Does it hurt?
No! Treatments used are tailored to the strength of your body and so should never be too strong for you. There may occasionally be soreness after the first treatment, which is due to the inflamed soft tissues having to adapt to the change in their circumstances but this would not be expected to last more than 24 hours. Minimal adverse reaction is expected from subsequent treatments. Most patients enjoy osteopathic treatment!
How many treatments will I need?
This may vary depending on your individual case but on average, we would hope to see a significant improvement within 3-4 sessions, which would be given over a period of 2-3 weeks. Any further treatments required would be spaced out over longer intervals as it is important to let the body adapt to the changes we have made.
Do I need to be referred by my GP?
No, most of our patients are recommended by word of mouth. Occasionally we need to refer back to your GP for blood tests or x-rays but we would always seek your permission before writing any letters.
Can I help myself?
Yes. The half hour of the treatment is just a contribution to your recovery. What you do at home or work can help or hinder your progress. Advice is given on exercises you can do to strengthen and rehabilitate, on posture and how and when you should return to your normal activities. Ice packing and contrast bathing can also help, by making the circulation carry away the inflammatory products and provide the area with nutrient filled fresh blood.
Should I rest?
Rest is usually not advisable. Most musculo-skeletal problems respond much better when kept mobile and can seize up completely if rested for too long. A lot of conditions we see are inflammatory, and are typically at their most stiff and painful first thing in the morning. This follows most people’s longest period of rest and the symptoms are alleviated once they are up and about.
What is the difference between osteopaths / physiotherapists / chiropractors?
There will always be individual variations, but in general physios may use machines in their treatment, and often spend time going through rehabilitation exercises with you. Many do not use “hands on” treatment, and patients who have attended chiropractors tell us that treatment allowance is approximately 10 minutes. The average osteopathic treatment takes 30 minutes as we do similar joint manipulation to the chiropractors, but we consider that the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments etc) are just are just as important in the overall symptom picture and recovery. Our treatment therefore involves a lot of stretching articulation and deep soft tissue treatment. This is helpful in cases such as elderly patients where joint manipulation may be better avoided, so a very effective soft tissue treatment may be given without any strong techniques.
What causes the click during manipulation?
Pain is often centred around a restricted joint which has become jammed or inflamed, with the surrounding muscles going into spasm and maintaining the pain. Joint manipulation involves putting the restricted joint through a very small stretching movement at speed – this just feels like a quick push on the joint. Separating the joint surfaces like this causes a release in the pressure within the joint. It is this change in pressure which causes the clicking noise and the result is a joint that moves more freely. There also a reflex relaxation in the surrounding muscles, which makes the whole area feel looser and more comfortable.
Is osteopathy recognized now?
Yes. Now that all osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council, the profession is safety regulated. Osteopathy is recognized by all the major private healthcare companies – BUPA, PPP, WPA, Norwich Union etc. if your are making a claim for your treatment please tell us when you book your own appointment, as some companies require a GP referral.