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Frequently asked questions about osteopathy

Is my personal data safe?

Albert Road Osteopaths keep your personal details in written form and on a computer database. This information is completely confidential and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003.

Information is never shared with any third party.

We need your written consent in order to communicate on your behalf with other healthcare professionals, such as your GP or your medical insurance company.

Who can osteopaths treat?

We pride ourselves on providing experienced treatment for patients of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life – from newborn babies to patients in their nineties.

Osteopathic treatment is appropriate for a wide range of disorders including back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain, headaches, arthritic pain and uncomplicated digestive problems, as well as a general support aiding good health in combating the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Is osteopathy safe?

Yes, all osteopaths are trained and qualified healthcare professionals. They undertake extensive training over four to five years and are regulated by law to ensure that they have the skills to care for you in a safe and gentle fashion. A treatment reaction may occur and can occur for a couple of days post treatment. If you experience any reaction, it is important you inform your osteopath at the next appointment so they can adjust your management plan accordingly. Do not hesitate to ring the practice if you have any concerns whatsoever.

What happens if I have a complaint?

You should inform your osteopath about the nature of your complaint. Osteopaths are regulated by law and the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) holds a statutory register to oversee the conduct of all registered osteopaths. If you wish to make a formal complaint to the GOsC then please contact us and we will give you full details of how to proceed.

Do I have to undress?

You may be asked to undress to your underwear so the osteopath can view your spine, especially during your first visit. This helps the osteopath to gather as much information as possible about your condition. A medical gown is provided and if you prefer you could wear shorts and a vest. If you have any concerns speak to your osteopath and we will try to cater for your needs. Your privacy and modesty is respected at all times. You are welcome to bring along a friend or relative to act as a chaperone.

Are there side effects with treatment?

Side effects are unusual; however, you may feel some tiredness or soreness for a few days afterwards, but this will quickly disappear. Osteopathy is a very safe and effective treatment that makes most patients feel much better.

Do manipulations hurt?

Manipulation is not painful, but some discomfort can occasionally be felt as a problem is treated, even with gentle soft tissue techniques. Some of the techniques we use may feel slightly odd or unusual but they should never hurt. We are sensitive to your symptoms and will not proceed with a technique if it causes you too much discomfort. You should not assume that you will always receive manipulation when you see an osteopath; many successful treatments do not require it. We will always keep you informed about what we are doing as the treatment progresses.

What does osteopathic treatment involve?

Osteopaths work with their hands, and treatment may consist of soft tissue massage, gentle passive mobilisation techniques and specific joint manipulation. Very gentle cranial techniques may also be used and these may be applied to all areas of the body not just the head.

How many treatments will I need?

We aim to get you back to full health as quickly as possible and keep your appointments to a minimum.

Individuals respond differently to treatment but generally problems that have occurred recently will heal fairly quickly in one to three treatments. More chronic conditions will take longer to respond.

Your osteopath will discuss your individual situation with you at your first appointment. Your recovery rate will depend upon factors such as your age, general health, sensitivity to treatment and lifestyle.

Should I see my doctor before I make an appointment?

No, your osteopath is a primary care healthcare professional and as such is trained to recognise problems unsuitable for osteopathic treatment and is able to communicate with other healthcare professionals should the need arise. Osteopaths are trained independent practitioners who can diagnose and treat problems of the musculoskeletal system.

If you are not sure if an osteopath can treat you, please give us a call for an informal chat or check with your doctor. You do not have to be referred by your doctor. If we are concerned about your medical history or if something concerns us whilst examining you, we will refer you back to you GP. At these times, with your consent, a referral letter explaining your case may be sent to your GP.

Can I claim on my medical insurance?

Osteopathy is recognised by most major health insurers although an excess may apply. Please contact your insurance company to ensure you are covered. When booking an appointment please inform the receptionist of the name of the health insurance company.

Does manipulation put the joint back in place?

The idea of putting a joint back in place is incorrect. If spinal joints were out of place, this would be a serious injury that would require hospitalisation rather than treatment by an osteopath. We can treat joints that have become restricted and limited in their normal function. Osteopaths do not put spinal discs back in. We can treat the symptoms of a disc injury by helping the tissues return to a more normal healthy state.

What is manipulation and why is it carried out?

Many people think that osteopaths are manipulators. However, this may only be part of the treatment that an osteopath gives to their patients. Manipulation techniques are beneficial and can help to free up spinal joints. Most people experience little or no pain but may hear an audible click. If an osteopath believes that manipulation is appropriate for you, they will discuss this with you and explain possible adverse effects. An osteopathic treatment does not by definition need to include a manipulation – other techniques are extremely beneficial – if you have any reservations please discuss these with your osteopath.

How can osteopathy help babies and children?

Many people believe that children and babies will not have any structural stresses or strains in their bodies, because they are so young. This is unfortunately often not the case. For example, at birth the baby is subjected to great forces, as the uterine contractions push the baby through the birth canal with it‘s varying degrees of natural resistance. At this time, the baby has to squeeze through the bony pelvis, this imposes twisting and turning motions on the young body. The baby’s head has an incredible ability to cope with these stresses during delivery. As delivery occurs, the soft bones overlap, bend and warp in order to reduce the size of the head. It is not unusual for babies to be born with odd shaped heads as a result of their birth.

Within the first few days after birth, the head usually loses the extreme moulded shape. However, sometimes this re-shaping is incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult. This can mean the baby has to live with some unresolved and possibly uncomfortable stresses within its head and body.

Osteopathy works gently within the cranial approach to aid the release of stresses and strains allowing the baby to be more relaxed and at ease.

Older children may suffer with the stresses and strains of everyday life. The demands of modern technology can take their toll on the developing musculo-skeletal and nervous systems of children and teenagers. For example hours bent over a Nintendo DS or sat awkwardly in bed watching a laptop or exam revision. Osteopathy is a holistic therapy which can help with many things including generalised aches and pains, difficulty in relaxing, uncomplicated headaches and neck pain by freeing the body to express its optimum potential for health and growth.

We work closely with GPs, midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding counsellors, regularly receiving direct referrals from these health professionals. Albert Road Osteopaths is proud of the reputation earned over 30 years with around 80% of our new patients arising from personal recommendation.

Note: The Advertising Standards Agency will only allow osteopaths to mention conditions where the efficacy has been proven by large-scale clinical trials. This data is not available for many conditions that patients report improvement in, so they may not be mentioned here.

Please contact us if you want to discuss whether osteopathy is likely to be able to help your child.

How can osteopaths help arthritis/rheumatism?

Osteopaths cannot cure arthritis and rheumatism, but they may be able to alleviate the symptoms associated with these conditions. We will use various gentle techniques to improve joint function and reduce pain and discomfort in the muscles and ligaments. We can also offer advice on pain management.

How do I know if an osteopath is fully qualified?

The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) regulates the practice of osteopathy in the UK. All osteopaths must be registered with the GOsC by law in order to practise osteopathy.

Undergraduate osteopathic students follow a 4 or 5-year degree or equivalent course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc (Hons), BOst or BOstMed. Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating. Jane Easty gained her Osteopathic Diploma in 1982 at the British School of Osteopathy, London, following a 4-year full-time course. The British School of Osteopathy obtained degree recognition for the course in Osteopathy in 1989 creating the BSc (Ost).

Osteopaths are required to maintain and update their training throughout their professional lives, completing at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.

What happens on my first appointment?

Please allow an hour for your first appointment.

The first consultation will involve taking a thorough case history, beginning with any symptoms you are suffering from, when they began and how they are impacting your life.

This will be followed by questions about your general health, past operations, ill-health, accidents and dental treatment, especially extractions and orthodontic work.

It is also important that your osteopath gets a picture of the stresses in your life, whether physical, mental or emotional.

Next you will have an osteopathic examination that will involve undressing to your underwear for a standing examination of your posture. The osteopath may ask you to make gentle movements of your spine or relevant joints in order to assess their function and sometimes they may carry out some clinical tests, such as taking your blood pressure or testing your reflexes.

You will then lie down on the treatment table where your osteopath will gently assess the general health of your tissues and ascertain strain patterns.

Based on this information, a diagnosis will be arrived at and discussed. Following this an individual treatment plan will be developed taking account of your personal circumstances.

The diagnosis, prognosis and explanation of the treatment will be discussed with you at each level. Please feel free to ask questions at any time.


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What is Osteopathy | Cranial Osteopathy | Visceral Osteopathy | Qualifications| Osteopathic Quotes | What Patients Say

Is osteopathy safe?


What happens on my first appointment?


Do I have to undress?


Are there side effects with treatment?


How many treatments will I need?

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Opening Hours
Monday 8.30 am - 7.30 pm
Tuesday 8.15 am - 6.00 pm
Wednesday 8.30 am - 2.00 pm
Thursday Closed
Friday 8.15 am - 6.30 pm