Frequently Asked Questions
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Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for Broadwater Osteopathic Clinic. We understand that when it comes to your health and well-being, you may have numerous questions about osteopathic care, our clinic’s services, and what to expect during your visit. This comprehensive FAQ aims to address the most common queries you might have as you consider or embark on your journey to better health through osteopathic treatment and our additional services, including podiatry, massage, acupuncture, and life coaching.
Osteopathy is a modern, scientifically based system of diagnosis and treatment of problems which occur in the muscles and joints of the body. These problems, as well as sometimes causing localised pain, can also have far reaching effects upon the wellbeing of the whole body. Osteopaths are skilled assessors of the body mechanics, with particular insight into how each part effects and influences another. They use a range of manual techniques to restore function and movement and therefore balance within the body. Osteopaths work with their patients, treating them as individuals and often giving advice on exercise and daily living to improve health.
Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle form of osteopathic treatment. It is a common treatment approach for babies and children, but can be used on all ages. At BOP some of our osteopaths provide cranial treatments for babies, booked under paediatric osteopathy. We also provide adult cranial treatments too.
Generally patients are surprised by how gentle treatment is. Following treatment, some patients will experience some discomfort for up to 48 hours. This is normally mild and will be relieved by ice or heat. The discomfort is the result of the body adjusting to the changes we have made. Your therapist will advise you of the likely reaction you may experience as each person is different. You can call and speak to a therapist at any time about any concerns you may have following your treatment.
On your first visit, we make things as easy as possible. First you will sent forms to complete about your health and lifestyle. Your osteopath will then talk to you about your condition and how it affects your life. You will then be assessed by the osteopath, who will look at your spine and your muscles and may also perform some standard orthopaedic and neurological tests to find out what is causing your problem.
Afterwards, your osteopath will discuss their findings and will customise a personalised treatment plan. Treatment will normally be given on this initial visit; customised exercise and lifestyle plans may also be given. It is important to note that it is usual for patients to be asked to undress down to underwear. This enables full examination and is essential for your osteopath to see how your spine works. Please bring shorts and a sports top or equally, wear loose clothing if you feel more comfortable. All children under 16 are legally required to have a chaperone present throughout all treatments. The chaperone must be an adult who has legal parental responsibility for them. Adults can also have a chaperone present during treatment.
We do not have the facilities to perform X-ray or MRI scans at BOP. We are able to refer patients for these if they are needed privately, or alternatively we can refer you to your GP for any further investigations. X-rays are often of limited use in the diagnosis of back pain, but if we feel you need one, we will of course refer you.
Yes, osteopathy is a safe form of treatment to have at any stage during pregnancy, although there are some treatment methods which may be reserved until after 12- 16 weeks. Understandably many women don’t want to take prescription medications for pain during this time, so osteopathy may offer an alternative approach.
Osteopaths see clients for a whole host of reasons, back pain being one. The osteopath with look at how the body mechanics are working, so this could be exploring the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves to assess how these are all working. Neck pain and back pain are common reasons why people visit, but an osteopath will look at a person from head to toe. As a practice we offer a variety of treatments alongside osteopathy including massage, acupuncture, chiropody, sports therapy, nutritional assessments, applied kinesiology and reflexology.
Pain is often just the final sign that the body is not working well. You may be shocked to know that you can lose 75% of your spines’ function without any pain at all. Our osteopaths will assess your function, look to see what the cause of your pain may be and what may be maintaining the symptoms you are experiencing. You do not have to be in pain to have treatment.
It is generally a good idea to seek advice as soon as possible to settle the acute inflammatory stage, which often lasts 2-4 days. During this time the use of ice packs and gentle movement may be better than treatment if you are in too much pain to be able to get to us and to be examined. If you are unsure, please call us and ask to speak to one of the osteopaths. They can then advise you on the best course of action. When you are fit enough to attend, gentle massage, articulation and electrotherapy may ease your symptoms, before any further treatment commences.
Many health insurance providers will cover costs for Osteopathy, Acupuncture and Chiropody treatments. Please check the details of your insurance with your provider before you attend. Some providers will only cover certain therapists at the practice. Please note, we will provide a receipt for your treatment, but will not invoice providers on your behalf. Any fees will need to be re-claimed by yourself.
You do not need a referral from a GP to attend BOP, although some health insurers may require you too if you wish to reclaim costs.
This is a difficult question to answer before we see you. It will largely depend upon the nature of your condition, how long you have had it, your age and your general health. It will also depend on how well you follow the advice we give you. As a general rule, a normal course of treatment is between 3-6 treatments. At your 1st visit the therapist will discuss with you how many treatments you may need and this will be reassessed as treatment progresses. After an initial course of treatment, check-ups at anywhere between 1 month and 6 months intervals may be recommended to ensure you are still ok.
There is research to show good evidence for osteopathic treatment of back and neck pain, headaches, shoulder, elbow and knee pain, hip and knee arthritic pain. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which sets the national clinical guidelines for care and management of adults, has recommended osteopathic treatment as a primary treatment option for non-specific back pain.
All of our osteopaths are qualified and statutory regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (www.osteopathy.org.uk) They all undertake continued professional development in-house and through distant learning. The use of the title ‘osteopath’ is protected by law and restricted only to those on the Osteopathic Register.
All of our osteopaths work slightly differently and have different specialist interests. Commonly patients are recommended to a particular osteopath by a friend or family member and this is how most clients choose their osteopath. It is worthwhile looking at each osteopaths profile to see who may suit you best or speak to reception who can guide you further on 01903 820206.
Sometimes you will not be able to donate blood for a period of time following acupuncture, this is commonly 18 months. At BOP all of our acupuncturists use single use, sterile needles, but you may still be asked not to donate. Please ask your local blood donor group for more information, as the rules vary area to area.
Any form of physical therapy treatment, whether for preventative care, rehabilitation, or managing a recent acute condition, usually involves some hands on treatment; this often leads to temporary side effects.
-It’s common to feel a little stiff or sore the next day following the initial treatment; this usually, lasts around 24-48 hours. Most people describe this as similar to ‘post exercise soreness’. It’s also common to feel tired or have a temporary headache after treatment.
-Much less common effects are more severe and last longer than a few days. Symptoms may include one or more of the following: more severe pain, rib fracture in patients with osteoporosis, bothersome numbness and tingling lasting weeks or months
– Rare reactions: examples would include: stroke (est 6/100,000 with neck manipulation), prolapsed disc, severe pains radiating to a limb requiring emergency medical intervention, ‘cauda equina’ syndrome (a condition which can cause bladder and bowel impairment or, nerve damage and muscle weakness)
– Adverse Reactions to Acupuncture/Dry Needling Treatment
Mild: common side effects from the treatment might be one or more of the following: bruising, bleeding, nausea, nerve irritation, drowsiness and fatigue
Moderate: less common, side effects from treatment may be similar to the mild reactions but are more severe and lasting for more than five days and may need medical care these would include the following: localised infections, allergies, nerve damage
Severe: adverse reactions to acupuncture treatment are rare but include: systemic infection, Pneumothorax – Requires medical emergency care
It is possible to get some mild pain or discomfort during treatment and this may linger for a short while post treatment. There is also risk of bleeding during treatment or after, alongside infection.
It is very important that if patients have any concerns about their symptoms, that they contact the practice to speak to their therapist.
Pain is not necessarily a measure of how bad something is. Muscles can cause a lot of pain when they spasm, but can settle relatively quickly. Pain is there to protect you from doing more harm to yourself and is not always a measure of the underlying cause. Rest assured, our therapists will assist you and guide you to finding out what the cause of your pain is as quickly as possible, to alleviate your concerns.
Normally the longer you have been experiencing a problem, the longer it may take to get better. Your therapist will discuss with you how long your specific problem may take to ease, at your initial visit. Most patients will experience an easing of symptoms within a 3 or 4 treatments, some even after 1.
This will depend on how long you have had the problem and how bad the problem is. Initially it is common to see patients weekly, then after a few treatments this will be spread out. Some patients also attend for maintenance treatments, which can be anywhere between monthly to 6 monthly, depending on the patient, their age and their problem.
It is very likely that your therapist will give you exercises and tasks to do in-between treatments to improve and maintain your condition. They will explain the reasons for this to you and your co-operation will help speed your recovery time.
Our team are not licensed to prescribe you medications for your pain and problems or to perform injections. For this you would need to see your GP or consultant.