What can I expect when I visit Barnes Osteopaths?
We are a friendly and patient-centred practice, so there is no need to feel anxious about your first visit to us.
Your first appointment is an hour long in which your osteopath will listen to your description of your problem and take a detailed case history. This includes not only the background to your current problem but any previous accidents, injuries or medical history so that he or she can get a full picture of how your body functions and ensure that osteopathic treatment is appropriate for you.
Your osteopath may then ask you to remove some of your clothing, often down to your underwear with your consent (please feel free to bring shorts and singlet if you feel more comfortable), so that they can properly assess how your posture and biomechanics are influencing your current problem. They may then ask you to perform some basic movements and often do some simple orthopaedic tests, such as reflexes, to help formulate a diagnosis.
Once the osteopath has then put their hands on you to feel how the tissues and joints are responding to touch and gentle movement, they will put all this information together into a diagnosis, explaining their findings and outlining a proposal of how to best help you. You also get treatment on the first visit and will often be given advice on how to manage your problem, both with exercises and posture, so that you can get back to living your life fully.
Depending on the severity and prognosis of the problem, a course of treatment may be advised by the osteopath, often up to six or eight treatments. Sometimes ongoing treatment is needed for longer term conditions but this will be discussed with you, along with goals for you to reach, so treatment can be spread out while you rehabilitate.
If any underlying undiagnosed medical condition is suspected by the osteopath we will refer you immediately to your G.P or other health professional as appropriate.