Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I expect on my first appointment?

    The osteopath will first take a detailed case history. You will be asked about medication and past medical history so it would be helpful to bring a list of medication and copies of relevant scans or medical reports if possible.

    Then there will be a physical examination where you will be asked to perform simple movements. This will allow a full diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs.

    If the osteopath has any concerns about your complaint, you will be referred to the appropriate practitioner.

  • Do I need to undress?

    For the physical examination and treatment, you may be asked to undress to your underwear, so please wear something you are comfortable in. If you are not comfortable undressing to your underwear you can bring a pair of shorts or loose trousers.

  • How many sessions will I need?

    Depending on your diagnosis, the osteopath will inform you of your prognosis and the necessary number of treatments. To promote recovery and avoid recurrence, advice on posture and exercises may be given.

  • How long does a session last?

    A new consultation can last up to 45 minutes. A follow up session can last up to 45 min or 30 min.

  • Does osteopathy hurt?

    No, but some treatment on an acute presentation may cause slight discomfort during treatment. Your osteopath will tell you what to expect, and will want you to let them know if you are in pain.  You may feel a little stiff or sore after treatment. This is a normal, healthy response to the treatment.

  • Can I bring a friend or relative?

    Yes – if you wish, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment. If your are 16 years old and under it is required to have a chaperone.

  • Can I see an osteopath through the NHS?

    Currently, access to osteopathy on the NHS is limited, but services are becoming more widespread as commissioning authorities recognise the benefits of providing osteopathy to patients.  To find out if NHS treatment is available in your area, speak to your GP and/or contact: your local primary care trust.

  • Can I claim on my private medical insurance?

    Many private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment.  It may be possible to claim for a course of treatment but you should check in advance with your insurance company before seeking osteopathic treatment, in order to confirm the available level of cover and whether you will need to have a referral from your GP or a specialist.

  • Do I need a GP referral to see an osteopath?

    Most patients ‘self refer’ to an osteopath for treatment.  Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.

  • Do GPs refer their patients to osteopaths?

    Yes.  GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial.  Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council and British Medical Association.

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