What is osteopathy & how can it help?
Osteopaths are experts in the treatment and management of musculoskeletal pain (pain from the muscles, bones, and joints) and seek to treat the underlying cause as well as the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
Ultimately, it is the goal of the osteopath to get you out of pain and guide you back to optimum health so that you can continue to function as normal in your daily life.
Treatment is tailored to you as an individual and involves a combination of soft tissue massage, mobilisations, joint manipulations, muscle stretching, postural assessment, lymphatic drainage and exercise prescription.
What to Expect at your First Appointment
1. Take a detailed case history
At the start of your first session, your osteopath will ask you to tell them about your problem. They will ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle as well as your symptoms. This is very important as it will help them to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.
2. Complete a thorough examination including observation of posture, movements, orthopaedic tests and examination of the joints, muscles and ligaments.
The osteopath will need to examine the area(s) of your body causing discomfort. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, so they may need to examine your whole body. They will need to feel for tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints.
They will explain what they are doing as they go along. If you are uncomfortable with any part of this, you have the right to ask them to stop at any stage. In order to examine you effectively, it may be necessary for you to remove some clothing as appropriate for the condition, which might mean undressing down to your underwear. If this is a problem for you, make your osteopath aware of this. Please wear something you are comfortable in – you are welcome to bring shorts and a strap t-shirt.
Your osteopath will then give you a clear explanation of what they find (their diagnosis) and suggest a course of treatment. Average recovery time will be discussed including factors that might hasten or slow your recovery. They will ask for your permission to provide treatment and you may be asked to sign a consent form. Usually treatment will begin at your first appointment; however, occasionally tests may be required prior to commencement (e.g blood tests or scans undertaken by your G.P).
Treatment is tailored to you as an individual. A combination of massage, stretching and physical manipulation are used to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. Postural advice and exercise prescription will also be provided to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
You may experience mild discomfort with some of the treatment techniques used, but osteopathic treatment is usually a very gentle process. Your osteopath will let you know if any discomfort is likely and it can be helpful to let them know what you are feeling.
Some patients can experience side effects following osteopathic treatment. You may experience tenderness for 24-48 hours after your treatment before symptoms begin to improve. Other mild side effects include stiffness, headache, tiredness and lightheadedness.
After the initial consultation subsequent treatments last 45 minutes. The number of treatments depends on your condition and each individual patient. We aim to keep your appointments to a minimum.
You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to accompany you throughout your treatment. Children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
If you have any other questions please get in touch.