What will happen during my first appointment?

You’ll be asked some straightforward questions about your current discomfort and some more detailed questions about your medical history and any medication you might be taking.

You’ll then be asked whether you’re happy to remove some of your outer clothing so that a careful physical assessment can be carried out involving a series of movements and some gentle contact using the hands to assess how your body is moving and functioning. The removal of some of your outer clothing is necessary in order to observe and palpate any dysfunctional areas but this is entirely at your discretion and can be discussed further at the time if you wish. It’s helpful if you wear something stretchy to minimise clothing removal and to allow you to move more easily, shorts and a vest are ideal.

I’ll then give you an explanation as to what the most likely cause of your discomfort is, what treatment is appropriate and the benefits and any potential risks of that treatment. As long as your clear on everything up to that point and you’re happy to go ahead then treatment will begin.

At The Movement Practice our treatment approach utilises tailored specific movements, physical manipulation, stretching and massage, with the aim of:

  • increasing the mobility of joints

  • relieving muscle tension

  • enhancing the blood supply to tissues

  • helping the body to heal

At the end of the session your treatment and management plan will be discussed which will usually involve giving you some exercises to take away and maybe also some advice as to how you can address the issues in your own time from day to day. In many ways this is the most important part of your treatment and goes to the heart of what osteopathy is all about; to enable you to continue to make progress in your own time and to transfer ownership of your recovery gradually to you over the course of your treatment and management plan. The simple fact is that the patients who follow the rehabilitation advice are usually the ones who recover the fastest and keep future recurrences at bay the longest. You get out what you put in.

How many appointments will I need?

You will be assessed as an individual, therefore it is hard to define a timescale. Some people may only require 1-2 treatments, whereas some people may require a longer course. Some chronic conditions i.e. osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis can benefit greatly from ongoing, intermittent treatments. Your time and money is valued so with this in mind I will aim to keep your appointments to a minimum. 

Do I need to talk to my GP first?

Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners so there’s no need to consult your GP before  your appointment, although you may wish to do so if you have specific concerns. In fact, most GPs will routinely refer their patients to an osteopath if they feel the issue is musculoskeletal in nature and can be managed without the need for medication.

Can an osteopath refer me to another specialist if necessary?

Yes, if appropriate an osteopath can refer patients to another specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon or a rheumatologist, or can refer for imaging such as an x-ray or an MRI scan. This can either be done via your GP or directly with the specialist and will only ever be done after first discussing the matter with you and gaining your consent.

What training do Osteopaths get?

All osteopaths undertake a 4 or 5 year degree course. Training is extensive and covers anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology and x-rays. Refinement of techniques include soft-tissue manipulation, spinal/joint adjustments, muscle stretching and joint mobilisation.

The title of 'Osteopath' is a protected, similar to that of a doctor to dentist. The Osteopathy Act 1993 makes it illegal for a practitioner to advertise or work under the title of 'Osteopath'. All osteopaths are regulated and registered by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). 

It is a legal requirement for osteopaths to complete a regular CPD cycle............learning never stops!! 

What conditions can an Osteopath treat?

Although common, osteopaths treat a lot more than back and neck pain. Here are some links from the Institute of Osteopathy for what can be treated, but if you are unsure, please get in touch to discuss your options.