What will happen in the first consultation and thereafter?
Osteopaths take an integrated approach to your healthcare and therefore require a lot of information from you to assist them with their diagnosis of your complaint and then construct a management plan that is primarily safe and best suited to your complete recovery.
Upon arriving at the clinic, you will be asked to complete a short general health questionnaire. Your personal details will also be taken including the name of your regular G.P. When you are taken into the consultation room your osteopath will take a more detailed medical history from you asking questions directly about your complaint such as where, for how long, what makes it worse and better etc.
Then a past medical history will be taken to include questions such as previous surgery and illnesses, heart conditions and family history etc. The questions may on occasion seem unrelated to your complaint but please feel free at all times to stop your osteopath and have them answer your query.
After the case history has been taken, your osteopath will have a very good idea as to what has happened, but will need to examine you to be sure. The detailed examination will involve looking closely at the affected region and then assessing it in the context of the rest of your body. Your osteopath will need to examine by touch, all the time picking up details such as hot and swollen areas that might be a sign of inflammation, or cool dry areas that might mean an older more chronic condition.
During the physical examination your osteopath will assess how your body moves; with you actively moving, for example leaning to one side and then the other. This is a typical assessment process of your spinal movements and will give a lot of information on your condition. When you are lying down your osteopath will focus more specifically on certain areas of dysfunction. Meticulously examining and assessing all related spinal joints, nerves, musculature and motion
After the examination, your osteopath will have a good idea as to what has happened and will discuss this with you at length, in a consultative approach. It may be that your best avenue of treatment will be a visit to your GP or another healthcare professional, but in the large majority of cases, your osteopath will discuss and agree a plan of care between you, detailing the nature of the problem and giving you the information relating to how best to address the issue and then with your full consent deciding on the specifics of osteopathic treatment for you.
What is that popping noise?
During the consultation your osteopath may have reason to use a technique called joint manipulation. This manoeuvre is highly technical and requires years of training to perfect. The techniques that tend to create the popping noise are few and far between and with osteopathy there is always the option to have a different technique used.
Prior to any technique used which might produce a popping noise or sensation your osteopath will be discuss the process of the technique with you. You may decline not to have this technique used as you have the choice at all times. The techniques are very useful and can provide excellent therapeutic benefits, especially for the more acute type of injury, but it is by no means the only way or indeed the treatment of first choice.
Do I have to undress?
We care about your health and never want a state of undress to be a barrier to you getting the treatment you need, so please speak to your osteopath and express your concerns and we will do our utmost to cater for your needs. Gowns are available upon request and you will generally be covered with a towel at all times. Only the area being treated need be exposed.
Osteopathy is a medical intervention and we are trained primary healthcare practitioners who have your safety, effective and ethical treatments at the foremost of our minds at all times. In most cases, light and loose clothing is suitable. Osteopathy works by taking an integrated approach so examination/treatment of what might seem unrelated areas of the body may be essential for your effective and safe treatment. Your privacy and modesty is respected at all times. Remember that you are free to bring along a friend or relative with you to act as your chaperone at any time.
How many treatments does it take to get me better?
Our aim at Bodywise is to get you back to full health and pain free in the shortest possible time, however here are many variables that may affect your ability to recover from your pain. Each person is an individual and different in the way they are made, the way they look after their bodies, how long they have had the injury, and the way they react to treatment and act on the information they are given, so an exact number of treatments is hard to say. Please note that taking on board the advice that your osteopath gives is essential for your recovery and can have a large impact on your recovery time. Your osteopath does not want to wrap you in cotton wool and stop you doing the things you love, far from it, we want you to be able to enjoy everything, but a few simple changes and sometimes a little rest can go a long way to ensure that your enjoyment is never curtailed.
Will you consult with my GP?
Your osteopath is a primary healthcare professional and as such is able to communicate with other healthcare professionals should the need arise. However, you are entitled to the same confidentiality as you would expect from your GP, therefore, any communications with your GP or others will require your express consent of which you are fully entitled to withhold should you wish to. On some occasions, a referral to your GP is essential so that you may receive the best healthcare available, in these instances and with your consent, a letter of referral detailing your case will be sent to your GP.
Is osteopathy safe?
Stringent and extensive training over five years and regulation by federal statute law ensures that osteopaths have the skills necessary to care for you in a safe and gentle fashion. It is more important that your osteopath knows when not to treat than when to, and for that reason alone, substantial training to diagnose and understand circumstances when treatment would not be safe is given.
Most treatments are gentle and are always aimed at getting the maximum healing from minimal intervention, your osteopath is not trying to force your body back to health, and instead we gently assist the body to return to a state of mechanical symmetry. All intervention that has the ability to do good, can potentially do harm, however in the vast majority of cases this is far from the case and in those few patients that do experience some kind of side effect from osteopathic treatment, they tend to experience no more than that which might be expected the day after a heavy work-out at the gym. During your first visit, the potential treatment outcomes, both wanted and unwanted, will be thoroughly explained to you and any treatment provided will be given with your express consent.
Do I have to be referred by my doctor?
No is the simple answer, although most GP’s actively refer their patients to osteopaths, no official referral is required. If you are uncertain about your suitability for treatment at Bodywise Osteopathy then we welcome you to either call us for a Free In-Clinic Consultation or check with your GP.
Who can an osteopath treat?
Age or status is no barrier to care at Bodywise Osteopathy, babies from days old, to patients in their 90’s and all in between benefit from a personalised approach to their healthcare.
Yes, most insurance companies will partially reimburse your osteopathic fees at our clinic HICAPS facility.
More and more of our patients are taking a longer-term view of their health resulting in preventative treatments becoming increasingly popular. Just as you might visit an optician or dentist for regular check-ups, patients can benefit from visits to Bodywise Osteopathy for advice and treatment when needed.
After your first consultation your osteopath will have a better idea as to whether maintenance treatments might be beneficial to you, but only after the course of treatment in the management plan have been fulfilled will it become clear as to whether you are a candidate or not for maintenance.
Candidates for maintenance tend to be those who place a continued heavy burden on their bodies such as builders and sports enthusiasts (playing not watching!) and also patients who are coping with long term disability and or significant arthritic issues that require regular intervention to manage the issues rather than solve completely.
Either way, the choice is entirely up to you and your osteopath will gladly discuss with you the options available, and will be happy to see you on your terms.