The focus in all consultations is always on you as the patient, supporting a return to healthy function, work, and the activities of life.
This is a longer consultation where the osteopath takes a detailed case history, performs tests to examine movement and function, arrives at a working diagnosis of the problem and determines the appropriate treatment modality, whether that be hands-on osteopathic treatment, or low level laser therapy.
During the case history, the osteopath will ask questions about your current problem, however they are also interested in your general health. This is because there may be factors in your past that may be contributing to your current condition, or limiting your body’s ability to rebalance and return to health. Examples of such factors are previous injury or surgeries that may have a bearing on the current condition through altered function and movement of tissues.
During examination you may be asked to partially disrobe. This is to enable the osteopath to observe how your body responds to movement.
To reach a diagnosis the osteopath will assess the symptomatic tissues and other related areas of the body that may be influencing optimal biomechanical function. The osteopath may refer to previous scans or reports which you are asked to bring with you. If the conclusions are unclear or if there is doubt, the osteopath may refer you at this point.
Osteopaths are trained and experienced in gathering information by the sensitive use of their hands. Treatment continues to provide the osteopath with more detailed information about the function of your body. A variety of hands-on treatment may be applied. Techniques can be used which directly address motion restrictions by applying pressure or a counter-balancing force against the resistance. Examples range from tissue-specific massage, stretching, myofascial release, joint articulation, and mobilisation. Techniques can also be used that utilise your body’s own ability to unwind tension. These approaches are more subtle as the osteopath engages the inherent rhythmic functions of the body which utilize breathing and involuntary motion patterns. These include balanced ligamentous tension, cranial or biodynamic approaches.
Osteopathic treatment is intentionally tailor-made to work in synchrony with your body, which adds to the uniqueness of osteopathy. In the case that a particular technique style is not suitable or is not achieving the desired outcome, after discussion with the patient the osteopath may alter the treatment approach.
Subsequent consultations are shorter in duration, although there is an ongoing review of function and progress. In a course of osteopathic treatment, the osteopath should be able to explain: how osteopathy may be able to help, what the problem is and which muscles, joints or nerves are affected, and the likely causes for its onset. They can advise how many sessions it may take to manage or resolve the problem, what you can do to assist your recovery, and what can be done to avoid a recurrence of the problem in the future. It may also be necessary to refer to other practitioners in the process of managing your condition.
The focus is always on you as the patient, supporting a return to healthy function, work, and the activities of life.