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Will I need to undress to have osteopathic treatment?

Will I need to undress to have osteopathic treatment?

We understand that undressing in front of a stranger is not something most people will be particularly comfortable with. However, osteopathic diagnosis and treatment involves observation as well as manipulation, movement and massage. In order to receive the most effective treatment, we recommend that you undress to your underwear.

Why? By undressing, your osteopath will be able to see and examine the specific areas of your body that are causing you pain or discomfort. They will also have the ability to see the surrounding areas, which may be related or contributing to the problem.

In addition, it may surprise you to know how many times we have taken a full medical history, only to notice an old mark or surgery scar that a patient has forgotten to mention.

Blog inside image osteopath4healthSurely it depends on where the problem is?

Of course – if you are experiencing pain in your hands, wrists, feet or ankles, it’s unlikely you will need to undress. Ideally, you should wear short sleeve tops or shorts in order for your osteopath to gain access to the area, although it may be sufficient to simply roll up your sleeves or trousers.

If your problem is centred around your knees or elbows, we recommend wearing a short sleeved – or sleeveless – top, or a pair of shorts.

Are you suffering from a painful middle or upper back? Experiencing neck or shoulder pain? Your osteopath will want to see your spine in order to carry out the most effective osteopathic treatment possible. Therefore you will be asked to remove your top during diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Women are able to keep their bra on, and if you require additional privacy, a camisole or vest top can be worn.

When it comes to your hips, pelvis and lower back, we do prefer you to undress; however, if you would prefer not to, then shorts or comfortable track suit bottoms will suffice. Please ensure that you do not wear anything tight or restrictive for example jeans are generally thick, inflexible and occasionally difficult to perform osteopathic treatment through.

Privacy and respect

It is important to note that your privacy will be respected at all times. We appreciate that the idea of undressing in front of your osteopath can be stressful and embarrassing, but please, if it is worrying you to the point where you are considering not having treatment, talk to us. We are here to help, to reassure you, to put you at ease.

And most importantly, we are here to relieve your pain and discomfort.


And remember, you are always welcome to bring a family member or friend with you for moral support.

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.

Author Info

Andy Caughey

Andy graduated from the college of osteopaths in 2000. He has a keen interest in sports and is a qualified sports therapist. He is proficient in the use of electrotherapy including ultrasound and interferential and will also include new therapies such as Kinesio taping in his treatments.

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