Osteopathy and Your Visit
Osteopathy and Your Visit
What happens during the first visit or consultation?
We cover several areas in the initial consultation, starting with a full case history to find out more about you. This includes your previous medical history, the nature of your work, lifestyle and activities – and, of course, the problem you’ve come to see us about.
Based on these details, if we think that osteopathic treatment is appropriate and that we can help you, we’ll then carry out an osteopathic assessment. This usually involves you performing some simple movements so that we can check for areas of tightness or limitation in mobility. We may also do other basic tests such as checking reflexes or taking your blood pressure.
Following the initial examination, we’ll explain our findings to you and discuss a treatment plan. Usually, we can also give you an idea of the amount of treatment that you’ll need (which we can then review once we’ve seen how well you respond to your first treatment) and what you can expect.
In most cases (and with your consent), we can begin treatment on your first visit, unless further information is required (e.g. from your GP or Consultant).
We’ll always act in your best interests, so if we feel that osteopathic care is not right for you we will suggest referring you on to your GP or another suitable practitioner. We also collaborate with our colleagues within our practice and may suggest sessions of physiotherapy or sport massage as part of your treatment where appropriate.
What does treatment involve?
Osteopaths seek to correct the cause of pain in the body rather than just its symptoms. Each treatment plan and the techniques that we use are always based on the individual; taking into accounts factors such as age, general health and pain levels.
We use a range of techniques including gentle pressure and stretching to release tight areas of muscle, and manipulation to encourage improved joint movement.
We sometimes use cranial osteopathy, which is an extremely gentle approach useful in the treatment of patients of all ages, including babies.
What should I wear?
It’s easier for us to assess and treat you if you’re wearing loose clothing (e.g., jogging bottoms/shorts and a vest), and, for our first consultation, it’s likely that we’ll need to ask you to remove some clothing so that we can examine your spine properly. We’re sensitive to the fact that not everyone may feel comfortable with this and are respectful too in these situations of any cultural or religious sensibilities.
What locations can I attend?
We run clinics at our main practice in Bromham and our treatment rooms at Towers Health & Racquets Club in Bedford . There's no need to be a Club member to visit us at Towers. Physiotherapy and sports massage are available at Towers only.
Can I bring someone with me?
Our current guidelines are for patients to visit on their own when possible. If you need or would prefer to bring a companion, we will need to ensure they also wear a mask and are compliant with our current covid protocols above. A parent or guardian should accompany children to appointments and the same rules would apply. Currently we are asking that only one parent or companion attends.
Do I need to bring anything for my child?
We often see children in the practice and make every effort for everything to be as child friendly as possible. We're afraid that we currently have no toys or books available so please bring some along to help entertain your child during their treatment. Some young children like to lie down throughout their session and enjoy being read to by their parent or carer, whilst others like to sit up and play with toys. Young babies can be breast or bottle-fed during treatment, and we have nappy-changing facilities on site. Please explain to your child that their practitioner will be wearing PPE (mask, apron and gloves).
Does the treatment hurt?
Tight and stiff areas may well be sensitive to the touch, so we always do our best to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible. Some patients may experience some discomfort a day or two after treatment, although this soon disappears. Generally, many of our patients tell us that their treatment has been a pleasant experience.
How long does each session last?
The first appointment usually lasts up to 60 minutes, with follow-up sessions being up to 30 minutes.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
Your rate of recovery will depend on many factors, including your condition and how long you’ve had it, your age, general health, lifestyle and level of activity. Often, we can help to relieve pain and stiffness quite quickly; particularly if you follow the advice and recommendations that we give you. Although all conditions are specific to the individual, many patients feel much more comfortable within 2-4 sessions, and better still after a couple more treatments.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies from person to person because each situation is unique (see How long will it take for me to feel better?) and depends on the ultimate aim of treatment.
Whatever your health goals are, we’re here to help. Some patients come to us for a few sessions for symptom relief and to get them moving again, whilst others prefer a longer course of treatment to really address the root of the problem. This tends to be more beneficial in the long-term as often it can prevent issues recurring.
Once they have recovered from their initial problem, many patients choose to see us regularly for maintenance check-ups. With this preventative and proactive approach, we can detect and correct problems before they become painful and debilitating. Many of our patients prefer these regular sessions to keep them comfortable and moving well, helping them to lead a full and active life.
Do I need a GP referral?
No. Some GPs do refer directly to us, but in most cases, patients self-refer – usually after having spoken to former patients who have recommended us.