Your first appointment
The first appointment generally lasts about an hour to allow the osteopath time to:
- listen and ask questions about your particular problem, your general health and other treatments and medical care or medication you are receiving and previous injuries and illnesses which may influence your treatment. These are recorded in your case notes and all information you disclose during the consultation is confidential.
- examine you carefully including your posture, movement and specialist clinical examinations.
- ask you to make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. examine the health of the joints, muscles and ligaments using a highly developed sense of touch called palpation.
Your osteopath may also check for signs of serious conditions they cannot treat and may advise you to see your GP or go to hospital. They can provide you with a letter explaining their findings and what they believe to be the problem.
Diagnosis and treatment
Osteopathy specialises in the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders. The osteopath will:
- give you an explanation of their findings (diagnosis).
- discuss a treatment plan appropriate to you.
- explain the benefits and any risks of the treatment they are recommending.
The osteopath will explain what the treatment can achieve, and the likely number of sessions needed for a noticeable improvement in how you feel. Treatment is hands-on and involves skilled manipulation of the spine and joints, and massage of soft tissues. Self-help measures and advice on exercise may be offered to assist your recovery, prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms. If you have any questions at any point during examination and treatment or you are unsure about what you’ve been told, please feel comfortable to ask.
Because of the physical nature of the treatment, it is not unusual to sometimes feel sore in the first 24-48 hours after treatment. Your osteopath will explain any likely reactions that you could expect. If you have any concerns it is important to contact the osteopath and ask their advice. It may require more than one visit before your problem is resolved. The osteopath will review your progress at each subsequent visit and seek your consent to any changes to your treatment plan.