What to Expect
Case History Taking
After ensuring correct contact details, the osteopath will ask you questions and take notes about the presenting condition as well as about your general health. History of any operations, medical procedures and current medication will be noted. It is important to include all details,even they may seem irrelevant to the current condition.
The osteopath will also perform a routine check up, based on your case history, in order to ascertain that treatment will be safe for you. Test such as blood pressure monitoring may be performed and you may be advised to see your GP for further tests if there are any concerns needing adequate care.
Palpatory & visual assessment
The patient may need to partially undress in order for the osteopath to visually examine general alignment, (a chaperone may be present upon request) use the sense of touch (palpation) in order to detect areas of specific tension, warmth (indicating possible inflammation) or any other clues with which a diagnosis is then formulated.
Your Osteopath will employ special tests which may include orthopaedic and neurological testing (e.g. reflex testing) which are also used in general medicine in order to formulate a working diagnosis.
Osteopaths place a lot of emphasis on explaining the nature of the problem to the patient. The working diagnosis and the nature of treatment for the condition will be explained fully.
Treatment will differ according to the patient and the nature of the condition. Areas away from the problem/pain region may be treated as well in order to restore balance in the body.
High Velocity Thrust (HVT)
This is a joint manipulation technique which often may elicit and audible ‘click’. Bubbles of gas escape from joint cavities, restoring adequate movement. The technique is performed very gently and only on individuals who can tolerate it.
Muscle energy Technique (MET)
This is used to stretch tight muscles which may be restricting movement. The technique makes use of a reflex mechanism present in the body to induce further stretch of the muscle fibres.
Deep pressure is applied to soft tissues in order to unwind muscles and their outer layer (fascia). This very effective technique is often used before and after joint manipulation.