For your first visit at Darling Corner Osteopathy, it’s advisable to arrive a little early, as you will need to fill out initial paperwork. Under the law, an osteopath needs to obtain your approval to treat you, so you will probably be asked to sign an ‘informed consent’ form.
During your first consultation, your osteopath will ask questions about your problem and symptoms. They may also ask questions about your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem. If your medical condition changes during the course of your osteopathic treatment, you should tell your osteopath.
Your osteopath may ask about any recent x-rays, scans or test results that you may have.
It’s important that you feel comfortable, so you may want to wear loose pants or bring a pair of shorts to change into.
Next, your osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests. This may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments, and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition. The examination may include passive and active movements, such as the osteopath lifting your arms or legs.
As osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, your practitioner may look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation or manipulation. If your injuries require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.
Some people experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
Your initial consultation at Darling Corner Osteopathy will last 45 minutes. This will enable your osteopath to record a thorough history, examine and treat you. Follow-up treatments are shorter, taking 30 minutes.
Generally, you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; however, some long-term or chronic conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.
Copyright © Australian Osteopathic Association (www.osteopathy.org.au)