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What is osteopathy?

For your body to work well, its structure must also work well, and osteopathic treatment aims to restore your body to a state of balance.

Osteopathy is a physical therapy that is mainly used to treat bone, muscle, joint and back problems. It is concerned with the joints, bones and muscles of the body and their effect on the nervous system. Trained osteopaths look at the whole body and aim to diagnose and treat the cause of the problem not just the symptoms.

What conditions does osteopathy treat?

Some of the more common conditions that osteopaths treat include:

  • Back pain and neck pain
  • Hip, knee, shoulder, elbow and other joint pains
  • Arthritic and rheumatic pain
  • Headache arising from the neck
  • Circulatory and digestion problems
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatica, neuralgia and fibromyalgia,
  • Inability to relax,
  • Minor sports injuries and tensions
  • General aches and pains

If you have any questions about whether osteopathy is right for you, call us on 01536 390868.

Does osteopathy work?

The simple answer is yes, but we are not asking you to take our word for it. Visit our Does osteopathy work? section to learn more.

Is osteopathy the right treatment for me?

Treating low back pain is the area that osteopaths have become famous for. Back pain is reaching epidemic proportions in our society and with so many treatments available – from medication to exercises, yoga and pilates as well as home remedies – it is truly difficult to know what to do for the best.

Only fully trained and registered osteopaths are permitted by law to provide treatment to patients. They train for 4-5 years and carry out over 1,000 hours of treatment prior to qualification. To maintain their registered status, osteopaths must also take part in extensive continuing professional development activities every year, ensuring their knowledge and practice remains up-to-date and safe.

The best way to find out if osteopathy is for you is to call us on 01536 390868 and speak to our osteopath, who will be happy to answer your questions.

What is cranial osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is just one of a large range of techniques used by osteopaths for treating patients presenting with musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal symptoms.

Osteopaths who practise cranial osteopathy may place their hands over the head or the sacrum, but also may place their hands over other areas of the body during tissue palpation.

Click here for a factsheet on cranial osteopath.

What techniques do osteopaths employ?

Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension, enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and help your body’s own healing mechanisms.

We may also provide advice on posture, exercise and the ergonomics of work and everyday life to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

How long does it take to work?

It can take time for patients to feel the full benefit of treatment, and recovery times will vary depending on injury type, how long you’ve had the symptoms and the type of work you do and lifestyle you lead. Occasionally, a return to full function may not be possible, but our osteopath will be fully honest and open, helping you set realistic and achievable goals.

How many treatment sessions will I require?

Many patients require only one treatment session, however, some may require more than one. The number of treatment sessions – and the form of treatment required – is individually tailored and will depend on many key elements such as how long you have had the problem, how quickly you respond to treatment and whether you perform the exercises requested.

Our osteopath will always discuss treatment options and length during the initial consultation.

What if I cannot make my appointment?

Please give us as much notice as possible but it is nearly always possible to offer you another convenient appointment.

What do I need to wear?

Usually patients get undressed to their underwear and are offered a medical gown to wear. However, if this is a problem in any way, please let your osteopath know as we will still be able to treat you.

Does it hurt?

Our osteopath uses a wide range of techniques to suit the individual patient’s needs, from the more traditional osteopathic approaches using gentle but specific massage techniques, articulation (movement) of joints and manipulative techniques, to more subtle techniques such as cranial osteopathy and functional technique. Our osteopaths are all highly trained and will use the best approach for you.

Is there anything I can do to ease my pain?

The best way to ease acute (recent onset) soft tissue pain and/or swelling is to apply an ice pack or a packet of frozen peas to the affected area for 10-20 minutes – but do not place ice directly on the skin as it can cause an ice burn. Reapply the ice pack every hour or so if needed. This is also a very useful self-treatment if you experience post-treatment soreness.

Chronic pain may benefit from gentle massage with a healing gel such as Biofreeze, while some people find relief from a hot bath followed by the application of an icepack. You may benefit from anti-inflammatory/painkiller medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but always talk to your pharmacist if you need advice.

Why am I given exercises to do at home, and what if I forget how to do them?

The exercises are offered as part of your rehabilitation programme, initially aimed at stretching out tight muscles. Once the muscles are relaxed, you will be given strengthening exercises that will significantly reduce the chance of recurrence of your injury. If you have forgotten how to do the exercises or are having doubts about their effectiveness, please call us on 01536 390868 and we will answer your questions.

Why do you use acupuncture?

By inserting very fine needles into various points on the skin, acupuncture can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help to restore its natural balance. Treatment has also been shown to cause the release of the body’s natural pain killers.

What does acupuncture treatment involve?

The very fine needles are inserted for a second or two or left in place for up to 20 minutes, depending on the effect required.

Acupuncture is virtually painless as the needles are much finer than those used in injections. Sometimes patients feel a tingling or electrical sensation although treatment usually leaves patients with a feeling of relaxation and calm.

What should I be able to expect when I visit an osteopath?

According to the General Osteopathic Council, patients should reasonably expect the following aspects of care to be provided consistently and to a high degree:

  • To be treated with respect
  • To be able to ask questions
  • For questions to be answered to their satisfaction
  • For the osteopath to listen to them
  • For the osteopath to be sympathetic towards their problem
  • For the osteopath to make them feel at ease
  • For the environment to be hygienic and professional
  • For the osteopath to examine their specific problem area with her/his hands
  • For the osteopath to write down their personal case history
  • For the consultation to last at least thirty minutes
  • To be given an explanation of the cause of their problem that they were able to
  • understand
  • For their treatment to be value for money
  • For manual treatment to be given to the problem area.
How do I know you are a legally registered osteopath?

The General Osteopathic Council, which regulates osteopathy, has a register that lists osteopaths by name, registration number and location, or patients can all on 020 7357 6655 x242.

Osteopathic practices should be able to provide information about the osteopath, the clinic, what the treatment involves, payment methods and anything you need to know in advance of your first visit.

What should I do if I am unhappy with the treatment I have received?

In the first instance, contact us on 01536 390868 or email [email protected] as patient satisfaction is very important to us. We will do everything we can to ensure you are happy with the service you receive.

The General Osteopathic Council regulates all osteopaths. Click here to visit the complaints section of their website.

Are you in pain? We can help today
Call on 07977 149702 or email [email protected]