Frequently Asked Questions

In osteopathy we are asked a variety of questions, here are the answers to our FAQs to get you started.

Do I need to bring anything with me for my appointment?
Please bring details of any prescribed medication or supplements you are taking together with recent X-rays, scans or medical reports. It would also be helpful if you could bring any orthotics, braces or supports that you use.
Will I need to undress?
Osteopathic diagnosis and treatment involves both observation and palpation (touch), therefore you are likely to be asked to undress to your underwear, but it is not compulsory. If you are uncomfortable with undressing just let us know and we will be happy to examine and treat you while you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Your privacy will be respected at all times and if it is important that you are seen by a practitioner of the same gender, please let us know when you are booking your appointment.
What can osteopathy help with?
Patients visit an osteopath for a variety of reasons:

– to reduce/relieve pain

– to return to normal daily activities after an injury

– because they are worried about their health

We are primary healthcare professionals and can advise on a wide range of health concerns, including referral to other health professionals when appropriate.

Seeking help early is always key and if you are suffering from a long standing condition, a new problem or occasional discomfort, taking advice and getting preventative treatment can a huge difference to your long term health.

In the same way that people visit a dentist to reduce the possibility of needing a filling, occasional check-ups with an osteopath means that potential problems can be identified and treated before they become a real issue.

What is the difference between an osteopath, chiropractor and a physiotherapist?

For an in-depth answer to this question, check out my blog post for more information.

Can I bring a chaperone?
Yes, we are more than happy for you to bring another adult for all or part of your treatment if it makes you feel more comfortable.

In addition, anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or appointed guardian at all times during their examination and treatment.

Should I tell my doctor that I am seeing an osteopath?
You do not need to tell your doctor that you are seeing an osteopath. As primary healthcare practitioners we are clinically trained to assess patients without the need to look at their medical records.

We sometimes need to contact your GP about aspects of your health and medical history but would always obtain your consent before contacting any medical carers.

At the end of your treatment and assuming you have no objections, we send your GP a summary of any problems identified and your osteopathic treatment to ensure your medical records are kept up to date.

Will I be treated on my first visit?
The primary aim of your initial consultation is to identify any problems and to decide whether osteopathy is a safe and appropriate treatment for you. Providing there are no contraindications (issues where osteopathy could cause a problem) we would always expect to treat you on your first visit.
How will I feel after treatment?
Osteopathic treatment is usually very gentle, but manipulating, massaging or stretching an injured area may be uncomfortable. We will explain what you are likely to feel and will always stop if the treatment is causing you too much pain.

Most people initially feel easier after treatment although it is not unusual to experience a treatment reaction and become more uncomfortable as the day goes on. Where there is a reaction the discomfort can last 24-48 hours and this can be managed using over the counter pain relief such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

We will advise you on the best option and if you have any concerns about how things feel after a treatment, please get in touch.

How often will I need to be seen?
The number of treatments varies greatly, but the majority patients require 3-5 treatment sessions. Having said that everyone responds differently to osteopathy and we will tell you if you have a problem that is likely to be completely resolved or is something that would benefit from a treatment at regular intervals to help to maintain function and manage your symptoms.
Can I help myself?
We are always keen to involve you in the treatment and healing process and there is always something that you can do to help improve your condition. It may be in the form of particular activities or exercises which you should/ shouldn’t do and you can always ask if you have any specific activity in mind.
Should I take pain killers?

Many patients are reluctant to take painkillers however, the sensible use of medication can be extremely useful, especially in the early phases of some conditions allowing you to keep mobile and function where pain would otherwise make it more difficult.

Your osteopath will provide advice on the suitability of over the counter pain medication as well as other options that could help to ease discomfort including the use of heat and/or cold packs, pain relieving gels or gentle exercises.

Can someone come and treat me at home?
We do not offer home visits as the quality of care would be compromised and the fee we would need to charge to make it viable would not represent good value for money. If you are in so much pain you are unable to get to the clinic, there is generally little effective treatment we can offer. We are always willing to provide help over the telephone so please call and we can advise on what to do next. A treatment when the really painful symptoms have reduced and you are mobile enough to visit the clinic is much more effective.
Is osteopathy safe?
All treatments carry some level of risk, but the vast majority of patients find osteopathic treatment helpful. There may be some adverse reactions following your initial treatment including:

– an increase in joint pain/ stiffness

– mild headache

– increased tiredness

Severe adverse reactions happen very rarely as we are trained to medically screen patients to assess their suitability for osteopathic treatment. Your osteopath will adapt their techniques appropriately or they may even decide that treatment is not suitable and will discuss other treatment options, referring you to another medical professional as appropriate.