Frequently Asked Questions About Osteopathy and Treatment
What should I expect?
• On your first visit a thorough case history relating to your current condition and any relevant previous history will be taken. Questions will also be asked about your general medical health. In the case of a child, extra information relating to development etc. will be asked of the parent or guardian. These questions help us to formulate a diagnosis and plan a treatment program. They will also help us to ascertain suitability of an individual patient to osteopathic treatment.
You will then be examined; this may involve you getting undressed to your underwear. So wear comfortable clothing that you are happy with. The examination will almost certainly require assessment of areas you are not necessarily complaining about but may well be related to the overall mechanical picture. For instance examining your hip, knee and/or feet when you have presented with low back or neck pain.
We will explain what we think the problem is in the form of a provisional diagnosis and the possible origins (this can also help us with any preventative advice). We will also explain how we can help (if we can !) with this problem and offer you some immediate advice, often to relieve pain. Providing it is appropriate we usually provide some treatment on the first appointment. The initial consultation can take up to 45 minutes.
What should I wear/What should I bring?
• You may be asked to remove some clothing so that we can examine and treat you thoroughly. If you would like to bring some shorts to wear rather than be in your underwear, please do so. If possible bring a list of any medication you are taking, x-ray or MRI reports or inform us of any additional relevant information.
Is a doctor`s referral necessary?
• No, you do not have to be referred by your doctor, However if you are using a private health company to pay for the treatment they will have particular conditions and may ask you to consult your GP or specialist first. If you have arranged a consultation with us independently we will generally contact your GP keeping him/her informed of your progress.
Will my health care cover the cost?
• Most health insurance policies cover osteopathic treatment either fully or partially but we advise all prospective patients to check with their provider first as to what is actually covered on individual policies and whether an excess applies. Rohan is a registered provider with AXA PPP and most other major health insurance companies and has been for many years.
What would happen if I consulted an osteopath with a condition that really required a doctor?
• Osteopaths extensive training and continuing professional development means that we can identify those conditions that may need referral and would make osteopathic treatment inappropriate or unsafe. In those circumstances the osteopath would refer the patient to his or her GP with a letter.
About the treatment?
How much treatment will I need?
• This usually depends on the length of time you have had the problem. The average number of osteopathic treatments patients have is 4-6 although the NICE CG88 guidelines advise patients that 8-10 treatments are often required for certain problems of long-standing duration . Your general health, age and factors relating to stress (osteopaths are well trained in listening to patients and their concerns in a completely confidential manner and this often has a bearing on the presenting symptoms) influence how fast your body will heal and in turn how many treatments you will need. Visits become less often as your spine and body stabilises. But it is important to remember that often each visit will build on the one before (treatment programs are carefully planned).
Patients often opt for maintenance osteopathy or massage (or a mixture of both), beyond the resolution of their initial problem. Prevention is an important facet of osteopathic management and patients will usually be given advice on a wide range of relevant factors such as ergonomics in the work place, exercises to maintain flexibility and other specific measures to suit the individual. A combination of applying as many positives and reducing or eliminating negatives remains a key osteopathic objective to effect the best outcome for the patient.