What will happen at your first visit
At your first appointment you will be seen by a fully qualified and registered osteopath and it will take approximately 30 - 45 minutes. A full case history will be taken which will involve finding out about your past and present problems, your lifestyle, occupation, leisure activities, medication and general health.
This will be followed by an examination which will usually involve undressing to your underwear to fully examine the body movements and the problem area. However if you are not comfortable getting undressed, shorts and T-shirt are also suitable or else please let us know at the time. If you prefer you may also have a friend or relative present during the appointment.
Specific medical tests may be conducted and the osteopath will use touch to identify points of weakness or excessive strain in the body. We will then discuss our findings and recommend the best course of treatment.
If it is safe to do so, treatment will take place after this, followed by advice on how to manage the problem. Treatment will usually take place sitting or lying on a couch and may involve releasing and relaxing muscles, stretching stiff joints, using gentle massage techniques, rhythmic joint movements and muscle release techniques. Spinal manipulations may also be carried out. These are short, quick movements to joints in order to help restore normal joint function and mobility. Advice may include stretches and/or exercises to do at home and suggestions on ways to improve posture and lifestyle.
The number of treatments needed depends upon your condition, its duration, your age and lifestyle. If you have chronic low back pain for example you may need several treatments. For acute pain one or two treatments may be sufficient. Follow on appointments will last up to 30 minutes and mainly involve treatment and advice.
After an osteopathic treatment you may feel stiff, sore and/or tired for up to 24 hours. This can feel similar to post-exercise soreness and it is the result of the body making changes following the treatment. As a result it is advisable to rest and to avoid strenuous activity, however if you have concerns please ring the practice.
As with all medical intervention, osteopathic treatment has risks associated with it. These risks are extremely small and have been shown to be much smaller than most conventional medicine but are present all the same. Using our expertise we will always aim to keep these to a minimum and only use techniques fit for that particular individual. However if you have any concerns please discuss them with the practitioner and we can alter our approach.