How long will I take to get better?
The simple answer is most patients will notice the benefit after the first treatment and will get over the worst of their symptoms in 4-6 treatments. For babies this is usually 3-4 treatments. A few people will need several treatments before they notice the benefit.
The comprehensive answer depends on how long you have had the problem and how quickly your body can respond. The older you are the slower your body responds. This is not only because the body’s tissue becomes less vibrant with age but also because you have more latent injuries that your body has compensated for over life. If you twisted your right ankle 20 years ago and as a result have favoured your left side when walking ever since putting more strain on your left hip. Then you get carried away and dig the garden for 4 hours and wake the next morning with left hip pain. You have a 20 year old left hip problem with 1 day of symptoms. That is unlikely to get better in 1 treatment.
If you have a condition where I feel that Osteopathy has been clinically seen to be beneficial, but in your case its a ‘maybe’, I will discuss that with you. I am an honest practitioner, who takes my duty of care seriously and practices within the scope of my training and experience and will never do a treatment if my professional judgement is that it will not be of benefit to you.
I seek to get people to the point where they are better than they were just before their symptoms started. This gives a greater chance of longevity of results. The tipping point between being well and in discomfort can be very narrow. Many people reach that point easily and I don’t see them for years. Some people need ongoing support. If you are a young mum lifting small children it is not reasonable to expect to be ‘fixed’ until you can stop lifting so much. But treatment could make life much easier for you during that time.
Will I get worse before I get better?
It can be completely normal for symptoms to sometimes get temporarily worse before they improve. For example, after massage/soft tissue there can be a post treatment ache for 24/48 hours. This is the same response in your body as if you have been to the gym or an exercise class. Also if attending for treatment for migraine prevention it is possible treatment could trigger a migraine. It is part of my job to judge the right level of treatment for you. If, when you return for your second appointment, you had symptoms post treatment you were not happy with, then I will adjust your treatment accordingly. It takes time to get to know you and your body. If you are concerned about this, please talk to me so I can give advice specific to you.
Will it hurt?
I have a reputation for being gentle and effective. I will use the least amount of force necessary to achieve the change needed. But some treatment, such as massage and soft tissue work, is inherently painful. In that case I will ask you for feedback on your pain level and adjust accordingly. Post treatment aches are unavoidable, but these are reduced by not using unnecessary force. Osteopathy treats all ages and all levels of health so we have to know how to adjust treatment to what the person can deal with.
Will I need to take my clothes off?
Sometimes undressing to your underwear makes it much easier for me to see your problem and give you a better treatment. I never ask for clothes to be removed unless it is for your benefit and then it will be the minimal amount. Some treatments patients can remain fully clothed.
If you are not comfortable with getting undressed, please tell me and I will adapt. For women a vest and leggings can work well; for men shorts. If you do need to undress and wish me to leave the room please ask. But please do wear underwear.
Will I need to avoid activity after treatment?
This is actually entirely up to you. My advice is do as you feel. Movement can help integrate treatment, so activity can be good. But a full workout the same day is not ideal: it could give your body too much to do and minimise the results of the treatment you want. After cranial treatment people can feel relaxed and tired, so a rest is often what people feel like having. If you feel like that good, rest, but if you feel like getting on with you day please do.
Do I need a Doctor's referral?
No. Osteopaths are classed as Primary health care providers. This means our training is in depth enough we have been taught to look out for early signs and symptoms of more serious disease. If I think you need to see a doctor I will tell you and where necessary I will write a referral letter. If you have symptoms giving you serious concern it may be a good idea to see your GP first. If you are unsure please contact me to ask for my opinion.
How can I pay?
Cash and Cheque currently.
What if something goes wrong?
This is unusual, the most common reason for complaints about Osteopaths is based on a breakdown in communication leading to a misunderstanding. So if you feel something has gone wrong please speak to me; it will hopefully be easy to remedy. I do this job because I care about people so I want you to be happy. If you are unsure and would like to speak to an independent third party please speak to the Institute of Osteopathy (IO). Tel 01582 488455. They understand what Osteopaths do and what care we provide and what you should expect. If your concerns have not been resolved by either of us you can make a formal, legal, complaint to the General Osteopathic Council.
I ask all patients to give me 24 hours notice of any cancellation or change to their appointment. This gives me time to offer that appointment to another patient who may be waiting. If patients cancel within the 24 hours period a cancellation fee of the full amount may be charged.