Frequently Asked Questions
What conditions can osteopathy help with?
Osteopaths are well known for treating back pain but there are many other conditions that we can help treat. Osteopaths aim to look at the body as a system of systems that work together to create optimal health for the whole body.
Osteopathy can help treat:
- Back and neck pain
- Hip and pelvis pain
- Knee and ankle pain
- Arm and wrist pain
- Sports injuries
- Ligament sprain
- Rheumatic/arthritic pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
How many appointments will I need?
The number of appointments will vary from patient to patient. There are a large number of factors that must be considered including how long the condition has been present, previous medical history, general health, occupation, stress and obviously compliance with following the advice that is given.
What does treatment involve?
Treatment will involve a combination of massage, articulation (moving the joints around), manipulation and home exercises.
Patient education is also vitally important. Research suggests that understanding pain is one of the most effective ways for treating it.
What should I wear?
For the examination and treatment it is likely that the area will need to be exposed, you may be asked to undress to your underwear, if you wish to bring a pair of shorts and vest top for your comfort then please feel free to do so.
Does osteopathy hurt?
Simply put, no it should not. Osteopaths are trained to select the most appropriate and effective techniques for an individual patient. The osteopath will constantly ask for feedback from the patient to make sure that they are comfortable.
Some post treatment soreness 24 hours after the treatment is relatively common and is often described as being like the muscle soreness experienced after a workout at the gym. If you are unsure of anything after a treatment then please feel free to get in contact with us.
Do GPs approve of osteopathy?
The vast majority of GPs and consultants are aware of osteopathy and the benefits it can offer. Osteopaths work closely with local GPs and will often refer patients to them for further investigations when necessary or request information about test results.
In May 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend manual therapy such as osteopathy for the treatment of persistent non-specific low back pain.
What is the difference between an osteopath, physiotherapist and chiropractor?
It is possible to go see a member of all three different health professions and be treated exactly the same way or totally different. The professions are all physical therapies in that they work on the physical body; however the way in which they do this may vary based on the clinical approach and philosophies behind their profession. When talking about the professions one has to be general because each individual practitioner will have their own way of treating patients.
Physiotherapists within the NHS tend to be less ‘hands on’ and will often use electrical equipment such as TENS machines, ultrasound machines and prescribe exercises. There are some physios that are more manual, using manipulation and massage but they are more likely found in private practice.
Chiropractors are taught very similar techniques to osteopaths however the way they use the techniques may vary. Chiropractors tend to focus on the function of the spine because it is from there that all the nerves to the limbs of the body come from. They put emphasis on the nervous system to improve musculoskeletal and general health. To treat it they use manual treatments including spinal manipulation and massage.
Osteopaths aim to look at the body as a system of systems and work together to create optimal health for the whole body. If a patient has elbow pain the osteopath will also examine the hand, wrist, shoulder and neck because all these other joints could be affecting the elbow joint. They will then use a combination of massage, articulation, manipulation, home exercises and lifestyle advice to help treat the condition.