Frequently Asked Questions about Osteopathy Treatment

  1. What happens first?
  2. Do I have to undress?
  3. What happens in the physical examination?
  4. How many osteopathic treatments will it take to get better?
  5. Will you "click" my neck/back?
  6. Does it hurt?
  7. "I have put my back out" - Can you help me?
  8. Can you treat conditions that are not directly associated with muscles and joints?
  9. Will you look at my posture?

Perhaps you have more questions? Please email us or call during work hours. We will be happy to hear from you and provide more information.

What happens first?

Osteopathic Doctor ask questions about your symptoms, including how they began and the factors that affect them. We take a complete medical history, including previous injuries, operations and illnesses, and we ask questions regarding any other health issues. You will then undergo a physical examination.

Do I have to undress?

Yes. A proper examination can only be done if we can see the areas concerned. This usually means that we ask you to undress to your underwear so that we can examine you properly. We do want you to be comfortable, and therefore make absolutely sure you’re happy with this and have shorts and singlet available to borrow, if necessary..

What happens in the physical examination?

We usually start with a standing exam, when we can observe and inspect body-part alignment. We then palpate (feel) the tissues concerned and ask you to carry out active movements to see if you have pain or restriction.

The next part is done sitting or lying down and the osteopath palpates and moves the affected structures. If necessary, we will carry out conventional examinations to the neurological, circulatory, respiratory systems, which we are qualified to do.

How many osteopathic treatments will it take to get better?

This depends on your treatment plan. We are all individuals, and sometimes patients progress faster or slower than initially anticipated. The treatment plan is therefore reviewed and adjusted at each visit.

Will you "click" my neck/back?

If this is appropriate, it can be a very effective technique, which we do use. We will always discuss this with you first to make sure you’re happy. The way Osteopaths are taught to do this, it tends to be less vigorous than some people expect. Some people don’t like any clicking at all, and with these patients we can always find another way to achieve the same result.

Does it hurt?

Generally not as most techniques are fairly gentle. Patients usually find the treatment pleasant and relaxing and usually leave the Practice feeling a little better. However, as treatment is designed to try to alter the body’s ‘status quo’, there are some conditions that can have a reaction. This can lead to some tenderness, but generally it feels different to the symptoms you came in with. A reaction usually lasts for around 24-48 hours, after which you start to feel better than before your visit. If you are at all concerned about a treatment reaction, you should always contact your osteopath. So, it's very helpful to flush away the bacteria in an alkaline colon.

"I have put my back out" - Can you help me?

We all think that we understand this phrase, but if you were asked to draw a diagram of what you think has happened, most people would not know where to start. What this phrase actually means to most of us is "I have back pain".

Can you treat conditions that are not directly associated with muscles and joints?

Yes. Osteopathy can help conditions such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, period pain, and leaky bladder for example. We use the term ‘help’ rather than ‘cure’, as with many of these conditions, treatment is complementary to the other treatment modalities that are already being used to treat the condition. Take asthma as an example, Osteopathy can help with improving the way an asthmatic breathes and this can reduce severity and frequency of attacks, but it is unlikely to ‘cure’ the person completely.

Will you look at my posture?

Yes. Posture is dynamic, in other words it changes depending on the activity a person is doing. So efficient posture for standing, for example, is different from that of sitting, cleaning the bath or gardening. Posture is therefore in everything that we do. Inefficient posture is another way of saying poor bodily technique and, therefore, it is extremely important to assess and rectify.