What happens when on my first visit? On your first visit with an osteopath, and before examination begins, the osteopath will discuss and record your medical history in detail. During examination and treatment from an osteopath or physiotherapist you will normally be asked to remove some of your outer clothing. Please bring suitable clothing that you feel comfortable in. The osteopath will then apply a highly developed sense of touch to identify points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. Further investigations by your osteopath may include an x-ray or blood test. This will allow a full diagnosis of the problem and will enable the osteopath to tailor a treatment plan to your needs. Your osteopath should make you feel at ease and tell you what is happening throughout your consultation. You should ask questions if you have any concerns. Osteopathy can help most people, and our osteopaths work closely hand in hand with the other therapists in the clinic to always achieve the optimal results If further medical treatment is needed the osteopath may contact your doctor, with your permission. Treatment will be composed of a combination of deep tissue massage work, fascial unwinding, muscle stretching, joint mobilisation, joint manipulations when appropriate and an exercise regime.
Do I need a referral from my doctor? No. Osteopaths are primary care physicians which means they are trained to be the initial point of contact for a patient with pain or any concern. They will perform a detailed medical examination and if they find that you require another form of treatment such as drugs or surgery then they will refer you to the relevant person for their evaluation.
Do doctors ever refer to Osteopaths? Yes. The amount of referrals varies between countries and individual G.Ps but in the UK for example, osteopathy is available on the NHS and doctors and Osteopath's work closely together, Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends it as a treatment for certain conditions. Many osteopaths in Ireland get frequent referrals from a GP.
What training do osteopaths have? Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating. Osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. They must complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.
What is the audible click during an osteopathy adjustment caused by? Joint manipulations known as High-Velocity Thrusts (or HVTs) are characteristically associated with the production of an audible clicking sound. When a manipulation is performed, the applied force separates the joint surfaces of a fully encapsulated synovial joint. This stretches the joint capsule, which in turn creates a reduction in pressure within the joint cavity. In this low pressure environment, some of the gases that are dissolved in the synovial fluid leave the solution creating a bubble which rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a 'clicking' sound. The effects of this process will remain for a period of time termed the refractory period, which can range from a few minutes to more than an hour, while it is slowly reabsorbed back into the synovial fluid. That is the reason, that it is normally possible to do an adjustment to the joint already after one hour – with a new audible click. That does not mean that the joint "has gone back".
What if I don't like the audible click cause by joint manipulation? Your osteopath will always ask for your permission before performing any HVT's (techniques that cause this audible click) and they will not perform them if you would prefer them not to so just inform your osteopath of this and then alternative techniques will be utilised.
How long do appointments last? Your first appointment will usually last up to 40 minutes. Treatments after that usually last about thirty minutes.
If I have had an X-ray/ MRI etc taken, should I bring these along? Yes, preferably a hard copy. Your doctor should have received a written report after your scan was taken, a copy of this report is beneficial.
Can I claim the cost from my health insurance? Irish medical insurance companies cover osteopathic treatment from registered Osteopaths. The amount varies depending on your level of cover. Your insurance company will be happy to provide exact details.
What happens if I have to cancel an appointment? That is no problem, just contact us with 24 hours notice. Cancelling at the last minute, or not attending an appointment means that we cannot help someone else who may need an urgent appointment and if they are in a lot of pain waiting even an extra day for an appointment can be extremely stressful. Cancelling with less than 24 hours notice will incur a surcharge of 50%.
Does it hurt? Treatment is not generally painful, palpating an inflamed joint may cause mild discomfort but nothing drastic. The techniques applied will be selected to cause as little discomfort as possible. Depending on your treatment you may feel sore and little achy for about 24-48 hours after a treatment. This is perfectly normal and in no way harmful. You will be given advice on how to alleviate any pain you may have.
What age range do Osteopaths treat? Quite simply there is no upper or lower limit. Osteopaths can treat patients from a few days old right up into old age. If you have any other queries you would like answered then contact us and we will be happy to help!