The ‘cracking techniques’ are some times used by osteopaths and are called high velocity thrusts or HVT’s. Theses techniques are sometime applied to the spinal joints to increase the range of movement and relax the deep muscles that cannot be reached by massage alone. These techniques are not suitable for everyone and is usually only performed in the mid and lower back for safety reasons. This technique is only a small part of the treatment used by osteopaths and if a patient is not happy with this the style of the treatment can be easily changed with out effect to the outcome of the treatment.
What happens during the visit?
During your first visit to your chosen osteopath, expect him to ask you questions regarding the symptoms that you are experiencing. He will also ask about your general health, any medication you are taking and if you are suffering from a severe medical condition. Provided you are a safe candidate for treatment, he will proceed to using his hands to identify areas of your body that are weak, strained, restricted and tender. He will most likely put more attention on your spine.
With your permission, the osteopath may ask you to remove the clothes from the part where he needs to examine although this is not always necessary and is voluntary. He may also ask you to do simple movements during the session. Once done, you can start discussing with the osteopath whether this is the best way to cure the problem, and if there are other treatment programs available.
How does osteopathy treatment work?
The main premise behind osteopathy treatment is that a person’s well-being is fully dependent on the smooth functioning of his bones, connective tissues, ligaments and muscles. A good osteopath is capable of using physical manipulation, massage and stretching to improve joint mobility, relieve muscle tension, improve the supply of blood to your tissues, and give your body complete healing.
Osteopathy works by treating various areas of your body. Its main focus is on improving the function of the different parts of your body, including your muscles, joints, skeleton, internal organs, connective tissues, nerves and circulatory system, as a whole.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatment sessions you need to undergo is dependent on your present condition. In most cases, you will notice a significant reduction in the symptoms you experience within just 1-2 sessions. Chronic or long-term conditions, however, may need additional treatment sessions. Ask your chosen osteopath about the severity of your case, so you can discuss about the number of visits you need.
Do I need to see my GP first?
No, it is possible for you to set an appointment with your chosen osteopathic practitioner even without the advice or recommendation of your GP. However, if you have a severe illness, a special referral form must be completed by your GP. The form will permit you to visit your chosen osteopath to undergo the treatment.
Does Osteopathy hurt?
The majority of osteopathic treatments are gentle. This means that they will never cause pain and utmost discomfort to patients. However, you may experience some pain, especially if you have injuries causing you to have tender and painful parts in the body. A good practitioner will try to make you feel comfortable despite the injury, especially if he needs to do hands-on therapy.
Some techniques may also trigger some pain and discomfort, but rest assured that you’ll only deal with these for the short-term. Mild soreness, which may last for 1-2 days may also be experienced. Rest assured that these issues are only temporary. However, you need to contact your chosen practitioner in case of persistent soreness, so you’ll be treated appropriately.
What training do practitioners have?
You will know that you are dealing with the best osteopathic practitioner if he underwent extensive training, and has all the necessary qualifications and educational requirements to perform the procedure safely and correctly. Go for someone who has completed at least 5 years of university training in pathology, physiology, anatomy, osteopathic techniques, as well as general medical diagnosis. He should be able to show his Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
A good osteopathic doctor has also completed 300-500 hours of instruction studying the neuro-musculoskeletal system of the body as well as 1000 hours of clinical practice. He should also be capable of showing proof that he has completed 1-year internship, which covers all medical care areas, like internal medicine, family and general practice, surgery, pediatrics, and gynecology or obstetrics.
Is Osteopathy safe?
Yes. In fact, reports show that it has the safest records when compared to other professional procedures related to medicine. However, you need to ensure that you choose the most skilled and experienced practitioner in the field to make the most out of the treatment. Note that there are those who practice it without license and experience, making it a bit unsafe. The good news is that choosing the right practitioner will allow you to get the results you need.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, it’s okay to ask someone to accompany you during your osteopathic consultation, and treatment.
What should I wear?
Wear something, which can make you feel comfortable. If possible, go for comfy shirts and loose pants that allow you to move freely. Bringing a pair of shorts will also let you have something to wear when you need to change.