Commonly Asked Questions
Q. What is Osteopathy?
A. Osteopathy is a discipline concerned with the way in which the different parts of the body relate to one another and the ways in which problems in one area can cause pain and discomfort in another.
Osteopaths assess patients through
- observing the way they move,
- palpation (a finely developed sense of touch which enables the osteopath to assess the state of the tissues and the sites of dysfunction)
- conducting orthopaedic tests if appropriate
Osteopaths then treat manually, by applying a variety of techniques to muscles, ligaments and fascia, by mobilising joints and through these techniques, restoring proper function to the “musculo-skeletal” system – i.e. the muscles and joints and the way the various parts all move together.
Q. What’s Sports Therapy/Manipulative Therapy? Is it different?
A. At OUR clinic, not very different. A manipulative therapist is likely to employ more soft-tissue work and use direct manipulation on fewer occasions. The patient group treated includes a higher proportion of athletes seeking pre and post event treatment. The assessment procedures are similar and just as rigorous.
Q. What can I expect from my first appointment?
A. Before an Osteopath or Sports Therapist can treat any patient, a full assessment must take place. This has several purposes:
- To understand the patient’s medical history
- To understand the patient’s work and recreation patterns and the way in which these affect the body
- To diagnose the patient’s problem
- To ensure that it’s appropriate and safe to treat the patient
- To ensure that any treatment given will not adversely affect other conditions
This assessment involves a full medical history – really important to fulfil the above, a history of the particular problem the patient is suffering from and a physical examination.
During the physical examination part, patients will be asked to remove clothing where appropriate and to conduct a number of simple movements. Some tests may also be carried out.
Please note: Attention to patient comfort and modesty is paid at all times – you will only be asked to remove clothing where necessary, and once treatment begins, towels are used to make sure patients are covered and are not feeling uncomfortable in any way. Osteopaths and Sports Therapists do not conduct examination of any intimate areas of the body.
Q. How much do I pay, and how long is this for?
A. This is a tricky one and has to be answered honestly!!
- Osteopaths and Sports Therapists train for a considerable period and are required to have a deep knowledge of the body – in their basic training, they cover many of the same things involved in medical training. When you book to see one of our practitioners, this is what you are paying for!
- Because it’s necessary for organisation and timekeeping, appointments are booked at regular intervals – at the clinic in Bletchley, these are 40 minutes – this does not necessarily mean that patients will be treated for 40 minutes – let us explain…
- Once assessment has taken place, we have a duty of care to provide appropriate care, this means, providing just what the body requires at that time, exercise and lifestyle advice where necessary and in some cases, no treatment at all, where this would be unsafe for the patient. The fee paid is for the expert knowledge of the practitioner in knowing what course of action to take.
- In some cases, particularly at a first appointment, this may indeed, take 40 minutes; in other cases it may take less time. In actual fact, it may harm the patient to over-treat in any one session.
- We are all conscious of the practical realities of life, and money is an important factor, we know – any of the therapists at Joint Solutions would be concerned to ensure that appropriate treatment is given and that patients feel they receive a level of care which is well worth the fee they pay!