If you have never visited an osteopath before, it makes sense that you would want to know what to expect from your first appointment. After all, the reason you are considering osteopathy is because you are in pain or discomfort – you will want to know that the treatment you’re seeking will bring you the relief you need.
Your first appointment will last approximately 30 – 45 minutes. To begin with, your osteopath will ask pertinent questions about the reason for your visit, your general health and any other medical conditions and medications that may have an impact on your osteopath’s proposed treatment plan. This information is confidential and will be recorded in the osteopath’s notes, much like you would expect at your doctors surgery.
The osteopath will then examine you. Depending on where the pain is centred, it is likely that you will be asked to remove some of your clothing in order to examine the areas affecting you. If you are uncomfortable with undressing, please tell your osteopath, who will do their best to respect your privacy and wishes. Remember that you will also need to wear loose clothing.
You are welcome to ask a friend or relative to accompany you to your first appointment if that would make you more comfortable.
During your first osteopathy consultation, you will be asked to gently move and stretch so that your osteopath can observe posture and mobility. You may be suffering from pain or stiffness in one area of your body, but due to your body’s connective structure, the actual problem may be located elsewhere. Stretching and moving allows your osteopath to pick up on any issues.
Your osteopath will also examine your body’s joints, tissue and ligaments to assess their health.
Please note that if your osteopath picks up on any serious medical condition they cannot treat, you will be advised to make an appointment to see your GP or if necessary, go to hospital.
What about the diagnosis?
Your osteopath will explain their diagnosis and discuss a suitable treatment plan, taking into consideration the benefits and any risks that may be involved. Their aim is to ensure that you fully understand their proposed treatment plan, agree with what can be achieved and know how many treatment sessions you are likely to require in order to see a noticeable improvement in your wellbeing.
Will I be treated straightaway?
If osteopathy is deemed to be appropriate to your needs and you agree to the proposed treatment plan, it is likely that treatment will begin as part of your initial consultation.
Osteopathy consists of a combination of manipulation of the spine and joints and massage of the connecting soft tissues. It is important to note that only if the osteopath deems it necessary and has fully explained the nature of the treatment to the patient, are the more robust techniques of joint manipulation used. If you have never been to an osteopath before, everything will be explained to you and you are encouraged to ask questions if you have any queries or concerns.
What about afterwards?
After your treatment, your osteopath may share advice on exercise and lifestyle changes to aid recovery, manage pain or prevent symptoms from reoccurring.
Due to the nature of osteopathic treatment, you may experience a certain level of discomfort after treatment, but this should pass very quickly.
For further information, then please ‘Ask Andy’. There’s really no need to suffer in silence, help is at hand. You can either book an appointment by clicking here or by calling our Billericay Practice on 01277 650010; Pinner Practice on 0208 868 3555 or Parkstone Practice on 01202 734211.