What problems does an osteopath treat?
An osteopath doesn’t treat conditions or symptoms; they treat people. By treating the muscles and joints of your body, we aim to improve your circulation and influence the supply of nerve signals so that pain is reduced and the movement of your joints improved.
Having said that, the most commonly treated conditions that we see in clinic are:
Low back pain
Shoulder and elbow pain
Tennis and golfer’s elbow
Muscle strains and spasms
Headaches due to neck problems
Generalised aches and pains
What should I wear to an appointment?
You can wear whatever you are comfortable with. Many patients are happy to dress down to their underwear; others bring shorts and a t-shirt; others will stay in the clothes that they come to the appointment in.
To examine you, it is helpful to see the back to see your posture and how well various parts of your back or spine are moving. To treat you, loose fitting clothes or shorts make life easier.
Whatever you choose to wear, you will have privacy to change.
Can someone come with me to the appointment?
How long is the appointment?
The first appointment is 45-60 mins. Any appointments after that will be 30 mins. The first appointment will be slightly longer as we need the time to take a full case history and examination to understand what your symptoms are, how they started and come to a diagnosis and treatment plan. This will all be explained to you and any questions answered so that you understand what is causing your pain, what we can do about it and how you can help yourself.
How much does it cost?
The initial assessment is £50; treatments after that are £40.
Do I need to be referred by my Doctor?
Not if you are paying for treatment. You may need to if you are covered by health insurance.
How many appointments will I need?
Sometimes one treatment is enough; other times a patient may come in for maintenance treatment every few months, but the vast majority of patients will need between 2-4 treatments. All patients should know how many treatments are going to be required after their initial assessment.
Will it hurt?
Osteopaths work with your body rather than imposing ourselves on it so most treatment should be comfortable and pain free. If there are knots in your muscles that need loosening, then there may be some discomfort but we will always work with you to make sure that this is at a level that you are happy with.
People are often worried about ‘manipulation’ of the spine. This is where a quick movement is put through a joint and you may feel or hear a ‘click’ or ‘pop’. This isn’t painful or uncomfortable. The noise is just a bubble of gas or air popping in the joint: it is not from bones or discs being put back into place! Its effect on the body will let the joints move more freely and the muscles around the joint relax.
A minority of patients may feel some short-term soreness after treatment. If this is the case, then it generally lasts no longer than a few hours or a day after which you should feel a whole lot better than before you came for treatment.
Will I be able to exercise after an appointment?
Absolutely. Movement, be it work or exercise, will reinforce the effects of treatment. If needed, we can advise you as to what exercises and movements you should be doing and which you should be avoiding.
What qualifications should I look out for when choosing an osteopath?
All osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). This ensures that an osteopath is sufficiently trained by a recognised college or university, adheres to a code of practice and undertakes a certain amount of training every year to update their skills and knowledge.
Hopefully the above has answered most of the questions that people normally have but if you have any further questions, please contact us and we’ll answer them for you. All our details are on our contact page.