The aim of a first visit to an osteopath is to develop a picture of the patient’s overall health status, how they developed the current condition and a plan of action to move toward their optimal health.
A complete medical history will be taken. Some questions may not seem to relate to the “sore part”, yet may help clarify how the condition has occurred or why it has not resolved.
This is followed by a structural assessment of the range and quality of several joint movements while the patient stands, sits, walks and bends etc. Outer clothing may need to be removed to show mobility and tissue responses. Neurological and orthopaedic tests help the osteopath to eliminate other possible causes and to differentiate the basis of the individual’s complaint.
Osteopaths are trained to manually locate points of restriction or strain in various parts of the body. Using palpation, or finely tuned sense of touch and movement, the osteopath assesses the spine, joints, muscles, and other soft tissues.
At this stage if any other information is needed; e.g. X-Rays or blood tests, the patient may be referred accordingly. Also if a particular condition requires the help of another health professional, the patient is referred to them. Osteopaths often treat in conjunction with a GP, dentist, podiatrist, naturopath or other health professionals.
Once a diagnosis has been made, a treatment plan will be discussed which may include manual therapy, exercise, dietary changes, or lifestyle modification. Treatment approaches are highly individualised and are a function of: current condition, past history and the ability of the patient to adapt to change. Allow approximately one hour for your initial consultation.