What to expect from your consultation?

Your first consultation

You do not need the referral of a doctor to be seen at Bush House Osteopathic Practice, although some patients do come to us following GP advice.

Osteopaths treat the whole person, so during the first consultation your osteopath will ask you a lot of questions to gain a good understanding of your case (known as a case history). This is followed by a thorough examination, where you will be asked to undress to your underwear if you are happy to do so. A gown is provided for you to wear if you prefer. Please feel free to bring a chaperone if you would like to. You may be asked to perform some movements, and the osteopath may move different parts of your body to see how they are functioning, or do additional tests, such as feeling the muscles and joints (palpation). This allows the assessment of the relevant parts of your body to enable your osteopath to make a diagnosis of possible causes of your problem.

Following the case history taking and clinical examination, your osteopath will then talk to you about what they think is causing the problem. He/She will also talk to you about possible treatment options, possible effects, and recommendations. Where necessary, and normally only with your permission, we may need to write to your GP or other healthcare practitioners if a referral is indicated.The information you provide will always be confidential

Your first consultation may take up to an hour, and (depending upon many factors) should result in treatment. Should your case require that more information needs to be sought or clarified, you may not be treated during this first visit. Should this be the case, then you will be re-booked for a further appointment as soon as possible. It is always our intention to treat all new patients. Treatment techniques that may be used during a first or subsequent consultation include a wide range of gentle, non-invasive applications such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation. Where techniques are undertaken, your osteopath will always ask for your consent in advance.

Osteopathy is a patient-centred, system of healthcare. As humans,we are all different, each treatment approach is carefully crafted to suit each patient individually. It is important to understand and agree what the treatment can achieve, and the likely number of sessions needed for a noticeable improvement in how you feel.

Treatment is hands-on and involves skilled manipulation of the spine and joints, and massage of soft tissues. Your osteopath will explain what they are doing and will always ask your permission to treat you (known as consent). Ask questions at any time if you are unsure what you have been told or if you have any concerns.

Self-help measures and advice on exercise may be offered to assist your recovery, prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms.

Both Charlotte and Stuart are trained in other techniques such as myofascial dry needling, low intensity laser therapy and kinesiotaping. These are adjunctive techniques and only used to enhance our manual, hands-on approach.

Further consultations

Some patients need only one appointment; others may have a course of therapy or return periodically for the long-term management of a condition. Normally the treatment of a patient is determined according to their progression rather than the prescription of a set number of treatment sessions.

Bush House Osteopathic Practice understands that patients may wish to see an osteopath of the same gender (sex), particularly that female patients may wish to see a female practitioner. If you would like to have a chaperone present please bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment if you wish.

Both Stuart and Charlotte are always keen to discuss your management with you and welcome questions regarding our understanding of your problem.

Ongoing care/ After treatment

Because of the physical nature of the treatment, it is not unusual to sometimes feel sore in the first 24-48 hours after treatment, as if you have been exercising harder than usual. If you have pain in more than one place then it is more likely that you may feel some soreness for a day or two after treatment. Some patients also say that they can feel quite sleepy after a treatment.

Your osteopath will explain any likely reactions that you could expect. If you have any concerns it is important to contact the osteopath and ask their advice. It may require more than one visit before your problem is resolved. The osteopath will review your progress at each subsequent visit and seek your consent to any changes to your treatment plan.

Risks and Benefits Associated with Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathic treatment is generally very effective for aches and pains that have a bio-mechanical root cause. There is also evidence that osteopathy is an effective treatment for persistent lower back pain.

The risk of a serious side-effect associated with osteopathic treatment, is considered to be extremely LOW. These serious adverse events include cerbro-vascualar event (a stroke) , a trapped nerve or fracture (breaking a bone). It is impossible to accurately quantify these risks as the numbers are so low but a recent study estimates the risk to be less than the risk of a serious event, such as a perforated stomach ulcer for using pain killers. For pain,osteopathic manipulation has a comparable risk to exercise or analgesic drugs and is considered to be less risky than prolonged use of analgesics.

Our detailed case history, careful examination and high levels of skill are a crucial part of ensuring that osteopathy is a safe and effective treatment choice . The risks and benefits as they relate to you will form part of your discussion with your osteopath when you visit them.

Who and what do osteopaths treat?

Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including general acute and chronic back pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, uncomplicated mechanical neck pain, headaches arising from the neck, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, arthritic pain and minor sports injuries and tensions. If you are not sure whether Osteopathic treatment is the best course of action for you, please give us a call or email us and we can discuss your query specifically.

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