Frequently Asked Questions

The below frequently asked Osteopathy questions will likely answer any questions you have. If you cannot find you particular question, please feel free to contact me. 

How many treatments will I need?

This differs from patient to patient, as everyone reacts differently to treatment. Chronic conditions (long term) may require several treatments, whereas patients with acute conditions (short term) may only need two or three treatments. A treatment plan will be discussed during your first visit.

What should I expect to happen at my first visit to an Osteopath?

On your first visit, Melanie will begin by taking your full medical history, asking questions about your current symptoms, your past medical history, your general health and your day to day routine, as all this information will help shape your diagnosis and treatment plan. As with a visit to your GP, all such information is completely confidential.

Once the case history is complete, a physical examination will follow, where you may be asked to undress to a comfortable level; this is typically to underwear or a vest top and shorts.

During the examination, your posture will be observed as well as touch into the area of complaint. Mel will then ask you to complete a number of simple movements and orthopaedic tests before feeling the movements of the associated joints.

It may also be necessary to check your pulses, blood pressure, skin sensation as well as listening to your heart and lungs, to help her exclude any conditions that may require referral to your GP. Following the examination, your diagnosis will be explained to you and Mel will answer any questions you may have. At this point, if Mel feels that osteopathy isn’t appropriate for you, she will refer you to your GP or a more appropriate specialist.

The techniques that are used in an osteopathic treatment will be tailored to the individual according to age, fitness, ability and diagnosis.

Techniques generally include soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, stretching and muscle energy techniques. If appropriate, Mel may also perform stronger manipulations where you may hear and feel a click, similar to clicking your knuckles; however this type of manipulation will only be completed with your consent.

At the end of the treatment, you may be given further advice and exercises to complete at home, to help continue improvement.

What can I expect after treatment?

Some patients may feel sore for the 48 hours immediately following treatment. This is a common response of the body to the manipulations of joints and muscles that may previously have been painful or tight. You will be advised on these possible short-term side effects during the treatment

Do I need to visit my doctor before having osteopathy?

Although many GP’s refer patients to osteopaths, it is not necessary to visit your GP before visiting an Osteopath. Osteopaths are trained to recognise the kind of problems that are not suitable for osteopathic treatment and will refer you back to your GP if necessary.

What do I need to bring to treatment?

Mel will need to know about your past and current medication prescriptions; therefore if possible please bring the medication or prescription with you. If you have any private X-rays or MRI scans then again, please bring them along with you.

Will I need to undress?

In most cases, the answer to this is yes, therefore please wear suitable underwear or bring something to change into. Please avoid wearing any unnecessary jewellery.

Why do you need to undress? The body works as a unit so, for example, if your experience discomfort in your wrist or elbow, this may be related to a problem in your neck and upper back. Therefore observation of the spine and relevant areas helps to assess appropriately in relation to your condition.

Is treatment uncomfortable?

Some of the movements and orthopaedic tests that are performed in the examination may cause discomfort, so please notify Mel if you are uncomfortable, as this will aid your diagnosis. Some of the areas we examine and treat may be tender or sensitive to touch; however the pain you experience should not be more intense than usual.

How long is an osteopathic session?

Your initial consultation will take between 45 minutes to an hour and follow up treatments are 30 minutes. Longer treatments can be arranged; however, this will subject to an additional charge.

Can I still take my medication while having osteopathy?

Yes, you MUST continue to take all prescribed medication whilst having osteopathy. Osteopathy is safe to have with medication; however Mel must be made aware of your medication as it may influence the techniques used. You should be able to reduce or stop intake of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs at some point throughout your course of treatment.

Do I need to take time off work after osteopathic treatment?

After treatment it is not usually necessary to refrain from work; it is advised, however, to avoid vigorous or heavy activities for the rest of the day.

Can I exercise after having osteopathic treament?

In most circumstances, it is best to avoid exercise until your Osteopath advises otherwise, especially if your condition is acute. Under all circumstances, exercise must be avoided on the day of treatment.

Is osteopathy suitable for babies and children?

Yes, especially cranial osteopathy which is suitable right from birth. For more information about cranial osteopathy please see the link entitled ‘Cranial osteopathy.’ All patients under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Is osteopathy suitable for older people?

Yes, osteopathy is suitable for all ages; however, some techniques may need to be adapted slightly.

Can osteopathy treat (osteo) arthritis?

Although osteoarthritis is a non-reversible, degenerative condition, much of the pain associated with osteoarthritis is actually caused by compensatory, postural adaptations which can be treated and so symptoms relieved although the underlying arthritic changes to the joint still remain.

Can I have osteopathy while having other forms of treatment?

Osteopathy is compatible with a number of different forms of complimentary or alternative therapies, however, Mel must be told if you are receiving any other forms of treatment, as this may affect her treatment plan for you.

Can I bring a friend or relative?

Yes of course, as long as you are comfortable discussing your medical history and being undressed with them in the room. All patients under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Can I have treatment if I am pregnant?

Unless there are conditions that indicate otherwise, osteopathy is appropriate for pregnant women, although most Osteopaths prefer not to treat in the first trimester, if it can be avoided. Osteopathy can help ease the physical discomforts of pregnancy and can help prepare the body for the demands of labour.

Will my medical insurance cover my osteopathic treatments?

I unfortunately cannot take patients from these insurance companies; BUPA, AXA or PPP

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