Frequently Asked Osteopathy Questions

Please read our Osteopath FAQs below and if you still have a question, please get in touch and phone to speak to one of our Osteopaths.

Covid 19 FAQs

Yes we are open and here to help you. Thorough policies and protocols have been put in place, in line with the recommendations of Public Health England and our professional body GOsC, to prevent the spread of Covid 19 whilst in the practice. Please see our Covid 19 page for full details and procedures for when attending the practice for treatment.

Treatment FAQs

New Patient appointments, where we take your medical history, make a thorough musculoskeletal assessment, discuss diagnosis and start treatment if appropriate lasts between 50 mins to an 1 hour. Follow up appointments are 40 mins.

Osteopathy is a primary health care profession so you can self-refer. We are highly trained to differentiate between musculoskeletal pain caused by mechanical reasons and pain caused by other medical issues. If we are concerned in any way we will refer you back to your G.P for further investigations.

No, if you are not comfortable undressing to your underwear that is perfectly fine. It is however, important for us to see your area of symptoms to check for swelling, heat or redness. It is also helpful to view your spinal movements, so we recommend you wearing appropriate clothing such as leggings/ sports shorts and a vest top.

We aim to make you feel relaxed when visiting us, particularly for the first time when everything is new. Please read our section on what to expect at your first appointment to help with this.

Generally Osteopathic treatment is very therapeutic and relaxing and can be very gentle. Sometimes your tissues can be very sensitive to touch, so we may choose to treat away from the pain or modify the technique.

Some people like a firmer touch than others, some like manipulation and others don’t. It is important for you to know that at all times you are in control of the treatment, it will be clearly explained to you and consent for treatment will be sought. The osteopath will not however, carry out any form of treatment that they do not consider safe or appropriate at that time, even if asked by the patient.

Patients are always advised that they can experience post treatment soreness as the tissues react to treatment. This does not usually last more than 24-48 hours.

That is a difficult question to answer particularly before we have seen and assessed you. Every patient is different, even if presenting with the same symptoms. We all bring different things with us to the treatment room, be it a history of past injury, lifestyle issues or state of mental being. These all influence your pain and your speed of recovery. For this reason we never sign you up for a course of treatment, but react to how your body is responding to the treatments. During your sessions we are keen to teach you the tools, through postural advice and exercises, to take control of your injury and prevent reoccurrence. The average number of sessions is between 4 and 6, but often patients choose to return for maintenance treatment, especially for work related issues or Degenerative Arthritis.

We are happy to provide receipts for your treatment so that you can present them to your insurance company. We are presently reviewing the viability of working with the bigger insurance companies such as AXA and BUPA as whilst we would love to accommodate our patients they do not permit us to charge our rates, demand more paperwork and are considering charging us to submit our invoices. Please therefore check the current situation with us before presuming you will be covered.

 

This is a hard question to answer without sounding biased, but one that is commonly asked. Both osteopaths and chiropractors are musculoskeletal specialist and both undergo 4 years of stringent training. However, it is important to realise that once we are all trained each practitioner takes their learning and develops their own style of treatment and care based on their interests, experiences and post graduate courses – so no two osteopaths or chiropractors will be the same and most certainly there will be a crossover between the two.

The basic difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor comes from the variation of their fundamental principles laid down by their founders – A.T. Still (osteopathy) and D.D. Palmer (chiropractor).

A.T.Still developed osteopathic treatment based on the importance of the blood supply to healing. Our techniques reflect this with soft tissue/massage work being important to us to aid fluid exchange directly and articulation and manipulations to create movement, which indirectly allows better blood supply. For instance, if you injure your back badly the muscles spasm and prevent movement. This protects it from further injury, but also prevents it from healing, as a lack of movement inhibits a good blood supply to the problematic joint. An osteopath will work on the soft tissues and articulate the joint to allow better movement, blood supply and faster more effective healing.

D.D.Palmer however, developed chiropractic treatment based on the importance of the nerve supply and hence manipulations (spinal Adjustments) became the focus of their treatment. For instance in order to treat an injury of the elbow a spinal manipulation in the neck will be their choice of treatment to effect the nerve that supplies the elbow.

This division of principles is an over simplification. Certainly as osteopaths we also consider the nerve supply to an area and can manipulate accordingly if felt suitable and there will be chiropractors that also do some soft tissue work.

Both osteopaths and chiropractors believe that the body has its own self healing properties, sometimes it just needs a little help from us manual therapists.

On top of this osteopaths are firm believers in treating the whole body, rather than just concentrating on the injury at hand. It is our role to find out where the problem is coming from and that may not be at the site of pain, as poor structure somewhere in one part of the the body may be affecting function elsewhere. For example, weakness in the gluteal (buttock) muscles could result in rotation through the hip, which in turn could cause stress and pain in the knee. If we only treated the knee and not educate our patient to strengthen the glutes, the function of the knee would not change. So as A.T.Still taught us – structure governs function.

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