Your Visit to an Osteopath
What to expect at your first visit.
Your osteopath will be working to uncover what has happened to cause your health problem. They will take a full case history of your symptoms, current health status and any previous health issues. They will want to know quite a bit about your individual life “story”, what your body and you have been through to get here! (See below for our list of ‘before your visit” questions to consider).
After talking through your case history, your osteopath will be exam you whilst standing and your posture assessed. You may be asked to make some simple movements of your body to allow your osteopath to see how comfortably you can move and what might be causing problems. After this your examination will continue with you lying on a comfortable treatment couch. The range of motion, ease, comfort etc of joints and muscles are carefully evaluated, other tissues such as tendons and ligaments are carefully examined for changes such as shortening, tightness and inflammation etc. Clinical tests such as taking your blood pressure, listening to your chest or checking reflexes may be necessary to help clarify our diagnosis.
Your osteopath will explain what they think has happened to cause your health problem, and their treatment plan to put things right. If there is any concern that your problem needs another form of medical or healthcare intervention, your osteopath will explain this clearly and write to your doctor with their findings and thoughts for further tests if necessary.
Your first treatment session will then be given, to begin your journey back to better health.
Before your visit.
An osteopathic diagnosis is not just about your pain, or why you have come to visit us. Your osteopath wants get to the bottom of why you are having problems, and will want to know about several different aspects of your life. Take a few minutes to consider the following before your appointment, many patients write a few notes to help them to remember?
1) How your current symptoms began, and when?
2) What you have already done about it. Have you already seen your doctor or other health professional? Have other treatments been offered?
3) How is your general health? Do you have other medical conditions, and if yes, who is looking after these, what other treatments are you having? Are you taking any medication, what is it called and how often do you take it?
4) What has been happening in your life in the past few weeks and months? Have a think about what may be stressing your body, or getting to you in general!
5) Life events such as accidents, previous illnesses and surgery can have ongoing effects on your body. Write down what you remember as the most significant things that have happened to you over the years, try to pin down the timing, more or less, which year etc. What treatment did you receive at the time?
A little time taken to think about some of the above questions before your visit will make it easier to help your osteopath understand what you and your body have been through, and how you came to have your current problem.
Do I need to get undressed?
Treatment is usually delivered with patients fully dressed, though sometimes it may be necessary to remove some clothes to allow a detailed examination of local areas or tissues. Plan to wear loose comfortable clothing, (preferably not jeans please) and everything should be fine. If for any reason you are uncomfortable with undressing, (if suggested), please say so. We can always make plans for an accompanied visit?, or offer advice on more suitable type of clothing for a later appointment?
How often will I need to visit for treatment?
This will depend on what you have come to us for, and our diagnosis of the underlying causes of your problem. Some patients only need a couple of visits for relief from a recent acute problem, persistent symptoms will may need more focused attention over a few visits to get the problem under control. Other patients choose to book a more regular appointment visit, an “MOT”, every 2-6 months for help with long term/ongoing problems. Osteopathy really shines when helping support patients with chronic conditions.
At their first visit to the practice, we ask patients to book an initial 60 minute “New Patient” appointment visit, and two further 30 minute “Follow Up” appointment visits, one week apart.
We get very busy at the practice and this pre-booked appointment system allows us to plan the time to follow up, find out how things are settling, and offer further treatment and management advice etc. It may be that you will not need three appointments in a row, of course we can easily re-book and alter this interval according to how things are going.
Most patients report they felt more comfortable after their treatment visit. However, a small percentage will experience a transient increase in symptoms, such as increased stiffness or pain. This is normal and rarely lasts more than 24-36 hours. If you are at all concerned, or want to talk with your osteopath about what you are feeling, please, call the practice and arrange for a ring back from an osteopath to discuss things. We are open 6 days per week, with reception available 9-6 daily and 9-3 on Saturday.
See our Osteopathy Fees page for details of our current fees for treatment and for our family appointment offers and low cost checkup appointments.