What should I wear?
After your Osteopath has taken a full case history of your problem it is usually necessary to undress to your underwear.
You may bring shorts, loose clothing or we can use towels if you feel more comfortable. Please just ask as we want your visit to be a pleasant one.
Can I have an urgent appointment?
Please let us know you are in need of an urgent appointment and we will do our utmost to see you as soon as we can. Please tell the reception staff of your situation.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
Many patients are referred by their doctor, but it is not necessary to see them first. However, if you wish to claim on your Health Insurance as some companies require a doctor’s referral as with any other specialist or consultant.
How do I know that an Osteopath is properly qualified?
Anyone practicing as an Osteopath is required, by law, to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), established by The Osteopaths Act, 1993. So patients now have the same safeguards as when visiting their Doctor or Dentist.
We are commited to continuing professional education. As a practice we review each others work.
How long is an appointment ?
There is no fixed amount for an appointment although they are generally in the region of 25 to 35 minutes. Conditions vary considerably in the amount of time they require and we are comitted in acheiving the best for you. Remember that what is acheived inside the consulting room is only a proportion of the osteopaths work. It is necassary to write detailed notes, communicate with GPs, review hospital X- rays and scans, write reports, liase with staff and upgrade our skills.
What are the fees ?
For a list of current fee for all services please click here. They can also be found on the reception desk. Fees are payable at the time of your visit by cash, cheque or credit/debit card.
Is it safe?
We are very aware of the relative and absolute contraindications to Osteopathic treatment and we are trained to recognise what falls outside their competence.
Osteopathic treatment is non-invasive, usually gentle and generally painless. It relies much on passive movements and on the mobilisation of joints and soft tissue such as muscle, lymphatic tissue and fascia.
It aims to restore mobility, improve or restore fuction in restricted joints and in the surrounding soft tissues to reduce spasm and oedema.
Problems with hypermobility may also be amenable to Osteopathic treatment which is aimed at removing abnormal stresses and strains from the affected area.
What does Osteopathic treatment involve?
In short there are many techniques that can be used by the Osteopath. These are often tailor made for you and your specific set of problems/symptoms.
Osteopaths work with their hands using a highly trained sense of touch, treatment will often consist of soft tissue massage, gentle passive mobilisation techniques and specific joint manipulation sometimes the use of ultrasound and or electrotherapy and specific exercises.
Does Osteopathy permanantly cure arthritis and rheumatism?
No, but it can certainly help to alleviate many of the symptoms and pain associated with these common problems. There are several techniques aimed at improving function and reducing the pain and discomfort of the muscles, ligaments and joints. Osteopaths can also give advice on how to help manage these problem at home or in the workplace.
Does manipulation put the joint back in place?
The idea of putting something back in place is a misconception. Spinal joints out of place would present as a serious injury and would certainly mean hospitalisation rather than a visit to an Osteopath! In fact, within the Osteopathic understanding joints become restricted and limited within their normal range often due to chronic overuse or joint swelling therefore restricting function. Manipulation helps to realease spinal reflexes and improve blood flow and quality/range of movement. Another commonly referred-to misnomer is that of spinal “discs being put back in”. Disc injury can be treated Osteopathically, but again treatment is applied to help the tissues return to a more normal healthy state.
Do manipulation clicking hurt?
Manipulation is not inherently painful. Some discomfort will occasionally be experienced when an injury is treated, even with gentle soft tissue techniques. Your Osteopath will be very sensitive to your symptoms and not proceed with a technique if there is undue discomfort.
It is wrong to assume that you will always have manipulation whenever you go to an Osteopath. Many successful treatments can be conducted without its use. Osteopaths usually keep their patients informed as to what they are doing as the treatment progresses.
Are there side effects with treatment?
Side effects are generally rare; you may experience some tiredness or soreness for a few days afterwards, but this will subside quickly. Osteopathy is a very safe and effective form of treatment and most patients feel subsequently better for it.
Can I phone between treatments?
If you have new problems, or concerns between treatments we would rather you phone us than be anxious or in pain in silence. If the Osteopath is busy your call will be returned as soon as possible.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends on the problem and its severity. In some cases, particularly when the pain is acute, it is more effective to see the patient again within a few days. Generally treatments are spaced roughly one week apart, although as the condition begins to improve they may be spaced more widely.
Your rate of recovery will also depend upon several other factors including your age, general health, sensitivity to treatment and activities in your life.
Some patients feel that they benefit from an Osteopathic MOT which may require visits on an occasional basis.
Will I need a regular check up?
Once again, this depends entirely upon the problem and your Osteopath will advise you on the need for exercises and maintenance treatment.
Can I claim on my medical insurance?
The majority of medical insurance companies cover Osteopathy. The Hatfield Practice enjoys specialist status with Bupa and PPP. Most now refund part or all of patients fees; some have special conditions or require that you tell them at the onset It is best to check with your insurers first, sooner rather than later, as individual policies may have exemptions. If you do have complimentary health cover then you should obtain an authorisation number.