What to expect on your first visit for an Osteopathic consultation and treatment.
Osteopaths can treat a wide range of problems that can cause pain or discomfort. We are best known for treating backs; but that isn’t all we do! So you may be planning a visit for your back, or your knee, or your shoulder, for headaches, because you have arthritic pain, whatever the reason, you need to know what to expect. We always ask people to wear comfortable clothing, so you will be comfortable during the session.
The first appointment is for an hour. It will involve;
- Taking a full case history.
- An examination
Firstly, aside from your personal details and consent to be examined and treated, you will be asked questions about your symptoms. For the osteopath understanding your issue means asking detailed questions. How long you’ve had the pain, what type of pain it is, how and why it started is all valuable information towards understanding your situation.
Equally, questions about your history are also important. Accidents, injuries, fractures, illnesses, lifestyle, work and your general wellbeing are all significant factors that contribute to building up an understanding of your story. Osteopathic treatment is tailored to an individuals needs. No two people have had the same experiences and your body is often a reflection of your experiences.
A simple example would be if you have spent your working life sitting in an office working on a computer, then you may have tightness, discomfort or even pain in your upper back, shoulders and neck. Your job is affecting your posture and in turn causing symptoms in these areas. Perhaps, on top of this, you were recently involved in an incident in your car and experienced some mild whiplash. Both of these factors are important and will have an impact on your body. For Osteopaths understanding the various factors that may be contributing to your symptoms is vital. The treatment, advice, and exercises you may be given will all take into consideration these factors. The consultation will be individually tailored to your needs.
The Case History helps an osteopath to understand your symptoms. The next stage is the examination. You will be examined standing. Postural assessment and examination of you doing some simple movements complete the picture. Some people undress and are happy to be examined in their underwear, others prefer to remain dressed. Following on from this examination, your Osteopath will then examine you more closely and palpate the painful areas. If you have low back pain, your lumbar spine (low back) will be checked. Osteopaths have highly developed palpation and can understand a great deal through touch.
This whole process is lengthy and detailed, but the information collected from the Case History and examination is the foundation of your treatment journey. Osteopathy works with your body, the treatments effects intensifies with a course of treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on an individuals requirements. Many clients find that after an initial course of treatments they like to pop back regularly to keep symptoms from building up again. For example if you have arthritic joints, the change within the joints is permanent. The Osteopath would seek to maintain your joint mobility, minimise your pain and help keep you moving. In other words, maintenance and prevention is the focus. At other times, the situation is straight forward and resolves quickly and easily.
People continue to be surprised by how much Osteopathy can help them as well as the fact that Osteopaths treat such a variety of problems. Feel free to come and find out how we can help you.