If you’ve been thinking about seeing an osteopath, you might be wondering what to expect. Osteopathy is a practice of patient-centred care where you’ll be listened to and thoroughly examined. A first appointment normally lasts between 45 mins to an hour, so the osteopath can:
Listen to your concerns and ask questions to better their understanding.
Find out about your overall health.
Ask about other medications or treatments you are currently receiving. All information you provide will be strictly confidential.
An examination will then take place. You are more than welcome to take a relative or friend with as a chaperone.
The osteopath will likely ask you to carry out a series of stretches and movements to help you improve your mobility and posture. It is often the case with the human body that a pain or stiffness experienced in one area is actually due to a problem elsewhere.
The osteopath will examine your joints, ligaments and tissues with their hands to find how healthy they are. They use a skilled method called palpation to feel these areas by hand.
They might also be able to identify more serious issues that they are unable to treat and if so, will advise you to visit a GP or hospital. You should also receive a letter explaining what they have concluded and what they think the problem could be. For Cheltenham osteopaths, visit https://www.cmosteopaths.co.uk/
You might choose to visit an osteopath if you are experiencing stiffness or pain in your musculoskeletal system. They should provide you with their diagnosis and talk with you about possible treatment plans. It’s important to fully understand what is being proposed, how long before any improvement, what the treatment might achieve and likely cost.
An osteopath employs a very hands-on approach, working to manipulate the soft tissues, various joints and the spine. Ask lots of questions and your osteopath should be happy to explain to you exactly what they are doing. They can also offer advice on self-help exercises, how to prevent the problem from happening again and any other information on improving your symptoms.
The treatment is highly physical, so it’s normal to feel a bit sore or achy in the first couple days after an appointment where you’ve received treatment. You’ll be advised of any reactions that might occur and your osteopath will review your progress during each visit.
The majority of people self-refer to a private osteopath for help with their problems. Information and lists of osteopaths can be found on the statutory register of local osteopaths up and down the country. Although you don’t need a referral from your GP, it’s also advisable to inform your GP of any osteopath treatment so your medical records can be kept current and updated.