First Visit & Treatment

Complaint history

During your first treatment with the osteopath you will be asked questions around your symptoms as well as any past medical history. It is probable that the osteopath will ask you questions that may not seem relevant, for example questions about other areas of the body. This is due to the holistic nature of osteopathy and the importance of ruling out certain pathologies that can sometimes present with other pains. Please feel free to ask the osteopath their reasoning behind their approach at any stage.

Body Movement analysis

Following the case history, the osteopath will examine you and may have to perform several tests in order to diagnose the problem. In order to do this the osteopath may ask you to undress to your underwear and touch you on various areas of yours body. Changing will take place away from any communal areas. Consent will be sought and if at any point you feel uncomfortable, please make this known.

An in-depth physical assessment will take place once you have dressed down, allowing the osteopath to assess your posture, walking, movement, etc. This is required to come to a diagnosis for your complaint and guide any treatment.

If, for religious or other reasons, you are unable to undress, this should be discussed with the reception staff, and the osteopath before your appointment. Headgear of any kind does not normally present a problem. If your osteopath diagnoses a problem that will not benefit from osteopathic treatment, you will be referred elsewhere without delay.

Report of findings

Following your case history and examination, the osteopath will discuss with you their findings and their expectations of treatment, including their approach and an approximation of how many treatments you will require.


It is likely that your osteopath will find restrictions and areas of tightness in the joints and surrounding tissues. Soft tissue techniques are likely to be used to loosen or strengthen different tissues, including massage and stretching. In some cases, the osteopath may recommend they apply a manipulation to certain joints in order to reduce restriction/pain. These manipulations may produce a ‘popping’ sound on application, though they are not painful. However, some patients may experience some pain following this technique. This ‘popping’ sound does not indicate any damage to the joint.

Continuing care

Better outcomes may be achieved if you help maintain any benefits of treatment after you leave. The osteopath may give you advice, such as tips for good posture, exercises for injuries or simply rest. This advice will be based upon the osteopath’s diagnosis and potential benefit this may bring to you. Once you are pain-free, the osteopath may also suggest that you return for maintenance treatments at regular intervals to keep the problem under control.