At the Backcare & Acupuncture Clinic, we have helped thousands of new patients on the road to better health over the past 40 years. Before booking an appointment, we understand that you may be wondering what to expect at your first osteopathy appointment, and in this article we will discuss this in detail.
Listening and assessment
When you come to us, we first want to make you feel welcome, comfortable, and informed about your appointment. Generally, your initial appointment will last from 45 minutes to an hour. Upon arrival, you will be met by one of our registered and experienced osteopaths, whose initial focus is to listen carefully to you. We want to know about your general health, any pain you are currently experiencing, your medical history, medications you may be taking, and discuss any medical examination results you may have received.
Following this, we may perform specific orthopaedic and neurological tests to arrive at a diagnosis. This may mean that we ask you to make some gentle movements to observe and assess your posture and mobility.
We will then use this essential information to adapt a treatment plan that is completely tailored to you.
Treatment is not routinely provided on your initial appointment for two significant reasons. Knowledge of your symptoms, injury or pain and the correct diagnosis is essential at this stage. The specific treatment plan will include vital direction and (usually) tasks for you to carry out at home.
The priority is your wellbeing; therefore, we take the time to determine the treatment plan that will help you the most. Secondly, if you currently suffer from pain, the examination process of testing for pain and moving joints can mean that you may need to rest at home before treatment and be performed!
In exceptional circumstances, if any patient arrives at their appointment with significant pain, we will provide essential advice and palliative pain treatment (usually acupuncture) without hesitation.
During the second appointment at the clinic, we will be able to explain in detail what we have discovered from your history and examination. If you’ve brought in an x-ray or MRI/CT scan report, your osteopath will assess the information it contains with you. By the end of this session, you will be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the cause of my symptoms?
- What can be done about them?
- How long is my recovery expected to take?
- How much treatment is required (based on your treatment plan)
- How much will my treatment cost?
It can be extremely stressful not knowing the cause of your painful symptoms. Not knowing whether it’s possible to relieve them can be equally distressing. When we make the time to explain and reveal to you what’s causing your symptoms and what can be done, it is a powerful element of getting better. Patients often identify this point when they initially begin to feel improvements.
At this point, your treatment plan will have been drawn up to meet your specific needs. We will also take time to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
We use three phases of care at the Backcare & Acupuncture Clinic: Pain, Correction and Stabilisation.
The pain phase concentrates on alleviating your pain and assisting with immobility and other symptoms. Often gentle stretching exercises are applied, mobilising joints and acupuncture. Remember that even if your pain has lessened or gone for now does not necessarily reveal that there are no other concerns that may need attention.
Correction phase of treatment
The correction phase is where we address the underlying drivers of your current symptoms. This phase will also include joint mobilising, trunk stabilising, resetting your posture, correct breathing exercises and postural drills as homework. This is the vital phase for resetting your body to avoid recurrences of the same or ‘new’ symptoms to replace the old ones.
Stabilisation phase of treatment
In the stabilisation phase, we introduce integration ‘drills’ to ‘pull your body together.’ This phase is where we give you the training, and your assignment is to follow it through. With each improvement, we monitor and progress your ‘drills’.