In order to reach a sound working diagnosis it is important to take a detailed case history from our patients. This will include questions about the specific symptoms that you are experiencing. We may also need to ask questions about your general medical history, occupation and lifestyle. Although this may not seem relevant at the time it gives us a much more complete picture of your health and helps us to identify any underlying causes to your symptoms.
What to Wear
As with any healthcare appointment, it may be necessary for us to ask you to remove some clothing. This is so
we can see and touch the areas of the body causing you concern. We want you to feel at ease, therefore if you
feel uncomfortable undressing to your underwear you can wear shorts or leggings and a t-shirt.
You are welcome to request an osteopath of the same sex as yourself. You are also welcome to ask a friend or
relative to accompany you and be present throughout your appointment.
We will normally ask you to make some gentle movements in order to assess how much movement you have and which movements are causing pain. If it is relevant we may also carry out some standard medical tests such as taking your blood pressure or heart rate and testing your reflexes. We may then move your joints for you and feel the muscles around them looking for areas of restriction, tightness or pain. We will always try to minimise any pain but sometimes patients will experience discomfort during the examination and treatment.
Once the examination is complete, any findings are combined with the information gathered in the case history to form a diagnosis. As with any medical condition some diagnoses are more clear than others. We will explain what we think the diagnosis is and also if possible what has caused your injury. We will discuss with you whether osteopathy is likely to be approproriate and how many treatments you are likely to need. We aim to keep the number of treatments to a minimum. If necessary we may refer you to your GP for further tests such as X-Rays or blood tests or to another medical practitioner.
We use a wide range of techniques during treatment depending on the patients age, fitness and diagnosis. It will be different for every patient but may include soft tissue massage, joint articulation and stretching. Sometimes when we move joints there may be an audible "click" much like when people click their knuckles but this doesn't normally cause pain. We aim to keep the treatment as gentle as possible.
In many cases we will give advice to patients to help them recover more effectively and to reduce the chance of symptoms recurring. This advice may take the form of stretching or strengthening exercises, postural advice, changes to desk setups and even changes in lifestyle.