What does an osteopathic appointment include? What should I expect?



The most common feedback I get from new patients is that they have never heard of an osteopath but their friend or family member raved about osteopaths so they thought they would give it a try. Or they have tried physio, chiro's (I do believe the other professions have their place and work well for some people) etc but never had lasting results and wanted a more holistic (whole body) approach. 


What to expect:

Your first appointment is up to an hour long. This is because we are thorough and ask a lot of questions, both about your area/s of concern, medical history and any relevant lifestyle factors eg stress, occupation, sleep and so on. This is the beginning of the holistic approach. Next is examination which can include; observing your posture & gait (way you walk), active range of motion, passive (I move joint for you) range of motion, orthopaedic special tests,  blood pressure, leg length and so on. Next is treatment. This is not limited to just the 'sore area'. I very commonly treat from the neck down. This is due to the osteopathic 'holistic' approach, of observing the body as a whole and identifying and addressing all areas that are not functioning well. Lastly is any take home advice. This may include exercises, stretches, change in posture, changing carseat settings, pillow, techniques to destress and unwind, referral to a specialist, your GP or for imaging.


Follow up appointments are up to 30 minutes as they follow on from your first appointment, asking you how you feel after your previous treatment, examination and mostly treatment. 


Why is treatment not of just the sore area?

Osteopathy is based on their idea of treating a person as a whole. Therefore we look at your whole body not just the sore area. For example you get neck pain...Is one leg longer than the other? Is your pelvis twisted? Do you have unresolved injuries that are causing further strain to an area? Your lower back may be tight, creating tension on your upper back, making your shoulders muscles strained which therefore directly adds strain to your neck. The tissue causing symptoms is generally in the area where you feel the pain, but the other factors may play a large role influencing that area. You could also have referred pain eg from an organ or nerve referral. 


Can my osteopath refer me for imaging?

Osteopaths can refer for X-ray and ultrasound. If you need further imaging (mRI or CT scan) this must be done through a specialist.


Are Osteopaths ACC registered?

Yes, Osteopaths are ACC registered. You do not need to see your GP first. You can fill out an ACC form to claim your injury during your osteopathic consultation. 


Can I claim my treatment under my health insurance?

Yes, if your policy covers osteopathy (please check first), then an invoice can be made and you can claim back your osteopathic treatment from your policy provider.


How many appointments do I need?
This varies largely person to person and per situation. If it is an acute (new) injury then 2-4 appointments is normal. If it is a chronic (long standing) injury then it will take longer. If there are any other injuries or illnesses it may take longer. For example if you have diabetes it will take longer to heal as your bodies ability to heal itself is compromised. Or if you have multiple injuries. 






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