Q: What is Osteopathy?

A: Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment designed to provide pain relief for the body’s structural and mechanical problems. A gentle form of treatment, osteopathy can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of every age. It is a natural therapy, which combines the two oldest forms of treatment known to man – MASSAGE and MANIPULATION.

Q: What is Physiotherapy?

A:Physiotherapy uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore human function and movement. Physiotherapy treats injury and disease by correcting and improving the body’s own natural healing mechanisms, using a variety of manual hands-on techniques and electro-therapy, to help patients achieve their treatment and rehabilitation goals.

Q: What To Expect During Your First Appointment?

A: Thank you for booking an appointment with The Abbots Langley Clinic. We know that attending your first appointment with an Osteopath/Physiotherapist can be a little disconcerting to begin with. The following information has been developed to explain exactly what to expect and answer some of the questions you might have. If you have any other concerns, please contact the clinic by phone prior to attending your first appointment.

At the start of your first session, your Osteopath/Physiotherapist will ask you to tell them about your problem. They will ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle as well as your symptoms. This is very important as it will help them to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment. They will write down what you say in your records. These 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.

The Osteopath/Physiotherapist will need to examine the area(s) of your body causing discomfort. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, (for example, a difference in leg length may result in compensations in the upper back which might result in neck pain) so they may need to examine your whole body.

They will need to feel for tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints and may need to touch these areas to identify problems. 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.

In order to examine you effectively, it may be necessary for your Osteopath/Physiotherapist to ask you to remove some clothing as appropriate for the condition, which might mean undressing down to your underwear. If this is a problem for you, make your osteopath aware of this, and discuss whether it might be appropriate for them to treat you why are you wear shorts and a T-shirt.

The Osteopath/Physiotherapist will suggest a course of treatment, which may require several visits. They may be able to give you an estimate of how often they need to see you and any associated costs by the end of the first session. They will ask for your permission to provide treatment and you may be asked to sign a consent form.

Most Osteopaths/Physiotherapists will begin your treatment at your first appointment, but sometimes they may require further tests first i.e. blood tests or scans. Occasionally they may diagnose an illness that they are unable to treat and may suggest that you consult your GP or another appropriate health professional.

You may experience mild discomfort with some of the treatment techniques used, but Osteopathic and Physiotherapy treatment is usually a very gentle process. Your osteopath/physiotherapist will let you know if any discomfort is likely and it can be helpful to let them know what you are feeling. If pain persists after treatment, contact your Osteopath/Physiotherapist 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, please ask your Osteopath/Physiotherapist.

Q: What Should I Expect During A Consultation?

A:The Osteopath and Physiotherapist’s task is to diagnose and treat faults that occur in the mechanical system due to injury, stress or any other cause, and to ensure that the body is functioning as efficiently as possible. When a person’s structure is in harmony, just like a well-tuned engine, it will function with the minimum of stress and use of energy, leaving more energy available for living. Osteopaths and Physiotherapists work with their hands, using a combination of soft-tissue massage, gentle circulation and passive mobilisation techniques applied to specific joints. Initially, a case history is taken to find out about the patient and their presenting complaint. The patient will normally be asked to undress to their underwear before an examination is undertaken. (Patients have the choice of wearing a gown and if required the option of a chaperone.) Examinations may involve neurological, circulatory or respiratory testing, as well as an assessment of posture and structural state, ultimately leading to a diagnosis and with your consent, treatment. Registered Osteopaths and Chartered Physiotherapists, are trained to recognise conditions that cannot be helped by treatment and will therefore advise patients and refer them as appropriate. At any time during your consultation, you can ask your therapist to explain any of the techniques used or anything that has been discussed. Most patients find treatment gentle, but you may feel stiff and sore following treatment; this usually lasts around 48-72 hours. Most people describe their reaction as similar to aching and pain felt after exercising. It is common also to feel tired after a treatment. If you have any concerns about your treatment please call us.

Q: Does Osteopathy Treat The Underlying Condition?

A:Osteopaths are not content just with fixing symptoms (the most common form of which is pain), although this is understandably the first priority, but rather are interested in improving the functioning of the body so that symptoms are much less likely to return in the future.

Q: Who Recognises Osteopathy?

A:Osteopathy is the first complementary therapy to have undergone statutory regulation by Parliament. This gives an osteopath similar status to a doctor or dentist and guarantees a patient the equivalent high level of protection.

Q: Check Ups and Advice

A: From time to time, it is advisable to undertake “maintenance” visits to enable us to ensure the previous problem is contained. Patients will be given advice, and often, exercises concerning these complaints in the hope that recurrence of the condition can be significantly reduced or eliminated. After treatment, it is not advisable to partake in heavy exercise for 24 hours to give the tissues time to settle down. It must also be remembered that some conditions can be permanently helped, whilst others only partially relieved or maintained in balance. Each case will receive individual attention in an effort to get the fastest results possible with the longest lasting result.

Q: What Conditions Do Osteopaths and Physiotherapists Help With?

A: Although a great number of patients consult us with back pain, there are many other conditions that we frequently help with.

These include:

  • Generalised aches and pains
  • Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise
  • Arthritic pain
  • General, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
  • Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e. whiplash
  • Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) / migraine prevention
  • Frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences
  • Circulatory problems
  • Cramp
  • Digestion problems
  • Joint pains, lumbago
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neuralgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inability to relax
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Minor sports injuries and tensions
Genereal Osteopathic Council Registered