FAQ – Osteopathy

What do you treat?

How many sessions?

How long is a treatment session?

Why only half an hour?

Will I need to undress?

Is treatment painful?

Is my problem caused by a bone out of place?

Will I feel any discomfort after the treatment?

Will I have to do home exercises?

Do you do cranial/craniosacral treatments?

Do you make home visits?

Do you treat children?

Are you medically qualified?

Is the profession officially recognised?

What is the evidence for manual treatment?

Any more questions?

 

What do you treat?

If the problem is mechanical, I can usually help:

  • Mechanical disorders of the skeleton, muscles and tendons.
  • Spinal pain.
  • Muscular, skeletal and nerve pain.
  • Any health problem in which mechanical, psychosocial factors (stress) or lifestyle combine to affect the problem.

Most people come to me with:

  • Back or neck pain (80%).
  • Sciatic pain or other radiating nerve pain.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Thoracic and chest wall pain.
  • Arms, legs, hands, feet.
  • Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists.
  • Headaches and vertigo.

Many of my clients consult me about musculoskeletal pain of long standing. Of these, many want help with low back pain (with or without sciatic pain) or neck pain. However, general (whole body) treatment is also beneficial to the client’s overall state of health.

How many sessions?

For recent and uncomplicated problems, from 2 to 4 sessions. For longer term or more complicated conditions, 6 to 10 sessions initially; further checkups / maintenance sessions as indicated by individual necessity.

How long is a treatment session?

The first consultation lasts up to one hour. It includes a first treatment if appropriate.

The standard time for further treatments is typically about 30 minutes but may be a little more or less depending on your needs. Treatment time includes manual treatment and/or verbal advice. The allocated session time is 45 minutes, because it includes consultation time outside actual treatment but essential to it: review of your case notes, review of your condition, undressing and dressing, updating your case notes, clearing up for the next patient, etc.

Why only half an hour?

Manual therapy is a tool, not an entertainment. We find out what needs to be done, do it in the most efficient and effective way we know, and do no more. No messing about. Superfluous “treatment” is not treatment, and can have negative effects.

Will I need to undress?

You will need to undress sufficiently to uncover the areas which need to be examined and treated. This usually means removal of all clothes except underwear, because for many kinds of problem I will generally need to explore the way the whole body is functioning.

Is treatment painful?

Manual treatment should never be significantly painful, although during the application of some techniques you may experience a small amount of discomfort.

Is my problem caused by a bone out of place?

The common belief that the bones can easily “go out”, and that this is a common cause of pain, is false. Dislocation of a joint can occur as a result of severe trauma, but it is a relatively rare event. If you are in discomfort it is usually because a tissue is stiff, strained, compressed, contracted, damaged or inflammed. The problem often involves not just the painful area, but the whole body, as well as factors in the wider environment. But nothing is “out” and so I will not “put it back in”! If you like to hear lots of cracks and pops, I’m not your man!

Will I feel any discomfort after the treatment?

Any uncomfortable secondary effects of treatment should be mild and short-lived (half a day to two days). The most common side effect is a mild increase in the existing symptoms after the first treatment. This will not happen however if the existing symptoms are severe. Another frequent side-effect is a temporary feeling of tiredness. Drinking lots of still natural mineral water for a day or two after the treatment, and avoiding extra activities, will help to diminish these effects.

For certain techniques and in certain cases there are more specific risks of manual treatment. These will be explained by me in person according to individual necessity.

Will I have to do home exercises?

The person primarily responsible for your health is… yourself. You will be asked to participate actively in the treatment process. You may be given advice about lifestyle (activities, nutrition, etc.) and will usually be given a few simple exercises to do regularly a home.

Do you do cranial/craniosacral treatments?

No.

Do you make home visits?

Home visits can be arranged only for patients who have already been seen by me, in an emergency, if the person cannot be moved, or if travel to the practice might aggravate their condition.

Do you treat children?

Yes, from 3 years of age upwards. I do not treat babies.

Are you medically qualified?

My training is to a high medical standard and includes the biomedical and clinical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical methods and diagnostics. I am fully competent to recognise disease that should be referred to a doctor. I am not a doctor.

Is your profession officially recognised?

My professional title is “osteopath”. Osteopathy is officially recognised in the UK, where it is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council.

In Spain it is not recognised or regulated, although osteopaths may practise freely. There are a number of voluntary registers which afford self-regulation, such as the Registro de los Osteópatas de España, of which I am a member.

What is the evidence for manual treatment?

The only condition for which there is a high level of evidence of efficacy is low back pain. However, lack of evidence for its application in other areas does not necessarily mean that it is ineffective in those areas, as it is often due simply to lack of good research. So, for many of the problems that I treat, while I can offer you the benefit of my opinion and experience, I cannot offer you scientific proof.

Any more questions?