Your First Consultation and Treatment
What happens on your first visit?
The first consultation should take about 1 to 1 hour and fifteen minutes. The first half or so will be spent on compiling a detailed health history. The osteopathic practitioner will ask about how your symptoms began and any other factors that have affected them. Questions about mechanical (Q: what brings on the pain?), nutritional, social and a psychological factors contributing to your injury and symptoms will be asked.
Of course, we will also take time explaining osteopathy to you.
Your complete medical history of previous illnesses, accidents and operations will also be taken followed by an examination consisting of an orthopaedic, mechanical, neurological, and circulatory assessment. This part of the examination is important because it helps to identify conditions not suitable to osteopathic manual treatment.
The next step will involve a methodical analysis of your posture, an assessment of the range and quality of movement in your joints, an examination of the quality of the myofascial tissues like: muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, or even skin (myofascial tissue is the filmy covering that is wrapped around your muscle tissues). Your muscle strength, balance, general flexibility and, in certain circumstances, cardio-vascular fitness (a 6 min. walk test) will also be assessed. Next we will look at how your whole body works together to perform certain movements; we do this by checking what is called the kinetic chains, or how your body coordinates and stabilizes itself. This structural survey teaches us about how your body has deviated from its natural balancing system and away from its optimal function.
What kind of assessment techniques are used?
The key tools used in an osteopathic diagnosis are touch (palpation), and observation of movement, but in certain circumstances X-rays, CTs, MRIs, blood or other tests may be recommended in order to achieve a specific diagnosis.
Once we have a thorough understanding of your injury, and established a diagnosis, you will be ready for your first treatment, but not before we explain the treatment rationale we think is best suited to your injury, empowering you for better health.
What treatment methods do osteopathic practitioners use?
Osteopathic practitioners work with their hands, but there is no standardized treatment for any one condition or injury as no two injuries are alike. Just as different drugs are prescribed for different conditions, so are the array of techniques used for treatment of different musculoskeletal injuries. The techniques most often used include deep tissue massage, myofascial release, trigger point treatment, mobilization and manipulation of joints, and cranio-sacral and visceral techniques.
Your treatment may also include advice on posture, exercise, diet, and stress and relaxation management.
How often will treatments be needed?
Some patients may need just one treatment; others may require a course of therapy, and some may choose to return regularly for the long term management of their condition, like osteoarthritis. What it really all comes down to is whether it is a recent acute injury or a old chronic problem.
Are treatments performed with the patients clothed or not?
We are happy to accommodate your preference; however, as hands-on treatment and spinal assessment are a large part of our treatments, you will be advised to undress (but keep bras and underwear on).
How long is the first treatment?
Your hands on treatment generally takes 30 minutes.
Remember! We are strongly committed to upholding your confidentiality.
We are also happy to provide you with a written summary of our diagnosis, treatment goals and exercise program.