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Your first consultation

Consultation and Treatment

Listening and examining

A first appointment generally lasts about 45 minutes, giving us adequate time to:

Listen and ask many questions about your specific problem, as well as your general health, other medical care you are receiving or medication you are taking and any significant past medical history and record this in your case notes. The information you provide is always confidential.

Examine you properly. We will ask you to remove some of your clothing, so please tell us if you are uncomfortable about this. There is a private area to undress and towels are often used to maintain your comfort. If you prefer, please ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your examination and treatment as necessary.

We will often ask you to stand initially and then make simple movements and stretches to observe your posture and mobility. Because of the body’s structure, pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one part may be linked to a problem elsewhere. We will examine the specific area you are complaining of and related joints, muscles and ligaments using our hands and a highly developed sense of touch called palpation. Most of the mobility and more specialist tests are very similar to those used by Hospital consultants.

We will also check for signs of any serious conditions using conventional medical diagnostic techniques and may advise you to see your GP.


We will give you a clear explanation of what we find (diagnosis) and discuss a treatment plan that is suitable for you. We will explain the benefits and any risks of the treatment recommended. It is important for you to understand and agree what the treatment can achieve, and the likely number of sessions needed for a noticeable improvement in how you feel (prognosis).


In the majority of cases we hope to be able to begin your treatment as part of your consultation. This might include a variety of highly skilled techniques ranging from very specific manipulative procedures to mobilise joints, to more gentle rhythmic articulatory movements to encourage further mobility and stretching and massage, to relieve muscle shortening and tension.

Your Osteopath will always explain what they are doing and will always ask your permission (consent). Please ask questions at any time, especially if you are unsure what you have been told or if you have any concerns. Treatment is generally, entirely comfortable and relaxing, occasionally there might be some minor discomfort, for example relating to a stretch and often this is reassuring that treatment is well focused.

Self-help measures and advice on lifestyle, ergonomics at home and work and exercises may be offered to assist your recovery and prevent recurrence.

Ongoing care

Because of the physical nature of the treatment, it is not unusual to sometimes feel sore or at least no better in the first 24-48 hours after treatment. We will explain any likely reactions that you could expect. If you have any concerns, please contact us for further advice. Of course it may require more than one visit before your problem is resolved, especially if you have had it for a while. We will of course review your progress at each subsequent visit and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.