Visiting an osteopath can be a daunting experience, particularly if you don’t know what to expect. Remember, an osteopath is there to help you with your particular problem, whether you are suffering from back pain, rheumatism, shoulder pain, neck pain, arthritis, headaches, joint pain, whiplash, period pain, repetitive strain injury, sleeping difficulties, IBS, or sports injuries.
To put you at ease, here is the low down on what will happen when you visit an osteopath or osteopath clinic for the first time.
Firstly, your osteopath will ask you a series of questions to get an accurate picture of the problem. You are likely to be asked about your working conditions, any previous diseases, illnesses or operations, any medicine you are currently taking, and your general lifestyle.
Before any osteopathy treatment is given, you will be asked to remove some of your clothing so that the osteopath can conduct a series of observations and biomechanical assessments to help the osteopath make a precise diagnosis. During the examination, the osteopath will take your blood pressure and pulse. In addition, the osteopath may also listen to your heart and lungs. An X-ray on the part of the body where the problem is may also be taken along with orthopaedic (bone) and neurological (nerve) tests. In addition, the osteopath may apply a highly developed sense of touch to identify points of weakness or excessive strain throughout your body.
When the osteopath has diagnosed the problem, you will be advised which osteopathy treatment is necessary and appointments will be made for future osteopathic treatment. Your first meeting with an osteopath is likely to take about an hour, but after that you may only need 15 minutes at a time for osteopathy treatment. The number of visits you need to make to an osteopath will depend on your particular condition and its severity, but your osteopath should keep you fully informed about your progress.
Osteopathic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed, in which case the osteopathy treatment will probably be modified. Don’t worry if you hear clicking or popping noises during the treatment, as this is perfectly normal.
Once the problem has been relieved, the osteopath will talk to you to identify any strains that your body is exposed to, either at work, at home or while playing sport. The osteopath can then advise you on the best ways to prevent further problems.