What to expect on your first visit
How long will the initial consultation take?
Your osteopath may spend from 45 minutes to an hour with you on your first appointment. This allows ample time to get to know you, understand your complaint, ascertain enough information to form a diagnosis and begin to treat your condition. After this you will normally have 30 minute follow up treatment sessions.
What will the Osteopath do?
Initially a thorough case history will be taken, discussing your past and present medical background, your current symptoms, work-life, hobbies and general well-being. A physical examination will then take place, at which point your osteopath may ask you to remove certain items of clothing where necessary. You may feel more comfortable wearing loose clothing that can be rolled up to access the area of your symptoms if need be. You will be made to feel as comfortable as possible throughout this process, and if you do not wish to remove any item of clothing you will never be forced to do so. Any physical findings during the examination such as posture, quality of joint movement and muscle tone will be considered alongside the case history to form a diagnosis. This will be explained to you openly before any treatment is carried out, and you will have a chance to ask questions at any point throughout the consultation process.
What if the problem isn't musculoskeletal?
In certain cases, if your osteopath has reason to suspect that the cause of symptoms may not be purely or primarily musculoskeletal they will perform a number of diagnostic clinical tests. Osteopaths are medically trained to examine a number of body systems, including Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Lymphatic, Neurological and the Abdominal organs. If there is anything concerning or clinically unusual in these preliminary tests, osteopaths will refer you to your GP for further investigations to rule out or explore other potential causes of your symptoms. In all cases, if your osteopath believes that your symptoms are not appropriate to treat without further investigation, you will be referred. It is not uncommon for your osteopath to examine an area of the body that you feel may be unrelated to the cause of your symptoms, it is not normally due to concern over something more serious so you do not need to worry. Diagnostic clinical tests are also used to gauge your general health and as a marker for recovery. This will be explained to you throughout the process and if you are concerned about anything at all, please ask questions!