What is involved in an Osteopathy consult?
A typical new consultation with an Osteopath includes a patient history to find out details about the presenting complaint, which usually covers previous injuries, surgeries, timeline of the presentation and events leading up to the onset of pain/dysfunction and any other relevant information that can help form an educated opinion on what is happening. Next is a quick screen of the body before a further in-depth assessment which would generally consist of locating the site of pain, testing the area for range of motion including the regions above & below, performing specific tests for the given region and assessing other parts of the body that could be contributing to the problem area. Then comes a diagnosis if available – sometimes it’s not clear what the diagnosis is, and the Osteopath will make it clear if this is the case and will send for further testing such as X-rays if needed. Next comes the hands-on treatment once agreed to by the patient. Osteopaths have an extensive range of hands on techniques that they can choose from at any given moment depending on what is required based on the results of the assessment and what best suits the individual patient. Some techniques include massage, PNF stretching (also called MET), articulation, strength work, joint manipulation/adjustment/cracking, traction or compression, lymphatic drainage and myofascial release (MFR) to name a few. And finally, a management plan which should include stretches and/or exercises, heat or ice following treatment, how many treatments over a certain period, what physical activity you can or can’t do and expectations for the following week after treatment.