Here are some of the questions patients ask before they undertake a course of treatment with me.
What can I expect on my first visit?
To begin with a detailed case history is taken. This will include details of your current symptoms, your past history, (going back to your childhood if necessary) your medical history, your daily activities including work and leisure. The examination will then proceed to a detailed observation of your posture. You may be then asked to perform some simple movements in order to see how you move within your posture. A passive joint assessment may also be taken when lying down on the plinth/massage table or in a sitting position. Finally an orthopedic, neurological or circulatory exam may also be carried out to assist in the diagnosis.
After the case history and assessment the osteopath will then explain the diagnosis to you. In particular why you have the pain, what may have caused it, and the contributing/predisposing factors to your symptoms. The osteopath will also explain how they can help you and give you advise on how you can help yourself (this may be exercise advise, lifestyle management, postural advice etc.)
If after the examination the osteopath feels that treatment is not applicable then you will be referred to the appropriate professional such as your G.P. for further investigation and/or imaging.
Does osteopathic treatment hurt?
-Generally, osteopathic treatment is gentle, however, if you are in acute pain you may experience some post treatment discomfort for about 48 hours. It rarely lasts longer. It is a normal response as your body starts to recover. By following aftercare advice given to you by your osteopath, any discomfort should quickly ease off. Feel free to contact me if you have any concerns.
How long does each treatment take?
Both first and subsequent treatments last up to 45 minutes.
How many treatments will I need
That depends on the duration of the problem and severity. Generally most patients notice improvement in 4-6 treatments, with resolution in 4-8 weeks. However some chronic problems may take much longer. Most treatments are set a week apart and this duration is increased once your symptoms are reduced or absent. Some patients want regular maintenance treatment one or two months apart while other patients may require regular treatment in order to manage their condition i.e. arthritis, jobs involving repetitive movements.
Can I use my private healthcare policy?
Osteopathy is accepted by most reputable private health insurers and we are currently accredited with the main ones – WPA, AVIVA, VITALITY, CIGNA. Our policy is for you to pay our fees and then claim back from your insurance company. We will be happy to issue receipts if requested. Every insurer has its own claims procedure and you should check with your own private health insurer before your first consultation with us whether you are covered and if you will need to be referred by your GP.
What should I wear?
You need to wear comfortable clothing. You would normally need to remove an appropriate amount of clothing to enable me to examine the area which is the cause of your problem. You always keep your underwear on. I provide a gown or towel and if you prefer you can bring your own shorts.
Are my notes kept confidentially?
Your notes are strictly confidential and are kept locked in a cabinet according to the guidance laid down by the General Osteopathic Council.
Will you speak to my G.P. about my case?
Due to your notes being confidential we would only speak to your GP with your written consent.
Can I bring a friend or relative?
Yes, we encourage patients to bring a friend or relative to be present during the consultation and treatment.
We request that all patients under the age of 16 years old must attend with a chaperone.
Do I need a referral from my doctor before I see you?
No. Most patients refer themselves directly to the osteopath
What qualifications do osteopaths have?
All osteopaths have to complete a four or five year degree course which is similar to a medical degree but with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal dysfunction. This academic knowledge is supported by extensive clinical skills and over 1000 hours of applied technique and treatment.
Are osteopaths regulated?
Yes, all osteopaths are required by law to register with the General Osteopathic Council who regulate the practice of osteopathy in the United Kingdom, setting and promoting strict standards of osteopathic training, safe practice, conduct and care.