What to Expect on Your First Visit
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT
Even if you have seen an osteopath/chiropractor/physio before please take the time to read this.
My approach means I have an interest in not only your current complaint and medical history, but also the big picture of your current context. (eg your work, social, family and emotional situation). Consequently, our initial interview may be more detailed than you have experienced before. This will depend on your complaint of course, but if it is long standing you may find the questions more detailed. Please expect to be here for up to 60 minutes on your first visit. If you think your situation warrants more time, please feel free to let me know. I have a different time and fee structure depending on whether your complaint is recent or long term/complex.
If there are any issues relevant to you personally and/or your culture that I should be aware of please don’t hesitate to discuss them with me.
Once we have discussed what is going on for you, you may be asked to undress to your underwear, so I can assess any limitations of movement and palpate painful and non-painful areas of your body. Because Osteopaths are interested in your overall body mechanics the examination may include areas remote to your site of pain. I may do further investigation and joint testing with you sitting and/or lying down, and other tests such as reflexes, sensation testing or blood pressure.
Undressing is not at all compulsory but being able to see the problem area is a great help and assists with the accuracy of the examination.
If you feel uncomfortable about undressing, please do let me know.
A gown is available to wear.
After the examination I will explain what, in my assessment, appears to be going on. In some instances, I may be unable to make a diagnosis without further investigations such as X-ray or blood tests, which I will refer you for accordingly. In other circumstances I may need to ask you to complete other validated questionnaires to investigate particular areas of interest. For complex issues, coming up with a formulation of what’s going on and how we might aim to manage it, may evolve collaboratively over several sessions. If I feel I am unable to help, you may be recommended to another treatment provider or your GP.
Hands on treatment may consist of a range of techniques, with your consent, such as deep soft tissue kneading, articulation, stretching of the joints and some gentle manipulation (or ‘clicking’ of the joints). But equally it may involve physical, breathing or ‘thinking’ exercises. The longer your problem has been there the more likely it is I will incorporate approaches other than hands on treatment.
If at any time you don't understand anything or find any of the techniques are uncomfortable, please let me know.
After your first consultation I will, where possible, give you an estimation of the expected number of treatments and frequency of visits required, and expected outcome. It is common to see you again a few days after your first visit and then on a weekly basis – but this varies according to your problem. The number of visits varies from 1 to many. For a recent problem 4 visits is common, but can be more for long term or complex issues.
For you to be able to consent in an informed way to the treatment and management proposed - whether it be hands on or self-management - you need to feel you understand what is going on, and what the benefit, risks and side effects of treatment are. You should also understand the costs and expected number of visits. Further you should feel you understand any other alternative approaches and that you have the right to discontinue treatment at any time.
I will endeavor to provide all this information but please let me know if you require anything clarified.
After your treatment
For hands on treatment, 24 to 48 hours after the first or second treatment, you may experience some minor, temporary discomfort or aggravation of your symptoms. This is a common response. It is normal for the full benefit of the treatment to be felt 2-3 days after treatment.
If you are at all concerned please feel free to phone me.
Anna Swindells Osteopath
To find out how Osteopathy can help you, please Contact our clinic today.