What To Expect From An Osteopathy Consultation

How do we treat?

Osteopathic intervention is a hands-on approach. Treatment comprises use of a wide range of specialised manual techniques whereby we
initially mobilise soft tissue then articulate and manipulate where necessary to re-align the structure.

A course of treatment usually lasts 3-4 consultations on average.

Is Treatment Painful?

Osteopaths work very hard to make treatment as painless as possible, but you may experience some discomfort during and after treatment. Your osteopath will warn you if they think that the technique that they are about to use is likely to be uncomfortable and will stop if you tell them that you are feeling too much pain.

Following treatment about half of patients report some mild soreness in the area of their body that was treated, this can usually be relieved with an over the counter pain killer and will go away within 48 hours. If you experience serious or unusual symptoms after treatment you should contact your osteopath straight away for advice.

Side Effects

As with all forms of healthcare provision, Osteopathy carries a certain risk, but this is much lower than many other treatment modalities.

Common ‘reactions’ may include tenderness for up to 48 hours after treatment. Redness or even bruising may occur if deep tissue work has been administered.

Treatment to the neck may result in a short-lived headache or light headedness. Please feel free to call and talk to your osteopath if you ‘do not feel right’. Although very rare, in extreme case, manipulation of the neck has been associated with strokes. Other risks include, but are not limited to dislocations, sprains, strains, fractures and some skin irritation. The probability of serious complication is extremely rare and has been estimated at less than 1:500'000.

Do not hesitate to ask if you are in any way concerned. Please be rest assured, Osteopathy is a very safe and effective form of treatment.

The consultation

The Osteopath needs to ask detailed questions about your health, past and present. You will be asked questions about your complaint, medical history, general health and any medication you are taking.

After taking these details, the Osteopath will need to carry out a physical examination/assessment. It will probably be necessary to ask you to remove your outer clothing in order to assess you properly and accurately. You may be asked to perform simple movements to help the Osteopath understand and assess your condition.

This will be followed by a thorough explanation of your diagnosis to help you understand your condition. The osteopath will propose a treatment strategy with your involvement. Upon agreement, treatment will follow and where appropriate, you will given advice about aftercare and exercise on prescription. Finally, with your consent, we will consult with your GP to keep them informed of your health and well being, or otherwise should there be a need for further investigation.

What to bring with you

Please bring with you:

  • a repeat prescription or note of any medication (or the medications themselves) either prescribed or over the counter including any homeopathic or herbal remedies you are using
  • any previous medical notes
  • reports from any scans or x rays you have had


You will be required to sign a written consent form to allow us to pursue examination and treatment. If you are under 18 years of age, please ensure you are accompanied by an adult on all occasions.

How long will it take?

The initial consultation lasts an average of 45 minutes with consecutive consultations lasting 30 minutes. This may vary slightly depending on the nature of complaint and complexity of the case.

If you feel you will need longer than these times, please let us know when booking your appointment so that we can inform you of any additional cost implications this may carry.


You may be accompanied by a chaperone of your own choice. If your preferred chaperone is not available, the appointment can be re-scheduled to such a time as when the chaperone can attend. An adult must accompany children under 18.