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Can I attend an Osteopath without a referral from my G.P?

Yes, you do not need to see the doctor before seeing an osteopath. A doctor may refer you to see an osteopath, however as primary healthcare professional we are trained to recognise problems that are suitable and also unsuitable for osteopathic treatment. If unsuitable for treatment we would then refer you to the appropriate person.

How many treatments will I need?

You will not be signed up for a course of treatment. Just as everybody is an individual, how quickly each person responds to treatment is different. A patients progress has to be observed and how they feel they are benefiting from the treatment must be discussed before deciding if they need to come back.

Further treatment may be necessary depending on the condition. Sometimes only one is needed, most people may require 2-5 treatments. Many people decide to have occasional preventative treatment.

Are there any side effects from treatment?

Side-effects can occur and usually last for a day or two. They can include tiredness and mild aching around the treated area.

Is Osteopathy regulated?

Practitioners of Osteopathy and Chiropractic are regulated in the same way as doctors and dentists. This is called statutory professional regulation and ensures that practitioners are properly qualified and adhere to certain codes of practise. Anyone not registered may not call themselves an osteopath – it is a criminal offence to do so. These regulatory bodies can help you to find a registered practitioner. You can use the website of the general osteopathic council to find an osteopath near you.

What is the clicking noise that can occur in an osteopathic manipulation?

Joint manipulation involves putting a joint through a very small stretching movement at speed, this just feels like a quick push on the joint. This stretches the joint capsule which in turn creates a reduction in pressure within the joint cavity. Separating the joint surfaces like this causes a release in the pressure within the joint. In this low pressure environment some of the gasses that are dissolved in the synovial fluid leave the solution creating a bubble which rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a clicking sound. The clicking noise does not have to happen for the treatment to be effective.

This is the same noise as when you click your knuckles.

What is a slipped disc?

Discs are small circular rubbery pads of cartilage which are found between each vertebrae. They can also be called Intervertebral Discs. They act as shock absorbers and there are 23 of them.
Disc pressure increases in the sitting position and is less when standing due to the effect of an increase in the intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure turns the semi-fluid abdominal contents into a partially solid pillar and so protects the lumbar spine from some of the effects of weight-bearing. A similar mechanism operates during bending and lifting, when the rise in intra-abdominal pressure again plays a role in protecting the spine. There is less pressure when lying down.

A small percent of people with disc problems go onto have a prolapsed disc commonly known as a slipped disc. This occurs when the outer part of the disc ruptures and the softer inner part bulges out. The disc does not actually slip.

To help prevent a ‘slipped Disc’ you should

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a good posture while standing, walking and sitting
  • Use the correct techniques when lifting
  • It is not possible to repair an injured disc using manual therapy. Osteopaths provide the conditions in which the body’s own repair mechanism can heal the disc.

    What is a trapped nerve?

    Nerves run from your brain and spinal cord, sending messages throughout your body. A ‘trapped nerve’ is a condition where a nerve is compressed or pinched and the damage can be minor or severe. It may cause pain, pins and needles, numbness and weakness, often occurring in the associated limb such as arm or leg. . A nerve can be compressed by simply resting your elbow on a table or by other conditions such as swelling, bleeding, disc problems and arthritis.

    Do you have other questions?

    If you have any questions please call Tara Drummond on 07989556235