What to expect…
Initially, time will be spent taking a case history which is a combination of specific questions from the Osteopath to gain information about the nature of the problem and the individual’s health. It also offers the chance to the patient to explain in their own words what the problem is and how it is affecting their life. This is then followed by an examination of the patient. Usually, the patient will be asked to perform certain movements to assess capability and difficulties. If necessary this can be followed up by orthopedic and neurological testing. This stage is generally performed with the patient undressed and gowned so that observation and palpation can be used on the injured area. Naturally, if this is a source of concern for the patient then a chaperone is more than welcome to be in attendance. The treatment that is offered reflects what is found through this process of examination. The techniques used as part of the treatment will often vary according to the individual.
Do I need my doctors permission?
No, you can self-refer.
Sometimes when you are looking for the treatment to be covered by your health insurance then the verbal referral from your GP may be required.
What do I need to wear?
No specific clothes are needed. A patient normally is required to remove some clothing to allow examination and treatment to be provided. Athletic clothing such as shorts can be useful but a gown is provided.
I have heard treatment can be uncomfortable, is this true?
The answer is that this varies from person to person. Circumstances such as how acute the initial presentation is, what the general health of the patient is like and what techniques are used, all have an influence. The most common concern is that spinal manipulation is painful. However, nearly all patients agree that it is in fact only the popping noise that disconcerts rather than hurts.
What is the training required to be an Osteopath?
Osteopaths have to complete a four year BSc degree. To remain on the statutory register an osteopath has to complete 30 hours of CPD ( continuing professional development) each year.
What is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?
This is, without doubt, the most common question I get asked. In fact, it is thanks to the £10 tariff I apply to this question that I have been able to buy my beautiful second home in the tax haven of Monaco. There is a long answer which involves a history lesson and takes me about ten minutes to finish. The short answer is “ not so much”. There are some fantastic practitioners in both professions and others whose qualities leave a lot to be desired. In much the same way at a local GP practice, we soon realise that there are some GPs that are engaged and interested and others that are not.