What to Expect When You See an Osteopath

If you’ve never been to an Osteopath, you might be wondering what to expect when you attend a session. From taking your medical history, all the way to the support you’ll receive after you leave the session, this article will explain it all for you. That way, you’ll know what to expect when you come in to meet us here at Mana Health Clinic.

Okay, by now I’m sure that you know what an Osteopath is. If you don’t know, here’s a quick recap. (Or, you could always check our previous post: What is Osteopathy? What are some common misconceptions about this profession?)

What is Osteopathy? A Quick Recap

Osteopathy is a patient centred health practice that focuses on the joints, the muscles and the spine. It uses an evidence-based, holistic approach to healthcare involving hands on treatment (manual therapies), health education, lifestyle management and exercise rehabilitation. People visit an Osteopath for issues such as neck, shoulder, knee and leg pain, lower back pain, sports and workplace injuries, postural issues, arthritis, osteoporosis, and much more.

Ok, now that we’ve covered that, let’s look at what you can expect in a consultation.

What do Osteopaths do during a consultation?

It’s important to understand that all clinics operate differently. So, below is an outline of the way we proceed here at Mana Health Clinic.

What does a Osteopathic consultation look like?

Expect to have:

1: Your medical history taken

2: A Physical Examination (Neurological and Orthopaedic testing)

3: Education: Treat the causes, not the symptoms

4: Treatment involving manual therapy:

Dry needling & soft tissue massage

Osteopathic techniques

Spinal manipulations

Muscle energy technique

And more, depending on your unique issue

5: Get a personalised exercise program and management plan to get back on track as fast as possible.

What do previous clients think about Osteopathy?

Osteopathy Australia, our governing body, has released some awesome videos to show people’s journey and their experiences with Osteopathy:

Benn’s Journey
Benn was cycling along a quiet street when suddenly a car hit him and knocked him off his bike. The accident left Benn broken, mentally and physically. He was in serious pain for a long time. Through sheer determination, Benn decided that he wasn’t going to let the accident stop him from looking after his health. He decided to give osteo a go to help him get back on track and onto his bike.

Video credit: Osteopathy Australia

Now, you should have a good idea about what Osteopath do. Still unsure? Read our step by step guide here below to learn more about our Osteopathic session.

As Allied Health practitioners, we have to take a full medical history of our patients. It is one crucial part of our job. So, you don’t just jump on a massage table, crick, crack and off you go. We need to have a chat with you to understand your story and how you are living with pain.

Next step – We need to do some testing to check if you have, what we call in medicine, ‘RED FLAGS’. These are severe diseases or pathologies that can cause the symptoms that you may be experiencing. The list of symptoms is long, but to provide you with an idea; fever, loss of feeling or control within the limbs, lack of coordination and so on. To ensure that you are all clear of red flags we will be completing a clinical assessment just as your doctor does, by taking your blood pressure, temperature, and so on. Plus, we will complete orthopaedic and neurological testing.

Before we start any Osteopathic treatments for your condition, we believe that knowing is conquering. And if you don’t know what the cause of your problems are, you won’t be able to fix them. So, I will explain to you the full management plan and the possible causes of your condition – This is what we call pain education.

After that, we can start a full manual therapy treatment and exercise rehabilitation. But don’t forget, we also might have a chat about lifestyle management, nutrition and other subjects to ensure that you can overcome your pain the best way possible. And as I’ve said to many of my patients, I don’t see people getting better overnight, but getting better over time. If you are expecting that one session is all that it takes to overcome a long-term issue, you will most likely be mistaken.

I’m not here just to give you a treatment on the massage table. I believe it is essential for you to also receive the right support outside of the clinic. Rest assured I’m not coming to your home to double-check on you. But I am using tools to assist you on your pain-free journey before, during and after your treatment. Firstly, I’m using Physitrack, a top-end software to allow you to do your exercise from home. I am able to use this software to personalise all the activities for you. Secondly, I will send you a checklist of things you can do if there are any flare-ups with your issue. Make sure you are putting it on the fridge – And lastly, you should expect a phone call from me, 3/4 days after our consult just to make sure that you are doing okay.


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