For all your questions ...
All modalities have the same aim. They all try to decrease the patients pain, discomfort, lack of function and improve the problem by improving structure, function and overall general health. All the different modalities have slightly different philosophies, techniques and procedures to achieve this.
A Chiropractor is very similar to an Osteopath in many aspects however there are a few fundamental differences. Chiropractic treatment is primarily based on manipulation of the spine whereas Osteopathic treatment employs a wider range of techniques overall such as stretching, massage, pressure and mobilisation. Osteopaths generally spend longer time with each patient, therefore osteopathic patients generally require less frequent treatments.
A Physiotherapist is generally less hands on compared to the other two modalities. Physiotherapists use many machines during their treatments, such as ultrasound, and also prescribe exercises for the patient to do away from the treatment room.
Osteopaths have a holistic approach to their patients and treat the underlying cause to the patients problem not just the symptoms.
Osteopathy is for everybody - from babies to the very old - and can help the very fit and the infirm alike. Age is not a barrier to receiving osteopathic treatment. Treatment is specifically adapted to a patients individual needs.
The initial consultation with the Osteopath will last between 45 minutes - 1 hour. Subsequent treatments will be 30 45 minutes long.
Treatment is tailored to suit each individual patient. Osteopaths use their hands to carry out a wide variety of treatment techniques. The techniques utilised depend very much on the severity of the problem, fragility of the tissues, age and anxiety of the patient. They include muscle and connective tissue stretching and massage, joint articulations and traction. Manipulation or high velocity thrust techniques (which sometimes produce an audible click) are used to improve the movement at a joint that is restricted. Very gentle releasing techniques including cranial osteopathy are also used, especially when treating children or elderly patients.
As a general rule Osteopathic techniques are chosen to best suit the individual patient and their complaint. The Osteopath aims to make the patient as comfortable as possible at all times during the treatment. Some techniques can feel a bit uncomfortable or sore but not cause pain. If your tissues are tense and sore, it may be uncomfortable at first to have them stretched and relaxed, especially if they have been tense for a long time. Some patients can feel some mild aching or a slightly "bruised" feeling after treatment, for the next 24-48hrs, but this is not unusual and therefore is nothing to worry about. The Osteopath will give prophylactic (after treatment) advice to help ease these symptoms.
As an Osteopath, our aim is to get you back to full health and function as quickly as possible. Your rate of recovery will depend on several factors including your age, general health, sensitivity to treatment, activities in your life, as well as the type of problem you have. On average, 3 to 4 treatments are usually sufficient to correct most problems that are amenable to osteopathic treatment. The number of treatments required will be discussed with you after the diagnosis has been explained at your initial assessment.
Side effects are generally very rare. You might experience some soreness or tiredness for a few days afterwards but this will subside quickly. Osteopathy is a very safe & effective form of treatment & most patients feel substantially better for it.
No. GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council and British Medical Association. Most patients 'self refer' to an osteopath for treatment. If necessary, with your permission, your osteopath will liaise directly with your doctor to ensure that your treatment works in harmony with any other medical needs that you may have.
Many private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment. It may be possible to claim for a course of treatment but you should check in advance with your insurance company before seeking osteopathic treatment, in order to confirm the available level of cover and whether you will need to have a referral from your GP or a specialist.
All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can check on the GOsC website to see if your health professional is currently registered.
The title 'osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the UK Statutory Register are entitled to practise as osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offence in the UK.
Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelors 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.
The standards of osteopathic training and practice are maintained and developed by the General Osteopathic Council, the professions statutory regulator established under the Osteopaths Act 1993.
Some surprising facts to consider:
- There are currently 4,198 osteopaths on the UK Statutory Register of Osteopaths.
- Around 30,000 people currently consult osteopaths every working day. This amounts to nearly eight million consultations a year.
- 80% of the population will get back pain at some time in their lives.
- Many back injuries occur in the work-place and costs to UK business can be in excess of £5 billion annually, with 50 million days of absence.
- The cost to the NHS each year for treating back pain is about £481 million with almost 7 million GP visits annually.
There are many other questions that are frequently asked like, What is the best position to sleep in? How often should I do exercises? Are there any supplements I should take for my joints? What is a slipped disc? What causes sciatica? All these questions plus other queries and whether Osteopathy can help you can be answered if you call the Clinic. We are always happy to discuss your case personally over the telephone before you book a Consultation.