WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Osteopathy is a patient-centred system of healthcare. Your osteopath will:
Listen to you and ask questions about your presenting complaint, 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.
Perform a thorough examination with your consent. It is likely the osteopath will ask you to remove some of your clothing, so please tell them if you are uncomfortable about this. You should expect privacy to undress and a gown or towel should be provided. You can ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your treatment if you wish.
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 through palpation.
Your osteopath will also check for signs of serious conditions they cannot treat and may, if necessary, refer you to your GP or the hospital. Upon referral you osteopath should provide you with a letter explaining what they believe to be the problem.
Before treatment commences your osteopath will give you a clear explanation of what they find (their working hypothesis or 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.
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. Ask questions at any time if you are unsure of 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 and to prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms.