is very safe and although rare, the osteopath will also advise you of any significant risks associated with any given techniques so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment. Please ask if you have questions about your treatment plan. Remember; only you can decide what treatment you receive.
5 Finalising the session
After the treatment has finished, you may be given some self help guidance. Examples are exercises, postural advice, ice packs or heat etc. We will also suggest a time for your next follow up visit. Please try to fulfil our recommendations as they are aimed at hastening your recovery.
6 What happens at each subsequent visit?
Each further visit begins by the osteopath reviewing your progress since your last visit. He will then re-examine you to assess how your problem has developed, after which treatment will start. This could change to reflect your progress each time as could your self-help advice, again depending on your progress to date, thereby ensuring that the treatment is tailored specifically to you and how you are improving.
WILL I FEEL SORE AFTER TREATMENT?
Not usually as we are careful to select techniques which are best suited to you as an individual but do bear in mind that we might be dealing with tissues which are inflamed and in spasm and so some techniques could leave you feeling a little sore afterwards. This is quite normal and affects up to 50% of patients for 6-48 hours; many feel no soreness or experience immediate benefit following treatment. Cold compresses or warmth, possibly Paracetamol, are usually enough to control this.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTION TO RECEIVING OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT?
In general the answer is no. We treat people of all ages, many with co-existing illnesses. This is why we make a detailed assessment; to ascertain any factors which might cause us to modify our treatment so that you can still receive help.
CAN I RETURN TO WORK AFTER A TREATMENT?
The inability to go back to work as a result of your treatment should never arise. However a degree of restraint is recommended if for no other reason than this allows the treatment a little more time to take effect and we suggest avoiding strenuous activity for a day or two after a visit. If you have a bad injury or are in a lot of pain, abstaining from work or sport for a short time can assist your graded rehabilitation and recovery but complete rest is rarely necessary. We can provide belts and supports or tape the joints or spine to give stability if you need to continue working.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS TO TREATMENT?
Osteopathy is an inherently safe form of treatment and we screen patients when they attend by performing a thorough case history and examination in order to minimize any potential complications. The commonest problem patients encounter is soreness or a temporary increase in their symptoms for a day or two after their session. This is normal but you might wish to consider planning your treatment to take account of this should you have any special events planned immediately after a session. After-treatment soreness is easily controlled with warmth or cold compresses or just resting for a while afterwards. Your osteopath will advise but please call after your treatment should you be concerned in any way.
We will endeavor to provide you with the information you need to make informed choices about your care so that you feel engaged in the decision making process.
The osteopath will discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan with you but you have the right to accept or refuse any particular examination or treatment without giving a reason. Having consented to treatment you can also change your mind at any time. You are encouraged to ask questions at every stage so that you feel engaged in the choices made about your treatment. We feel it is important to maintain an open dialogue with our patients so that you are involved in the decision making process enabling you to give informed consent to your treatment.
Don’t see your question or still have other queries? Get in touch for more information.