Osteopathy is an established, well recognised system of diagnosis and treatment whose main emphasis lies on the structural integrity of the body.
Osteopathy is a safe and natural therapy that focuses on the framework of the body consisting of the bones, ligaments, muscles and connective tissues.
Osteopaths assess the musculo-skeletal system looking for areas of weakness, imbalance or excessive strain.
They use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension, enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
All osteopaths undergo 4 years of training and are required to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Training includes physiology, anatomy, pathology, paediatrics, gynaecology and pharmacology.
The training enables Osteopaths to make a diagnosis of the presenting condition and construct an appropriate course of treatment. The number of treatments varies depending on the condition an acute injury may only require 2 or 3 treatments, a chronic injury may require a minimum of 6 treatments and in other cases periodic maintainance treatments may be needed.
What to expect
Osteopathy is a patient-centred, system of healthcare. A first appointment generally lasts about 45 minutes to an hour to allow the osteopath adequate time to:
Listen and ask questions about your problem, your general health, other medical care you are receiving or medication you are taking, and record this in your case notes. The information you provide will be confidential.
Examine you properly. It is likely the osteopath will ask you to remove some of your clothing. Tell your osteopath if you are uncomfortable about this. You should expect privacy to undress and a gown or towel will be provided. If you feel the need you can also ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your treatment.
Ask you to make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. Because of the body’s structure, pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one part may be linked to a problem elsewhere.
Examine the health of the joints, tissues and ligaments using their hands and a highly developed sense of touch called palpation.
Your osteopath will also check for signs of serious conditions they cannot treat and may advise you to see your GP or go to hospital. They should provide you with a letter explaining 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.
Your osteopath will give you a clear explanation of what they find (their diagnosis) and discuss a treatment plan that is suitable for you. They will explain the benefits and any risks of the treatment they are recommending. It is important to understand and agree 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. Your osteopath will explain what they are doing and will always ask your permission to treat you (known as consent). Ask questions at any time if you are unsure what you have been told or if you have any concerns.
Self-help measures and advice on exercise may be offered to assist your recovery, prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms.
If you are new to Osteopathic treatment or are not sure if it is right for you then please feel free to give us a call and discuss things before making the decision to come and see us. We are only too happy to do this and quite understand why you may feel nervous or unsure. Alternatively if you have any other questions try the General Osteopathic Council's FAQ by visiting there website at http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/faqs/
Osteopaths are covered by most healthcare providers such as AXA, PPP, HSA, WPA and Standard Life. However, due to the clinical and financial restrictions imposed by Bupa, the osteopaths and physiotherapists have withdrawn from theBupa Preferred Provider list. It is probably best to contact your healthcare provider prior to visiting us to ensure they will cover your treatment. It is also worth noting that some heathcare providers also require a referral for Osteopathic treatment from your GP.