This page has been
set up to answer the most frequently asked questions.
If you can't find the answer to your question, feel free to contact us.
Q: 'Can I bring someone along?'
A: Of course! Please feel free to bring along a
A: Most osteopaths request that their patients
come prepared to undress to their
underwear. However, if you are uncomfortable doing this, please
feel free to
remain fully clothed. (The reason for this is that osteopathy
takes into account the
stresses and strains on your body by looking at your whole
posture.) If you require
any additional covering during the treatment, please feel free to
ask. All patients
are welcome to bring along a chaperone to sit in on treatment
Q: 'How long does the treatment last?'
A: Please allow up to an hour for the first
treatment. Follow-up appointments last
Q: 'How can osteopathy help me?'
A: Osteopaths are skilled at finding the source
of the pain, and then gently
relieving/unwinding tension patterns. It's not about "putting
something back in
place", but much more about restoring a better balance to the
and system in order to allow better health. Osteopaths are skilled
therapists who work with bodies all day long - it is our job to
your back hurts when you stand up, why you have difficulty pegging
washing, or why you get pain in your elbow when you do lots of
important thing to remember is that osteopathy is not a set of
has to be followed. It is more about treating each individual as
and finding the most suitable and effective approach to each
Q: 'What is osteopathy?'
A: The following is a quote from The General
Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the body
which is responsible for regulating osteopathy in the UK.
"Osteopathy is a system
of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical
conditions. It works with
the structure and function of the body, and is based on the
principle that the
well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles,
connective tissues functioning smoothly together. To an osteopath,
for your body
to work well, its structure must also work well. So
osteopaths work to restore your
body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of
drugs or surgery.
Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and
increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to
enhance the blood and
nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body's own healing
may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery,
and prevent symptoms recurring."
Q: 'Do you have to crack my back?'
A: No! The popping/cracking of joints (also known
as manipulation) is just one of
a wide range of techniques that osteopaths can draw upon.
Manipulation is not
appropriate for all patients. For example, techniques used on a 20
year old rugby
player will be different from those used on a 95year old! The
important point is
that we draw on our experience to come up with the most suitable
for each person.
Q: 'Why do I get back or neck pain?'
A: There are many causes of pain in the
back/neck. Strains to the soft-tissues
(muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, joint capsule etc...) and
joints are perhaps the commonest causes.
- The neck (= cervical spine)
- The mid-back (= thoracic spine i.e. between the neck and lower
- The lower back (= lumbar spine)
The lower back and neck are particularly susceptible to strain
and wear and tear,
it is true to say that osteopaths see a large number of patients
with pain in these
areas. The thoracic spine has the advantage of being stabilised by
the rib cage,
and so this area generally has less wear and tear. Neck and back
pain can result
from trauma (for example, whiplash from a road traffic accident,
or a disc injury
from lifting), or from a build-up of stresses and strains over
time. Treatment is
tailored to each patient, and so their age, fitness, medical
history etc, are all taken
into account in deciding which treatment approach is best-suited
to each individual.