What to expect during your first visit:
An osteopathic consultation will always begin with an interview to accurately identify the complaints. This will include discussing past complaints and injuries and your health in general.
The history is followed by a physical examination that focuses on the mobility of the spine, joints, skull, muscles, organs and nervous system. These palpations, mobility tests and neurological tests are necessary to locate and assess pain and/or movement restrictions. This means that the osteopath performs manipulations on the body, usually in places other than where the complaint is located. It is common for patients to undress down to their underwear. This allows your osteopath to fully examine the complaint. If you prefer to keep shorts or shirts on, this is usually not a problem as long as it does not restrict your movement(freedom).
If x-rays, CT or MRI scans have been taken at the hospital, we may ask you to request a copy of these at the hospital. If the osteopath thinks additional research is needed, he/she will discuss this with you.
Based on the information obtained, the diagnosis will be made. Following his/her findings, the osteopath will discuss the following with you:
- Diagnosis: what disorder, movement restriction or condition underlies your symptoms.
- Explanation of treatment plan: what treatment will be used and how often will be treated.
- Forecast: what to expect for the future.
- Advice on your posture, lifestyle, diet and doing exercises.
In most cases, treatment is also begun during the initial consultation. In total, the first consultation lasts 45 minutes. If the osteopath is unable to help you, he/she will always try to give advice on what might benefit you.
What to expect at your follow-up consultation:
A follow-up consultation lasts 45 minutes. Any questions and the reaction to the previous treatment are reviewed and the osteopath will affect the movement restrictions found on examination. Depending on the findings, the osteopath will make corrections. There are several techniques that an osteopath can use during a treatment. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the cause, the age and the health and sensitivity of the patient, a technique is chosen. The osteopath also gives advice on posture, exercises, sports and nutrition.
The frequency of treatment is significantly lower than that of other treatment methods because the body needs time to adjust to the new gains in movement. The osteopath does not cure, but removes the blockages that prevent healing. You may experience an aggravation of the complaint after treatment. New balance is created in the body and this is usually not without protest. The period between treatments can vary from 1 week to 2 months. The body needs this time to reach a new balance.
Within 3 treatments a reaction should be noticeable. If this is not the case, further treatment is pointless. Often 4 to 6 treatments are sufficient. One treatment lasts 45 minutes.
No referral required
You do not need a doctor's referral for osteopathy treatment.
In the interest of treatment, it may be of interest to the osteopath to know certain examination data. In such a case, the general practitioner will be contacted.
Research shows that severe reactions are rare. About half of patients experience a mild or moderate reaction to treatment. These reactions are caused by stimulation of painful and irritated tissue. You can best compare this to the stiffness and sensitivity that often occurs after unusual physical exertion. It is not always possible to tell in advance exactly how a person will react to treatment. A reaction can include increased pain, but also, for example, fatigue or muscle pain. Some people feel lightheaded, others feel immediate relief. A reaction usually disappears after 1 to 2 days.
It is recommended that you take it easy after treatment. Keep moving but do not do heavy lifting, sit for long periods of time (such as while driving a car, using a computer, reading) or do housework (such as vacuuming, cleaning windows) or exercise. You are also advised to drink plenty of water after treatment. If you are concerned about the reaction or want to know what you can do about it, feel free to call the practice. The osteopath can then give you an explanation. You can also send your osteopath a message via the contact page.
Your osteopath will likely use many different treatment methods during your treatment. The person, age and complaint will always be taken into account to choose the most effective and comfortable techniques. This is always decided in consultation with you.
Safety of osteopathic treatment
Osteopathy is a safe method of treatment. During the general examination, if necessary, the osteopath performs specific safety tests to rule out issues and techniques.
The osteopath treats with gentle techniques in both adults and children. Double folding your baby or cracking vertebrae in children does not fall under the osteopathic method.
Research in 2006 by Hayes and all. on the safety of osteopathy treatment in infants and children shows that osteopathy is a safe treatment method.
Reference: Hayes NM, Bezilla TA. Incidence of iatrogenesis associated with osteopathic manipulative treatment of pediatric patients. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006 Oct;106(10):605-8
In practice, we try to get the best possible result from treatment. In doing so, we cooperate a lot with other medical and paramedical disciplines. Including general practitioners, specialists, physiotherapists, psychologists, haptonomists, lactation consultants and baby consultants.