During your first consultation your osteopath will ask questions about your problem and symptoms. They may also ask questions about previous injuries, your medical history, any medications you are taking, or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Next, your osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests. This may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition.
As osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, your practitioner may look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation, or other gentle techniques. Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
After treatment you may feel tired and need to rest. It is best to avoid strenuous exercise or work. Some people experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; however, some long-term or chronic conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.