questions osteopathyTo tie in with International Osteopathic care health week I thought I would answer a number of common questions I get asked about Osteopathy – if you have any I have missed out then do ask!


What is Osteopathy?!

Well the short answer is that it is a form of hands on treatment for a wide range of aches and pains associated with your muscles and joints.  The long answer is worthy of its own blog!

Is it just for back pain?

No! Osteopathy can help with all sorts of pain and problems from headaches to foot pain and most things in between. If your unsure if treatment would be suitable just ask!


How is it different from a Chiropractor or a Physio?

Well in all honesty I would like to think that a good practitioner of each would be able to achieve the same result of helping a patient become pain free, how we differ is the way we achieve that. Traditionally chiropractors use much more joint manipulation or “cracking” in their treatment approach where as physiotherapists tend to be more exercise based.

As an Osteopath we sit somewhere in the middle using a wide range of techniques which may include joint manipulation but also massage techniques and mobilisation as well as providing after care advice such as exercises to help with a patients recovery.

Do I need to see my GP first?

No not at all. You can come to an Osteopath without having seen a GP first. Osteopaths are highly trained practitioners and if we feel that you do need to see a GP, perhaps for some blood tests or x-rays, before treatment we will refer you back. The only reason you might need to see a GP first is if you have health insurance that stipulates that you see a doctor before any further treatment.

What happens during a session?

The first appointment is usually about an hour long and we chat with you about your pain, how it started, what makes it worse or what helps ease it. We will also ask you about your previous medical history and also about your lifestyle such as family, work and any hobbies you may do. This helps to give us a better idea of the sorts of stresses and strains your body may be under.  Then if appropriate we will start to examine you, first by getting you to stand and perform a number of movements  and then lying on the treatment couch. After which if your practitioner deems appropriate treatment will start.
You do not need to fully undress for treatment and you can have a friend or family member with you if you wish.  If you are not sure of something or have questions always ask, your Osteopath will be only too happy to answer them!

How many sessions will I need?

Well that is a bit like how long is a piece of string but generally it will depend on how severe your pain is, how long it has been going on for and other factors such as your age or any hobbies you do. In general though the average number of sessions is 3-4, however this can and does vary widely from just 1 session to somebody moving on to becoming a regular patient every 6-8 weeks depending on the factors mentioned before.