What can I expect on my first appointment?
We will start by taking your details and then run through the reasons for your appointment. We will go through the history of the complaint, aggravating and relieving factors and daily pattern to try and understand the problem. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your past history of problems, medical history and your day-to-day routine. We will ask you about things like accidents, diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as these may give us clues to help our diagnosis.
We then need to look at you and try and work out what is going on. Examinations depend on the areas concerned. We usually start by looking at your posture and how the joints of your body move in various directions. We are looking to feel what happens when you move to see what hurts, where it hurts and when it hurts. We need to examine your muscles, looking for tight and sensitive areas and assess your neurological system. Other examinations may include a medical assessment. We may feel your pulses, check your reflexes or blood pressure.
Hopefully, everything you tell us and everything we are finding points to the same thing. If it doesn’t and we feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you, we may need to refer you on to your G.P., or other health specialist for further tests and investigations like X-rays or scans.
When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition, discuss our finding and your treatment options.
We can refer you to a more appropriate practitioner or treat you in conjunction with them.
Osteopaths use a wide range of treatment, depending on the severity of your pain, age, fitness and diagnosis. Treatment is different for every patient but may include gentle cranial sacral manipulation, techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage and muscle stretching, joint mobilization to release muscle tension, or manipulation to help relieve pain and mobilise your joints. All treatment options will be discussed with you.
We can discuss exercises to help maintain and improve your complaint at home or work and offer advice to help the problem re-occurring from everyday life.
What conditions do osteopaths treat.
Back pain is very common and, in the UK, causes over 5 million days off work each year. Joint pain can affect anyone at any age and is one of the most common reasons patients see their doctors. The causes are not always serious and, in most cases, it can resolve on its own given time to heal. 80% of our patients present for the first time with mechanical back and neck pain. Many people visit us to find out why their pain is not resolving. If we can find the cause and ease the restriction, the body can then heal itself or at least function better.
We find most pains result of a sprain or a strain of the structures around the joints such as the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or damage to the discs which can affect the nerves or blood vessels. These strains can be unlucky, the result of an acute sudden injury or accident, repetitive work or just overdoing it for too long, or bad posture. A lot of strains aren’t unlucky and occur by just doing something the quick way rather than the correct way! Later in life osteoarthritis or wear and tear of the joints can also be a reason for ongoing chronic pain.
We find a lot of our time is spent finding the cause and restoring the structures left compensating for the problem. Osteopaths do not use drugs or surgery. Treatment generally involves gentle, manual techniques to ease pain, reducing swelling and improving mobility.
Here is a list of conditions suitable for osteopathic treatment, as per the ASA guidelines.
General, acute & chronic backache, back pain.
Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain.
Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
Rotator cuff / frozen shoulder / shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
Generalised aches and pains.
Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core Osteoarthritic treatments and exercise.
Minor sports injuries and tensions circulatory problems.
Joint pains, lumbago.