Not been to an osteopath before? No need to worry – here’s what to expect!
Your first appointment will start with a chat about your problem and your historical and current health; there may also be questions about how you spend your time, as it’s important for your osteopath to know how you use your body, and what you hope to gain from osteopathy (this can be as simple as being able to put on your socks!). Don’t worry, all information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Your osteopath will then want to carry out a physical exam. This is usually simply observing you while you carry out certain movements before feeling how your joints and muscles are behaving, but don’t be surprised if your blood pressure, pulse or temperature are taken, your nerves are tested or other tests are carried out.
It makes your osteopath’s job easier if they can see you close up, so you will usually be asked to dress down to your underwear during the physical exam. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, just let your osteopath know, there will be a way around it!
Following a discussion of anything your osteopath has found, treatment can commence (with your consent, of course!). Osteopathic treatment is focused on balancing the structures of the body, (the skeleton, muscles, joints, ligaments and connective tissues) to enable optimal function.
Osteopaths use gentle muscle-releasing massage and soft tissue techniques along with joint mobilisation and some specific adjustments to release joint restrictions. This treatment is effective in not only reducing pain symptoms but also in targeting the structural cause of these symptoms.
Don’t be surprised if your osteopath teaches you some techniques as part of your treatment. This might be how to breathe to help you manage pain, tips on improving the quality of your sleep, or the best way to get out of bed with a painful back! In addition your osteopath may suggest some activity modification, or some exercises to help your return to health.
Still not sure if osteopathy’s for you? Grab one of our free introductory sessions to come along and have a chat.