Your first visit to an Osteopath

What to expect on your first visit to an Osteopath

Before you attend your appointment with us, we request that you kindly complete any paperwork that you have been sent via our online system, Jane App. Completing paperwork in advance means we have more face to face time to focus on you, gives you a chance to read our policies and procedures, and allows time for you to raise any questions you have ahead of the visit.

You are welcome to bring a chaperone with you to your treatment.

If English is not your first language, we would recommend you bring an interpreter with you to your appointment, who will be familiar with medical terminology we may use.

Please bring along a list of your current medications, any medical test results you have, copies of any reports and your child’s red book, in the case of baby treatments. We also suggest advise bringing a bottle of water and a towel or if you are having osteopathy, massage, reflexology or acupuncture.

It is not uncommon for Osteopaths to request that patients undress down to their underwear, so that they can assess spinal movements and perform neurological testing. If you would prefer to bring shorts and a sports top for this, that is fine or please wear very stretchy loose clothing. Your modesty will be protected at all times during this assessment and treatment.

On arrival

We do not have any on site receptionists at the practice.  When you arrive, please feel free to take a seat in the waiting area, accessed via the carpark. Some patients choose to self sign in using the QR code posters on the waiting room door, but there is no requirement to do this and you do not need to notify us of your arrival. 

Your therapist will collect you from the waiting room and discuss your condition, medical history and listen to your concerns in one of our treatment rooms.  They may ask about your work, home and lifestyle to understand more about you. Feel free to ask questions throughout this process as we actively promote patient partnership care.

Following this discussion, your therapist will then observe and assess you. This process will vary depending on your problem and treatment choice, but your therapist will involve you in the process throughout. They may perform specialist tests to get further information about your condition, enabling them to formulate a working diagnosis and treatment plan with you.

The next step is to discuss with you their findings. This may include not only what they think is happening, but also what treatments they think may help and what other tests/ scans you may require. They will also inform you if they feel treatment is not appropriate for you at this stage, or if further investigation is needed.

Please note that most of the initial visit may be taken up with case history taking and examination for Osteopathy appointments, depending on the nature of the problem.

Therapists will request your consent to be examined, assessed and treated. You have the right to alter this consent at any stage, to make changes to any plans or to withdraw your consent totally. It is important that you speak to your therapist throughout your time with them and ask them anything at all that you do not understand.

Children and Babies

All children under the age of 16 require an adult with legal parental responsibility to be present throughout all consultations and treatments.

Babies are commonly required to undress down to their nappy. Children, depending on the area which needs to be examined, may also be required to undress down to underwear. Please feel free to bring shorts and a strap top if they feel more comfortable with this.

It may be useful to bring your red book, any delivery notes that you may have and any developmental assessment reports. Please also bring a note of any prescription medication, a drink/snack and favourite toy or book to help keep them occupied.

Risks and Benefits of Osteopathy

Millions of people benefit from osteopathic treatments every year.  At BOP all our therapists are fully qualified and registered osteopaths, who have undergone extensive training.

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. These side effects are no different in Osteopathy, than they are with any manual therapy such as Chiropractic or Physiotherapy.

-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), 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)

Children and babies

Babies can sometimes be a little unsettled after treatment for up to 2-3 days. They may seem restless/grizzly and sleep could be disturbed. The symptoms, for which you are seeking treatment, may also be temporarily worse over this period.

Children and teens, may feel tired, achy and headachy post treatment for 2-3 days. They may also be sore post treatment, much like adults.

Risks of 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

If you have any questions regarding any of the information above or are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, please call or email us on the contacts below. We would rather you call, than sit at home worrying. 

Contact details: 

Tel: 01903 820206