Portfolio Category ArchivesGeneral Advice


Can you help me?

This question is usually best answered when the information from the patient, as they share their history of the problem, comes together with the information from the osteopath as they examine the patient. But, as a general rule, we tend to deal with problems that have a bio-mechanical component. If you are not sure whether you fit this category, give us a call or fill in the on-line questionnaire form and we can consider your situation together and see if that helps to make it clearer for you.
Above all, we want to be as sure as we can be that the patients we see are safe to treat and that it is appropriate to treat them. We are anxious to avoid any delay in a patient accessing appropriate care, so this can sometimes mean that we ask a patient to see their GP before we see them.

What will happen when you first consult an osteopath?

At the first consultation, your osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined. Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body’s points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a ‘package’ of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on lifestyle and exercise. The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.

Does osteopathic treatment hurt?

In general, osteopathic treatment is not painful. A variety of techniques are used that are appropriate to your condition and are chosen to minimise discomfort and maximise benefit. Occasionally, osteopathic treatment can feel awkward and unusual but it should never hurt. Very occasionally, if you are in severe pain, getting to the practice, being carefully examined and treated can cause a temporary worsening of your pains. We would expect this to settle within 48 hours.

What is the popping noise?

Sometimes we use techniques that can make the spine release an audible “pop” . It happens during one of the techniques we use to loosen a specific spinal joint and we are not entirely sure what exactly makes the noise or why many people find it so helpful. There are a number of theories related to release of gas into synovial fluid and joint surfaces separating within a closed system. Nevertheless, the technique certainly seems to have an effect on the activity of the muscles and nerves very close to the spine thereby changing how it moves. However, we do know that the sound of the pop is definitely NOT a bone or disc in your spine going “back into place” !!

How many treatments does it take to get me better?

Our aim is to get you back to normal as quickly as possible. Each person is very different and responses to treatment are very variable. However, our clinic data tells us that most of our patients are discharged in 2.7 treatments. So, generally speaking, some people will feel a difference straight away and need not return for further treatment, whereas others may take 6 sessions to feel a significant difference. It is important to us that our patients are partners in their treatment planning and so we like to constantly review progress and expectations to ensure that we are all happy with the progress being made.

Is Osteopathic treatment safe?
Yes, according to the NHS, Osteopathy is generally regarded as safe.

Are there side effects from Osteopathic treatment?

Many people feel a little stiff, sore or sleepy after their treatment and this can last a couple of days as the tissues reorganise themselves. We often ask patients to keep gently mobile for a couple of days after treatment in order to give themselves the best chance of settling down and returning to normal movement. Other reported side effects include mild to moderate soreness or pain in the treatment area, headache and fatigue.

Serious complications that have been linked to manual therapies involving spinal manipulation – including osteopathy – include tearing of an artery wall leading to a stroke, which can result in permanent disability or even death. These events usually occurred after spinal manipulation involving the neck.

These more serious complications of spinal manipulation are rare. Estimates of the rates of serious complications range widely, from one in several thousand to one in several million.

Do I need to see my GP before visiting an osteopath?

Generally not. Most patients self refer without consulting their GP first although some private medical insurers require that you be referred for osteopathic treatment by your GP.

What is the difference between an osteopath, chiropractor and physiotherapist?

The main differences are historical, political and technical.

We all have the same level and style of training, we are all fully regulated by statute and we all treat the same patient groups using very similar techniques.

Some osteopaths or chiropractors may use a wide variety of techniques, some practitioners may specialise in a specific area of clinical interest. It is very difficult for patients to know what sort of treatment they can expect unless they speak to the individual practitioner involved as each practitioner has their own flavour. If there is a specific approach that works well for you, or that you want to avoid, let us know. Physiotherapists also tend to prescribe rehabilitative exercises routinely.

How do pay for treatment?

We accept cash, cheques and credit and debit cards. Accounts are generally settled at each visit.

Can I use my Insurance?

Yes. You will need to contact your insurer to establish whether you need a doctorʼs referral, whether you have an excess applied to your policy, whether there is a limit to the number of treatments you are entitled to claim or whether you need an authorisation code. Just ring your claim line number and they will help sort this out for you.

How can I find my way to you?

Fro directions to the practice, please check out the directions page on the home page.

Can you park at the practice?

Yes, Bush House Osteopathic Practice has its own car park.

Stress Management Advice

The Westminster Hospital’s  :  TWENTY TIPS TO MANAGE STRESS


Physical activity -cycle, swim, walk

Practise deep breathing

Talk to someone you trust

Accept what you cannot change

Avoid self medication: cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, tranquillisers

Get enough sleep. Be aware when you are tired and take steps to rest and refresh yourself

Take time out to play

Do something for others

Do jobs one at a time

Agree with someone for a change

Examine how you manage your time and set a timetable – don’t overload it

If you are sick don’t try to pretend you are not

Develop an absorbing hobby

Remember the answer lies with you

Eat sensibly: fresh fruit and vegetables; wholemeal bread and pasta; wholegrain

cereals; cut down on fatty sugary foods

Take time to relax daily

Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’

Delegate to colleagues, family and friends

Be realistic about perfection and what you can achieve

Recognise that you are a person of worth – a unique individual with valuable

qualities that are continually being developed and SMILE!


We hope the above is helpful.

Another great site that we recommend is the NHS Choices Website, have a look at this interesting page .

Pain Management

Pain is a normal part of life and we are affected differently by it. Back pain in particular can be very confusing, frightening, frustrating and exhausting. It can be be extremely severe even when the cause is not serious. The following links focus totally on pain, it’s causes and it’s management. The first one is quite a medical perspective and offers explanations of medical terms and possible treatments. The second link is a patient-friendly  perspective and suggests many useful self help approaches.

It is always essential to establish the CAUSE of your pain first. Seek medical advice so that you understand your problem fully and give yourself the best chance of getting better as quickly as possible.