A system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Listening and examining
Osteopathy is a patient-centred, system of healthcare. Your first appointment generally lasts an hour to allow me adequate time to:
- listen and ask questions about your problem, your general health, other medical care you are receiving or medication you are taking, and record this in your case notes. The information you provide will be confidential;
- examine you properly. It is likely that you will have to remove some of your clothing. Please tell me if you are uncomfortable about this. You should expect privacy to undress and a gown or towel will be provided. You can ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your treatment;
- ask you to make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. Because of the body’s structure, pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one part may be linked to a problem elsewhere;
- examine the health of the joints, tissues and ligaments using their hands and a highly developed sense of touch called palpation.
I will also check for signs of serious conditions that I cannot treat and I may advise you to see your GP or go to hospital. I will provide you with a letter explaining what I believe to be the problem and I will give you a clear explanation of what I find (my diagnosis) and discuss a treatment plan that is suitable for you.
I will explain the benefits and any risks of the treatment that I recommend and it is important to understand and agree what the treatment can achieve, and the likely number of sessions needed for a noticeable improvement in how you feel. I will explain what I’m doing and will always ask your permission to treat you (known as consent). Ask questions at any time if you are unsure what you have been told or if you have any concerns. Self-help measures and advice on exercise may be offered to assist your recovery, prevent recurrence or worsening of symptoms.
I feel very strongly that your treatment under my care should be completely comfortable, and should you feel at any time that you are unsure of what I am doing or need reassurance about your treatment and treatment plan, then I would be extremely grateful that you tell me, or ask questions during your appointment.
Caroline will be working at the Kendal Physiotherapy Centre on Fridays. Initial assessments are charged at £45, treatment sessions are charged at £40. Your first appointment will last an hour, which includes a full medical case history, standing exam and treatment if appropriate. At this first appointment your diagnosis and treatment plan will be discussed thoroughly with you. Subsequent treatments last between 35-45 minutes.