What to expect on your first visit

What to expect at your first appointment

Thank you for booking an appointment with our practice. We know that attending your first appointment with an osteopath can be a little disconcerting to begin with.

At the start of your first session, your osteopath will ask you about your presenting symptoms and your medical history and lifestyle. This is very important as it will help them to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

The osteopath will then need to examine you. They may ask you to remove some clothing. If this is a problem for you, discuss it with your osteopath so they can treat you while you wear shorts and a t-shirt. They will look for tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints. They may ask you to perform light movements to assess the range of movements at particular joints. They may need to perform special tests to assess the type of injury. They will explain what they are doing as they go along. If you are uncomfortable with any part of this, you have the right to ask them to stop at any stage without prejudicing your future treatment.

The osteopath will then treat you on your first visit. Osteopaths utilise a range of techniques including physical manipulation, stretching and massage, and other gentle techniques such as cranial and functional, all with the aim of improving function, relieving pain and aiding recovery.

At the end of the session, you may receive advice on posture, diet, gentle exercises… The osteopath will suggest a course of treatment. Most osteopaths will begin your treatment at your first appointment, but sometimes they may require further tests first i.e. blood tests or scans. If they suspect an illness they are unable to treat, they will refer you to your GP or another appropriate health professional.

You may experience mild discomfort with some of the treatment techniques used, but osteopathic treatment is usually a very gentle process. If pain persists after treatment, you may contact your osteopath for advice.

You are welcome to bring someone with you for all or part of your consultation. Children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have any other questions, ask your osteopath.

Notes will be kept confidential in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you wish, you may ask for a copy of these notes, an administration fee may be charged for this.