Adults: At your first consultation, you will be asked questions about your presenting complaint and symptoms, as well as your lifestyle and medical history, including any injuries or trauma, any medications that you take, and possibly questions that may not seem directly related to your problem. As osteopaths we take a holistic patient centred approach which helps us to consider the underlying cause of your symptoms and direct or clinical examination.
Your osteopath will then conduct a clinical examination, observing your posture and assessing your mobility by asking you to perform some simple movements.
The examination may also include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological testing.
As osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, your osteopath may look at other areas of your body, in addition to the one that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, they may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
It may be necessary to remove some of your clothing for your osteopath to examine and treat the appropriate areas. It is a good idea to bring shorts, leggings, or loose fitting clothes if you are not comfortable being in your underwear.
Your osteopath will then use their refined sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any areas of strain and weakness. Once a diagnosis has been reached, a treatment plan will be developed with you.
Osteopathy is patient-centered, meaning the treatment is geared towards you as an individual, as there isn't a set treatment for a set condition. Treatment may include a gentle techniques, such as soft tissue massage, stretching, manipulation or cranial osteopathy, with the focus on setting about the process of restoring healthy function to the whole body. Your osteopath may also provide advice to help manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.