Where should I park?
The best place to park is the Village Hall car park opposite the clinic. We rent parking spaces there so you can ignore the sign that says ‘Car park for Village Hall and Barn Club only’. There is no need to park in a specific bay or display a permit in your car window.
What happens in the first appointment?
The first appointment lasts about 1 hour. We start with a conversation during which I take details such as address and date of birth, and then we move on to discuss your symptoms including when they started, what makes them worse etc. You do not need to prepare for this. I also take your basic medical history such as medication used and previous surgery. This is followed by an examination which usually starts with you standing and performing a few simple movements if possible. You will then be asked to lie on the treatment table for any further examination and, with your consent, treatment can begin. Treatment includes a combination of deep tissue massage techniques and stretching, moving and manipulating the muscles and joints. Whilst I am working you are free to ask questions. At the end of the session I summarize my observations, discuss the cause of your symptoms and explain what I have done to help. You will normally be set some ‘homework’ such as stretches and following some postural advice. If I recommend a follow up appointment I will let you know and we can book it in the diary, as well as taking payment (£50 cash or cheque please).
Do I need to bring or wear anything special for my appointment? Will I need to undress?
You do not need to prepare for the appointment. Most patients are treated in their underwear but if you prefer to wear a vest or a pair of shorts, for example, that is fine. If treatment is for your neck you may not need to remove clothing from the waist down, and if we are looking at your knee you may not need to remove your top half.
Will the treatment be painful?
On the whole treatment is very pleasant – so much so that occasionally people fall asleep! When I work on particularly problematic ‘knots’ of muscle there may be some discomfort, but a lot of people like the sensation because it reassures them that we have found the problem and the manipulation feels really effective. We can make the treatment gentler if necessary.
Are you going to click my back/neck?
Osteopaths sometimes perform manipulations of joints that make them click. If done on the correct joints in the correct way this can bring instant relief and make joints move more freely. I use these manipulations selectively and I am happy to avoid them all together if you prefer.
How will I feel afterwards?
At the end of an appointment most people feel an instant benefit from the treatment they have just received. Occasionally there is some soreness in the muscles and joints that have been manipulated but this can be a normal part of the healing process and rarely lasts more than 24 hours.
I am taking painkillers - should I avoid taking them before my appointment?
There is no need to stop taking painkillers prior to treatment as I will be able to judge what is required even if your pain has been modified by analgesics. Having said that, sometimes patients prefer their pain to be in its ‘natural state’ so that they feel able to provide accurate information on their symptoms and are also able to notice a tangible benefit during the treatment. The choice is yours.
Will I be given advice and stretches?
Yes you will be given homework. Normally this will be a combination of advice (such as appropriate posture at work or pillow height), stretches and strengthening exercises. I am an ex-teacher so I can always tell whether you have done your homework or not!
I am feeling much better – should I still come for a maintenance or ‘check up’ appointment?
We all go to the dentist for a check up and take our car for its annual MOT – the benefit of doing this is obvious. The same applies for your muscles and joints. It is always better to keep on top of problems instead of waiting for a crisis to arise.