The first visit will last between 45 minutes and one hour. This is because a detailed case history will be taken, during which you will be asked to describe the nature of your complaint as best you can – when it started, what brought it on in your opinion, any patterns you may have recognised on a daily basis, what actions seem to make it worse and better and whether the problem is always the same or it is changing in nature. Your medical history will also be taken as there may be links between seemingly unrelated conditions and your pain. You will then be examined (it is advised to wear underwear you are comfortable in) and asked to perform some movements. Your Osteopath may also perform some medical examinations and special tests. Once the examination is complete, the Osteopath will have gathered enough information to be able to make a working diagnosis (unless further medical investigations are required first). She will explain to you what she feels is wrong and what course of action she recommends to take – and if you are in agreement with this, and it is appropriate, then osteopathic treatment can commence. You are welcome to ask questions at any stage in this process. The most successful results are always achieved when the patient understands what is happening, what we are trying to achieve together and how. Essentially, we are helping you to help heal yourself. We will advise you on what we feel you can do on your own to improve your progress – and the more you help us help you, the quicker the whole process becomes!
Please bring along
The names and dosages of any medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) which you are taking and any herbal or homeopathic remedies or vitamin supplements. Any X-rays, MRI or CT scans and their conclusions which may be in your possession. Please ensure that you are wearing underwear in which you are comfortable or have a pair of shorts and vest-type top into which you can change. If you prefer to be accompanied during your consultation and treatment, that is perfectly acceptable. Reminder: in order for your osteopathic diagnosis to be as accurate as possible, there will be a considerable amount of time spent gathering information on the first consultation. This is perfectly normal.
Does it hurt?
It is highly likely that you may already be uncomfortable or in pain when you come to see the Osteopath. Naturally, the last thing you want is for this to get worse. Soft tissue work is frequently the first stage of any osteopathic treatment and this may feel a little uncomfortable to start with, as your tissues are likely to be contracted. However, this discomfort rarely lasts long and soon after, you should start feeling some relief from pain. Spinal or other bony adjustments aim to increase the range and quality of movement of the joints in question. There are several techniques available to Osteopaths to help joints move better. The choice of techniques used depends upon what your Osteopath feels is most appropriate for you, and what you are comfortable with. Some techniques may result in a clicking or popping sound. This causes no pain whatsoever and the patients often feel instant relief afterwards. The noise is made by gas bubbles within the joint.
The day after
Your tissues may continue reacting to Osteopathic treatment the following day or even the day after that. This is normal, as your body is adapting itself to the changes that have been made. Your Osteopath, in order to encourage the return of normal muscle tone, and to eliminate toxins from your body, will have increased the blood flow to the areas treated within it, and that of lymphatic fluid. Sometimes (not always, and not even necessarily every treatment), this can create a slightly sore, ‘swollen’- type feeling the next day, similar to aches felt after an intensive workout. If this does occur, rest assured that this is nothing to be worried about and should pass rapidly. It is also quite normal to feel tired after treatment. Should ever you be concerned about any reaction to treatment, please call us on 01 53 76 44 89 in order to double-check that all is in order.
Follow-up visits should not take more than 30 minutes of your time. The number of consultations required depends entirely upon your individual complaint and the plan of action we devise together to alleviate it and to prevent recurrences. We remind you that your treatment plan is unique to yourself and it is based upon a partnership of osteopathic treatment and actions identified (for example some home exercises and/or mild changes in your daily routine), which we will put into place together. You may not be aware of areas of your lifestyle which are actually contributing to your problem. The aim of the treatment plan is to ensure that you are on top form and capable of doing that which you wish on a daily basis.