Your first consultation:
At your first appointment a full case history will be taken to find out about the complaint which is troubling you, as well as your medical history.
Your osteopath will then perform an osteopathic examination, which will usually involve some outer clothing being removed. If you would prefer, you may bring a pair of sports shorts and a vest top to wear. Examination will include a postural assessment, and you may be asked to run through a few simple movements to see how your body is moving and to identify areas of restriction or pain. If necessary, some standard orthopaedic and/or neurological tests may also be performed, for example testing reflexes. Your osteopath will then examine your muscles and joints using palpation (a highly developed sense of touch) to assess muscle tone and joint mobility.
Once a diagnosis has been made it will be explained to you, along with a treatment plan and expected recovery time.
Osteopathic treatment will then be performed (provided it is considered appropriate for your problem). Treatment usually involves movement of joints, muscle stretching and massage and joint manipulations, which often give an audible 'click'. Sometimes cranial osteopathy may be performed; which is very gentle and involves subtle movement of the skull bones. If the osteopath feels that medical acupuncture may be beneficial to help relieve the pain, this will be discussed in full during the first session and will be performed at subsequent appointments, if you decide you would like it.
You will be advised on any special precautions to avoid aggravating your symptoms, what exercise may be beneficial, stretches and home care to aid recovery, such as ice or heat applications.
Sometimes, pain relief may be immediately noticeable following treatment. It is not unusual to feel some post-treatment soreness for 24-48 hours after treatment; however please do not hesitate to telephone the clinic to discuss this with your osteopath if you are at all concerned.
Most mechanical strain injuries take 2-4 weeks to recover with weekly treatments. Some injuries (such as disc problems, ligament or nerve injuries) take longer to heal. This will be discussed at your first appointment, with an estimated recovery time given.