What to expect
What should I expect from an osteopathic consultation and treatment?
At the time of an initial assessment, Andrew Gilmour and his colleagues will aim to diagnose the presenting problem and gain an understanding of the underlying reasons for it. Once these reasons are appreciated it is easier to devise ways of avoiding relapses or reoccurrences. They will share this information with you, as improved understanding will enable you to play your part in achieving the best from your treatment. As well as involving Osteopathic manipulation, your treatment plan may include advice on posture, diet and lifestyle, or stress, if these are contributing to your problem.
Andrew and colleagues generally compile an informal programme for your recovery so that you understand what to do in your daily life and when to return for treatment if this is needed. What to do at home, and in sport and leisure can greatly affect your progress. Your part in this is just as important as that of the treatment itself. Usually treatment is pleasant and rarely painful.
The assessment itself is usually divided into 3 parts:
1) Firstly, Andrew Gilmour or one of his colleagues will take a history of your problem as it presents, and as you wish to describe it. Questions will be asked about the nature of the pain and how it affects your life. Patients are sometimes surprised by the extent to which Osteopaths need to know about the range and extent of activities they perform in working and personal life. Andrew and Felix will also need to know about wider issues relating to your present and past general health, as this can be relevant to conditions which may mimic mechanical pain.
2) Following the history, we will undertake an examination. For this, it is normally necessary for you to undress to reveal at least the affected area. This is so that your problem can be examined, and considered in relation to your posture and bodily function as a whole. You can ask for a chaperone or bring a friend or relative to your visits if you wish.
Once the history and examination has been carried out we will generally have decided on a diagnosis, and what they intend to do about it. They will inform you of his proposals, any further investigations needed. They will also tell you what should happen if the initial plan does not deliver the intended results.
3) In the largest proportion of cases, Andrew and colleagues would expect to move on to osteopathic. treatment at the time of your first visit. It is often the case that the flow from history to examination to treatment is almost imperceptible, so that they become as one. They will work on the assumption that when you attend for a consultation, you have come for treatment of that problem, and therefore your consent is implied. However Andrew and Felix will keep you informed of what they are doing and will explain any significant risks as they proceed.
That said, if you have attended for advice only, or at any stage become unhappy in proceeding towards treatment, then please make that clear to us. By the end of your initial consultation, you should have a good idea of what we think is wrong, the treatment intended, a timescale for treatment and a backup plan in the event that the initial treatment is not successful.
What happens when I return for follow-up treatment?
The focus of follow-up visits is the treatment itself as distinct from the diagnostic process involved in the first visit. Andrew Gilmour and Associates will ask you to undress in a similar manner to the first visit, so that manual treatment can be applied in accordance with the treatment plan already outlined. At treatment visits, they will ask questions regarding the progress of your pain and ability to undertake certain tasks. The strength (dose) of the treatment may be stepped up or down according to the response and techniques used may vary from one visit to another. They will make notes on each occasion so that the rate of change can be monitored carefully. We will keep you informed of how we think your treatment is progressing. We often gives patients advice on 'do's and don'ts' so as to avoid factors which might hamper your progress.