Frequently Asked Questions About Your Osteopathy Visit

Below is a list of some of the answers to frequently asked questions about our treatments. If you have any further questions just contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Alternative & Holistic Health Service


Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health. Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and prevent illness. Osteopaths' patient-centered approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

The title 'osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the Register are entitled to practice as osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offense in the UK.

At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as ask for information about your lifestyle and – sometimes – diet. The osteopath may also you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined. Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body's points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise. The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan and estimate the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic
techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.

Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle, and joint deterioration, restricted mobility, and occupational ill-health.

Osteopathy is a therapy and not an indulgence, therefore the treatment length depends purely on the presented condition... and how much treatment that particular condition requires. One can over-treat as well as under-treat and thus (in the former) potentially over-stimulate the condition – possibly leading to its worsening. An analogy is that you wouldn't ask the dentist to keep that drill in your mouth for 'x' minutes/hours; this applies similarly to any kind of therapeutic intervention, including osteopathy.

This is a difficult question to answer insofar as there are many factors involved in formulating a prognosis for any particular condition. For example:

• Type of condition
• How long has the patient suffered this condition
• The severity of the condition
• How did the condition/injury happen
• The patient’s lifestyle
• The patient’s vitality
• The car the patient drives
• The seat the patient sits in while watching TV
• The patient’s bed
• How long has the patient used the same mattress?
• The patient’s work, work-seat

You see, there are many, many factors.

Two patients with - seemingly - the same or similar problem may have different recovery rates. This is why I - personally - work in the way I do. In other words, I see great results in seeing the patient the first few treatments (if it requires that) fairly close together in order to
get on top of the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible and not allow it to slip back with too long an interim gap in the initial stages.

As we see the condition improving, I like to gradually and incrementally increase the period between visits so that we are monitoring the improvement as we are getting the patient off
the treatment until such a stage as we can safely say that the condition *seems to be* resolved.

We have to remember also that pain is only a symptom

Pain is not the actual problem… it is there to tell us something is wrong. Pain is - usually - the last thing to come, and yet the first thing to go. In other words, just because the pain has gone, doesn’t necessarily mean that the presented condition has fully resolved.

On the other hand, a problem can be building for a considerable time (without the patient knowing) before the critical level is reached at which point the pain appears to highlight the problem that has been accumulating - unknowingly - for days, weeks, months, or longer.

Maintenance visits can be very very useful in lessening the risk of a problem developing and/or recurring. It won’t guarantee that a problem won’t develop, it merely lessens the risk.

With maintenance treatments, many minor conditions will be identified, addressed, and treated, thereby stopping them from becoming major conditions. If a major condition is bad enough to develop regardless, although it can still happen it may (generally) be less severe than it would have been otherwise, or resolve a lot quicker than it otherwise would have due to the cumulative benefit the patient has already been having with the maintenance work.

Maintenance visits/treatment is particularly useful for patients who have had a history of recurring problems.

although it can still happen it may (generally) be less severe than it would have been otherwise

The standards of osteopathic training and practice are maintained and developed by the General Osteopathic Council, the profession’s statutory regulator established under the
Osteopaths Act 1993.

All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can use the Register to check whether your health professional is currently registered.

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. Daniele is registered as a provider for both AXA and Vitality medical insurance companies.

Originally Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, an American medical doctor.

One of Dr. Still’s students was Daniel David Palmer who went on to leave the philosophy of osteopathy to found Chiropractic in 1895.

The association between Dr. Still and Palmer is not usually mentioned in accounts of the history of Chiropractic, but despite these early links, Osteopathy & Chiropractic are now quite different.

Philosophy, Treatment Objective, And Diagnosis

A shared philosophy for osteopathy and chiropractic is the importance of the integrity of the musculoskeletal system in ensuring good health.

The primary objective of both osteopathy and chiropractic is to remove bodily aches and pains and both are able to make a diagnosis by history, clinical tests, and examination.

Chiropractors tend to use x-rays for diagnosis. However, Osteopaths focus on history,
clinical tests, and palpation for diagnosis, and do not order x-rays unless they are clinically indicated. This minimises a person’s exposure to radiation. ,.Also, osteopaths - generally - tend to examine the assessment of the movement of a joint (for example) rather than a fixed picture as in an x-ray. Osteopaths (in my opinion)
have a more holistic outlook towards the patient and presented condition.

Approach to Treatment

Chiropractors are very focused on a range of specific techniques for manipulation (‘clicking’ / ‘cracking’) of the spine. Chiropractors are extremely skilled in their particular approach to such - chiropractic - manipulation. However, their techniques tend to be experienced as quite ‘forceful’.

Although there is an overlap between chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, Osteopaths tend generally to employ more of a ‘long-leverage’ (and therefore, gentler) approach, and don’t always affect a ‘click’ or ‘clunk’ but passive rocking and sometimes stretching-type movements.

Soft-tissue work (i.e. massage) is also often used by the osteopath, with gentle ‘release’ and muscle energy techniques as well as - with some osteopaths - a ‘branch’ of an osteopathic practice called “Cranial Osteopathy”. Thus, osteopaths employ a wider range of techniques suitable for all parts of the body… and are therefore often seen as
being more holistic.

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