Frequently Asked Questions
- What is osteopathy?
- What training do osteopaths have?
- Who can benefit from osteopathic treatment?
- What conditions do osteopaths treat?
- What can I expect when I receive treatment?
- Will it hurt?
- How many treatments will I need?
- Is there a waiting list?
- Do I need to be referred by my GP?
- What should I wear?
- How much will treatment cost and how do I pay?
- If I have private medical insurance what should I do next?
- How do I make an appointment?
- How do I find you?
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a physical therapy using entirely manual techniques, whose comprehensive system of examination, diagnosis, treatment and management aim to help restore normal, pain free function to any area of our bodies where it has been lost.
Although we are best known for treating ‘bad backs’, osteopaths can effectively treat a wide range of injuries, aches and pains in all parts of the body. Techniques include joint manipulation, articulation and stretching techniques along with soft tissue and massage techniques. As osteopaths, our aim is to provide a long term solution to problems of the musculoskeletal system by finding and treating the root cause.
Working in this way helps us minimise the chance of your problems recurring.It is said that structure governs function and we would expect, by working to improve the mechanics of the body’s structure, that we would simultaneously improve the function of the body as a whole.
Osteopaths treat each patient as an individual, tailoring each treatment as well as your overall care plan to your specific needs.
So whether you have suffered the sudden unexpected trauma of a car crash, a sport related injury or just a build up of poor posture over months or years – osteopathy will usually be able to help you!
What training do osteopaths have?
The title of osteopath is protected by law and only those on the UK statutory register are entitled to call themselves osteopaths. The statutory register sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety to engender trust and assurance for patients. In order to renew registration, we must undertake a set number of hours of continuing professional development (CPD) which maintains our skills and enhances our practice of osteopathy.
Osteopathic training is undertaken at degree level which takes 4-5 years to complete combining academic and clinical hands on work. It includes training on anatomy and physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition and biomechanics as well as at least 1000 hours of clinical training experience with patients.
Who can benefit from osteopathic treatment?
Children & teenagers
Children grow quickly and their muscles, ligaments, and bones develop rapidly. A jump or fall can jar the body, affect the spine and nervous system and go undetected for years.
Simple factors, such as a heavy school bag or poor seating will have negative effects on your children’s health.Teenage years can be a key time to spot potential problems in spinal mechanics, which if diagnosed and treated early may help prevent developing more serious or long term conditions later in life.
We hope to advise on the benefits of good diet, regular exercise and improved posture, achieved with the aid of osteopathic care to help achieve a body that is structurally and functionally sound.
Pregnancy & early years
The rapid weight gain, postural and hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can cause pain and discomfort in almost any part of the body; however the majority of symptoms normally manifest in the lumbar and pelvic areas. Pregnant women seek our help either directly or through their GPs’ or midwives.
Osteopathic treatment has been shown to be particularly effective in helping to restore spinal and pelvic function, thereby alleviating many of the painful symptoms often associated with pregnancy.
We also recommend that we carry out a check up two or three months after childbirth so we can assess and carefully correct any structural changes to the spine and pelvis that have occurred during labour or delivery.
In addition to this, parents of young children often benefit from advice on how to lift and carry a child which is growing heavier day by day!
Older adults encounter physical problems associated with ageing. We understand the effects of ageing and can provide treatment aimed specifically at alleviating the pain and stiffness of arthritis (wear & tear) of the spine and peripheral joints.
Using a more gentle approach incorporating soft tissue massage and articulatory techniques, we will hope to help, not only in the relief of pain but also in the improvement of posture, function and quality of life.
Trauma can cause spinal dysfunction, distort your body structure and cause irritation to nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments and discs. We specialise in detecting and resolving spinal dysfunction and the pain often associated with traumatic injury.
Sports, dance or work related injuries
Repetitive strain or overuse at work or during dance, sports and exercise can impair joint mobility, muscle strength, reflexes, endurance and performance.
This can lead to pain, disability and a decrease in your quality of life. You don’t have to live with it – we can help you get to the root of the problem, and with a combination of appropriate treatment and advice we can alleviate your symptoms and help prevent the problem from recurring.
What conditions do osteopaths treat?
- Back pain
- Neck pain & stiffness
- ArthritisHip / knee / ankle problems
- Shoulder, elbow and wrist problems
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
- Sciatica and trapped nerves/neuralgia – manifests as pain, tingling or numbness in a specific nerve supply area
- Arm pain/tingling – (brachial neuralgia) often caused by a trapped nerve in the neck.
- Pelvic / sacro-iliac pain – often due to stretched pelvic ligaments as a result of: pregnancy, sport or trauma / RTA etc.
- Occupational injuries
- Sports & dance injuries
- Posture related problems
- Circulatory problems, cramp
- Digestion problems
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to relax
- Rheumatic pain and lumbago
This list is by no means exhaustive. Please do contact us to see if we can help you with your complaint.
What can I expect when I receive treatment?
At your initial consultation we will take a full and detailed history of your condition including your previous medical history, general health/lifestyle, current medication and family medical history. The information you provide will be kept confidential.
We will then carry out a thorough physical examination, looking at both injury-specific and general body mechanics.
It is likely we will need you to undress down to your underwear to be able to fully examine you. If you are uncomfortable with this please bring some loose clothing to wear such as shorts and t-shirt. You are entitled to have a chaperone present if you wish. Children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You also have the right to ask us to stop treatment at any time if you feel uncomfortable. This will not prejudice your future treatment.
We will ask you to make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. We will examine the health of the joints, muscles and ligaments using our hands and feel for tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints to identify areas of dysfunction. Because of the body’s structure, pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one area may be linked to a problem elsewhere.
We may also take your blood pressure, test reflexes and assess muscle strength for example in order to fully assess your condition and general health.
We should then be able to make a diagnosis of your problem, which we will discuss with you, explaining all relevant treatment options that are suitable for you which may include lifestyle changes. Benefits and possible risks of the treatment we recommend will be explained and consent to proceed will be obtained. We are trained to screen for medical conditions that we can’t treat and refer where necessary back to your GP or hospital. Similarly, GP’s also refer to us when they believe this intervention to be beneficial.
If you are happy, we will then proceed with treatment – this consists of massage of the soft tissues, mobilisation and stretching of the joints and manipulative techniques if indicated. All of which should not be painful. These techniques will relieve muscle tension, enhance the blood and nerve supply to the tissues and help the body’s own healing mechanism.
After your treatment, advice on appropriate exercise, posture and self help will be given to prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms, aid recovery and promote health.
If at any time you have any concerns or complaint about any aspect of your treatment, please let me know as soon as possible.
Will it hurt?
Treatment itself should not be painful or uncomfortable – although some soreness, stiffness and muscular aches may be felt for 24 – 48 hours afterwards.
This is sometimes known as a ‘treatment reaction’ and is caused by your muscles, joints and posture changing and adapting following treatment.
This reaction is usually most prominent after your first treatment and decreases progressively as you improve.
If you have any concerns, do get in touch and ask for advice.
How many treatments will I need?
There is no set number of treatments for any condition – every injury and every patient responds slightly differently; although as a rough guide, most conditions will show a good response between 2 to 6 visits and many patients will then decide to have occasional, preventative treatment once they have made a full recovery – a body MOT.
At your first consultation we will discuss the anticipated number of treatments you may need and we will reassess your progress at each subsequent visit.
If you do not improve as expected, we may consider sending you for X-ray or MRI (either via your GP or privately).
Is there a waiting list?
No, we aim to see patients as soon as we can so you don’t have to suffer any longer than necessary.
Do I need to be referred by my GP?
No, anyone can refer themselves for treatment.
If you wish to use your medical insurance to claim for treatment costs, some policies require your GP to refer you.
You will also need to check with your insurance and/or us, that we can treat you under your policy.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably in loose fitting clothes. We will need to see the injured area to assess and treat it. Most back or neck related problems will require undressing to your underwear for us to fully assess your injuries and general posture. However, arm or leg injuries can be treated whilst patients wear shorts and/or t-shirts.
We want you to feel at ease so if you feel uncomfortable, discuss this with us so we can find an alternative option. You are welcome to bring a chaperone along if you wish.
Individuals under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
How much will treatment cost and how do I pay?
First appointments are currently charged at £47
Subsequent appointments are currently charged at £40
Full Payment is required at the time of treatment unless a prior arrangement has been made in respect of either private medical insurance or a medico-legal claim.
We are happy to accept payment by cash or cheque.
Unfortunately we do not accept either debit or credit cards.
In the event of a cancellation giving less than 24 hours notice, or if an appointment is missed, the full fee will be charged.
If I have private medical insurance, what should I do next?
Treatment is usually directly funded to us by the majority of health insurance companies; however some companies still operate on the basis of reimbursing treatment fees to patients – for which we are happy to issue an itemised receipt at the end of your treatment.
We recommend that you contact your insurance company before starting treatment to ask the following questions:
- Is a GP referral necessary?
- Am I liable to pay an excess?
- Is there any restriction on the number of treatments, or the period of time that the claim is valid for?
- Is there a limit on the amount that can be claimed?
Once this has been clarified you will usually be given a claim reference number or authorisation number by your insurance company and we would ask you to bring this, along with your membership number and any claim forms to your first visit.
How do I make an appointment?
If you would like to make an appointment you can telephone us any weekday between 8:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday on the telephone number below. Please be aware that we may not be able to take your call immediately if we are treating patients but will return your call as soon as we possibly can.
To make an appointment: 07938 322680
How do I find you?
24 High Street
Yate Osteopathic Practice
The Chepstow Osteopathic Clinic