Eyre Place
Osteopathic Practice

23 Eyre Place, Edinburgh. EH3 5EX

0131 557 2211

Questions and Answers

What Is Osteopathy?

Osteopaths are trained in therapeutic approaches that are suitable for a broad range of individuals.
Osteopathic care is delivered through a range of interventions which may include manual therapy, exercise therapy, onward referral and health management advice, as determined by the needs of the patient.
Osteopathy is based on the principle that the structure and function of the body are intimately related. If the structure is not balanced and healthy then the function is affected.

Osteopaths work under the principle that there may be a number of contributing factors to the symptoms and will therefore evaluate not only the area which is producing the symptoms, but also associated areas that may be contributing to the issue including past trauma, environmental factors and the family’s health history.
Osteopaths adapt their therapeutic approach depending on the individual needs of the patient and their presenting complaint. Manual therapy techniques employed may include articulation and manipulation of joints and soft tissues.

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of injuries and medical conditions. It is a gentle and effective manual therapy, which is suitable for all age groups, from babies to the elderly.
Osteopathy focuses on the body as a whole.

One of our key osteopathic concepts is that if the structure of the body has been impaired, then it is unable to function efficiently.
To determine the cause of the problem, an osteopath will carry out a thorough assessment, examining the structure of the body, by observing a patients posture and mobility, and then using the appropriate hands-on techniques to improve its function and thus returning the body to a state of optimal health.
This form of assessment is the great strength of the osteopathic profession, as it takes into account all aspects of a patient’s lifestyle, in order to treat the cause of the condition, not just the symptoms of it. We work in partnership with our patients.
The initial consultation takes an hour, which provides us with the opportunity to listen and consider issues that may seem unrelated, yet are crucial to a patient’s wellbeing.

As part of the care plan we may discuss exercise and lifestyle advice, Patients are encouraged to discuss any questions about their symptoms or recovery with their osteopath who will provide a source of ongoing support and direction as required.

Osteopaths complete four years of undergraduate university study, and are registered healthcare professionals.
All osteopaths are required to engage with continuing professional development to keep their skills up to date.

Eyre Place Osteopathic Practice provides a centre of learning for continuing professional development for Edinburgh Osteopaths.

What Conditions Do You Treat?

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques.

These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilisation or the high velocity thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint.

Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients.

This allows the body to return to efficient normal function.

  • Low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Leg & arm pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Mid back injuries
  • Sports injuries

What Happens During My Visit?

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.

Do You Treat Babies and Children?

Your baby’s first visit may take up to an hour, and you will be asked about your pregnancy, the baby’s birth and medical history.
You may need to undress your baby to his or her nappy for the osteopath to make an assessment.
Once a diagnosis is made a treatment plan will be made with you.

Subtle, gentle cranial osteopathic techniques are often used for babies.
Very young babies can stay on their mother or fathers lap and may even be fed during treatment if they are hungry.
Some babies are so relaxed during treatment that they fall asleep!

For older babies and children there are plenty of books and toys for them to play with during treatment and the osteopaths are very used to treating toddlers on the move! You might like to bring a favourite toy or snack if you think it might help them to settle.  
Older children and teenagers might find the description of an adult treatment more relevant to them. Osteopathic treatment may be helpful during exam studies to relieve muscle aches and joint stiffness as well as to recover from an injury.

Do I Need A Referral From My GP?

Many people are referred to an osteopath by their GP or other healthcare provider.
However, as osteopaths are registered primary healthcare practitioners, you can make an appointment directly, without a referral.

What Should I Bring?

It is useful to bring along a your current prescription of medication, any x-rays, scans or other test results.
To ensure your comfort, it is recommended that your wear loose clothing or bring a pair of shorts to change into.   

Please arrive a few minutes prior to your initial appointment time, as you will need to fill out some paperwork.
Your Osteopath needs to obtain your consent to examine and treat you, and you will be asked for your verbal consent after your osteopath has explained the examination which is required and again after making the diagnosis and advising you of the treatment proposed.

You may be required to sign a consent form, dependent on the examination and treatment required.
Your Osteopath will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding your care.

Resources You May Find Helpful

What to expect from your Osteopath [pdf]

Standards of Osteopathic care [pdf]

Pilates at Eyre Place [pdf]

The following are links to the Institute of Osteopathy:

Back Pain

Work, driving and osteopathy

Osteopathy in sport

Osteopathy and getting older