Jane Ducklin Osteopath
What to expect for your first appointment
At the start of your first appointment, we will ask you questions about your medical history and lifestyle, as well as the symptoms you are experiencing. The history is very important as it allows us to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment. What you tell us and what is written in your records will be treated in strict confidence, and will be kept safely in compliance with regulations.
You will normally be asked to undress to your underwear so that we can make a physical examination. This will include a few simple movements. The areas of your body causing discomfort will need to be examined, as well as other areas that might be involved.
Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain. For example, pain or tingling in your hand may be linked to the nerves in your neck. We will need to touch these areas to feel for any tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints. We will explain what we are doing as we go along.
Diagnosis and treatment plan
A diagnosis is formulated from what you have told us in the case history and what we have found on examination, and any further tests we have done. We will discuss these findings with you.
Once a diagnosis has been decided on and it is clear you are safe to treat, we will agree a treatment plan with you. We will ask if you wish to go ahead with treatment. It is perfectly OK to go away and have a think about it first.
If you do wish to go ahead, we will ask you to sit or lie on the treatment couch and we willl use a variety of techniques to adjust problem areas. These may include a range of muscle stretching and joint manipulation techniques.
When treatment doesn’t go ahead
If you are uncomfortable with any part of this, you have the right to ask us to stop at any stage. We want to work together with you in order to provide the right treatment for you.
Usually, treatment will begin at your first appointment, but sometimes there may be further tests required eg. blood tests or scans. Occasionally we may diagnose an illness that we are unable to treat and may refer you to your GP or another appropriate health professional.
How long is treatment?
Appointments will usually last approx 1 hour for a first visit and 30-40 minutes for subsequent visits. Time spent on treatment is dependent on the complexity of the problem or how much can realistically be achieved on each visit. Time is also required for patient clinical notes, providing exercises if appropriate and advice.
Advice and exercises
If you have been asked to go through some exercises, please try to do these regularly and follow the plan set by your osteopath. If we suggest withholding from certain exercise or activity, there will be a reason for this and you should wait until advised otherwise. Keeping generally active is better than resting. If you have been referred for a scan or further investigation please keep in touch so we know what is happening.
Is Treatment Painful?
Osteopathic treatment is usually a very gentle process and we work very hard to make treatment as painless as possible, however you may experience some discomfort during and after treatment. We will warn you if we think a technique is likely to be uncomfortable and we will always stop if you tell us. After treatment, you may feel a little stiff or sore. This is a normal, healthy response but if you have any concerns, please do get in touch. What should I wear? Undressing to your underwear is useful for us to see exactly what is going on in your spine. However, we want you to feel at ease, so if you feel uncomfortable undressing to your underwear, you may want to wear clothing such as shorts and a t-shirt, and this way we will still be able to work effectively.
Can I bring a friend or relative?
Yes - you are welcome to have someone with you throughout your treatment.
Before you come
Continue to take pain relief before your appointment - we will still find the problem!
Follow up appointments
The number of times you will need to see the osteopath is variable and will depend on many factors including your age, health and the type of problem you have and the length of time you’ve had it. We will try to give you an idea what treatment we think is necessary and discuss what you would like to do, so that decision-making is shared. We will ask at each session whether you would like to have treatment that day. In this practice, no charge is made if no treatment is given.
Our priority is to meet your clinical needs and preferences and we put your recovery and health first. We know that being flexible and fair in this way is very much appreciated by our patients.