How Can We Help?
For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common questions asked about Osteopathy and their respective answers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please call the clinic and we will do our best to help you.
WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
Osteopathy is a primary healthcare profession, governed by statutory law, to provide the highest quality care for patients in the treatment of their muscular and joint pains. It is a hands-on therapy which uses a system of diagnosis and treatment with the emphasis being on helping the body heal itself.
IS MY OSTEOPATH QUALIFIED?
All osteopaths in the UK are required, by law, to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). An osteopath must study for a minimum of four years for an undergraduate degree study includes more than 1,000 hours of clinical training in osteopathic techniques.
DO I HAVE TO BE REFERRED BY MY GP?
You do not need a GP referral however, If you wish to claim under private medical insurance, some may ask you for a doctor’s referral. It is best to contact your provider for clarification. We work closely with GP’s and Consultants. With your consent, we will liaise with your doctors and will refer you back should further investigations be necessary.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST CONSULTATION?
The first appointment consists of a case history which involves asking you questions about your medical history, lifestyle, and the symptoms you are currently experiencing. Some of the questions may seem unrelated to your complaint but just ask the osteopath if you are unsure as to why they are asking a certain question.
The next step is a detailed examination of the area that is causing you discomfort, where we will use a developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify joints which are not moving correctly and muscle strains in the tissues. We will ask you to do certain movements and may perform some clinical tests, such as your reflexes, to ascertain what the problem is. we will explain what we are doing as we go along. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the examination, you have the right to ask us to stop at any stage, without jeopardising future treatments.
After the examination, we will discuss findings and diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan designed specifically for you. We will then begin treatment and explain each technique as we go along. After treatment, we will reassess you to see how your body has reacted and determine how many further treatments you may need. If we think your symptoms need further investigation, we may need to refer you to your GP or another appropriate healthcare professional.
WHAT DOES OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT INVOLVE?
Osteopaths work with their hands, and treatment often consists of a combination of techniques such as:
Rhythmic articulation and joint manipulation (clicking) to restore joint mobility
Massage and pumping to improve fluid dynamics to restore tissue health
Myo-fascial stretching to restore normal tissue length and structure
DO I HAVE TO UNDRESS?
Ideally, we like to be able to see the area we are treating and the surrounding tissues so that we can deliver an effective and safe treatment. In most cases, if we are treating the upper back in women a strappy vest top or sports bra will allow us to treat effectively. If treating the lower half of the body, exercise shorts can be worn. If you do not want to undress, then talk to the osteopath and we can work around the issue. Your modesty will always be respected.
DOES TREATMENT HURT?
Occasionally, you may find some techniques uncomfortable, but we will always ask for feedback during treatment and will work within your comfort zone. After your treatment you may experience soreness or tenderness in the area that was treated, however this usually subsides within 24-48 hours. If you are concerned after your treatment, please call the clinic and we can offer more advice.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Our aim is to help you get better as quickly as possible. However, every patient and situation is different. During your first session, we will discuss a treatment plan according to your condition and goals. You will be reassessed at each visit and the treatment plan may vary with your progress. Some patients need just one or two sessions. Other cases such as rehabilitation after injury may need more sessions. Some patients come for regular maintenance.
Our policy is that if you have not noticed a change in your symptoms within the first three treatments, we can discuss other alternatives which may help, or refer you back to your GP for further investigations. Treatments tend to be one week apart, although as the condition begins to improve, they may be spaced more widely.
CAN I BRING A CHAPERONE?
You are free to bring along a friend or relative with you to act as your chaperone at any time.
WILL MY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY COVER THE OSTEOPATH’S FEES?
Yes, most insurance companies will reimburse your osteopathic fees. We are registered with for Simply Health, Vitality, Cigna and WPA. We do not bill directly to health insurance companies, so if you wish to claim your cost, we will issue a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company.
We advise you to call your insurance provider. Some may ask for a doctor’s referral. Some will limit the amount, or the number of sessions allowed which can have an impact on your plan of treatment and outcomes achieved.
IS IT SAFE TO HAVE OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT DURING PREGNANCY?
Pregnancy results in huge structural changes and as a result, a lot of women experience back pain. Osteopathy is safe, effective and a non-invasive therapy which can help a pregnant woman as her body adapts to carrying the weight of her baby.