Frequently Asked Questions

About Osteopathy:

What can Osteopathy help with?

Osteopaths are well known for their skills in treating back and neck pains, but we like shoulders, knees and toes just as much! If it’s a joint or a muscle, we can usually make it better.

Even the jaw is an important joint which we can certainly help with. We can sometimes help with headaches if they are connected to neck issues.

Check out ‘what we treat’ from our website’s home page or main menu to find out the long list of body areas we treat and how we approach each of them individually.

How many appointments will I need?

We expect you’ll feel better after your first appointment, and if you follow our advice and exercises things should continue to improve afterwards.

On average, patients require around 3-4 appointments to recover from their injury, but this can vary greatly. In general, the longer symptoms have been present, the longer they will take to get better.

Other factors which influence the course of recovery are your general health, age, exercise and diet, and how much rest and recovery are available to the joint or muscle, and to you in general.

What if Osteopathy can't help my problem?

We will always discuss your medical history and assess your symptoms thoroughly at the beginning of your appointment. If we believe we can help you with osteopathic treatment, we will explain to you what we found and how we can help.

If we find we need further information, or if we feel you’ll benefit more by seeing other healthcare professionals or being referred back to your GP, we will discuss this with you and give you our recommendations in writing.

If needed, we liaise with your GP or the relevant professional, either via telephone or a written letter, to make sure you receive the care you need.

At what age can you treat patients?

We can help patients of all ages, from small children to older adults.

However, most of all we tend to see men and women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s – it seems the combination of work, family life and the need to keep fit makes us mid-age-ish folk quite vulnerable to aches and pains.

What's the difference between Osteopaths and Chiropractors?

We have a lot in common with our fellow therapists the chiropractors and physiotherapists. We all tend to look after patients who suffer with musculoskeletal problems – i.e. joint and muscle pains or injuries.

The way we approach these problems may differ. Osteopaths will always assess and treat the whole body and the whole person. We believe no muscle, joint or organ works in isolation, they’re all part of the incredible machine that is the human body.

By assessing and improving movement, function and strength throughout the body, as well as discussing your general health and wellbeing, we aim to help the problem area recover quicker and stay better for longer.

Our appointments are usually longer than other healthcare professionals, which allows us time to listen to you and assess everything in detail, identify the root cause of your symptoms and any potential contributing factors, and still have sufficient time for hands-on treatment, giving you the long-lasting care you need.

Check out ‘what we treat’ from our website’s home page or main menu to find out the long list of areas we treat and how we approach each of them individually.

About Sports & Remedial Massage:

What do I wear for a massage?

There’s no need to wear sports clothes to a sports massage. Sometimes shorts can help but sometimes a sports bra can be a hindrance.

What’s the difference between Sports & Remedial Massage and other massage types?

All massage works with the skin and the tissues beneath it. The types of massage you might find in beauty salons and spas are wonderfully relaxing, work with lovely sweeping movements and have great smelling oils. Deep tissue massage typically works with more pressure. But deeper work isn’t always the best thing for our aches and pains. Sports & Remedial Massage therapists use their anatomy knowledge to work out what muscles might need some extra attention and tailor the treatment to what you need. Sometimes that involves working with some pressure but it will always be within the realms of what is comfortable – it doesn’t need to be painful to be working!

What if Osteopathy can't help my problem?

Sometimes, we do need to use pressure which can be a bit uncomfortable but for the best results, we always work within your limits of comfort. We definitely don’t want you to leave feeling more tense! Some tenderness can occur a day or two after treatment, but the best medicine for this is to keep moving as you start to notice the benefits of the session.

How long is a Sports & Remedial Massage session?

At Meadowside Osteopathy, we offer 45 minute massage appointments. We believe this is the optimum amount of time which allows us to talk and work out what the focus for the session is, do some fantastic hands-on work and discuss any home exercises that might be beneficial.

Typical Osteopathic Consultations:

What happens during a typical Osteopathic consultation?

When you come to see us for the first time, we first sit with you and note all the details about how the symptoms came about, what it feels like, timing, daily pattern, and any aggravating or relieving factors.

We also ask about any issues with other joints, your health in general, and any significant events in the past such as accidents or surgery.

We then observe the area of concern and any associated joints and assess movement in all directions – making note of any restrictions or pain. We may also perform special tests to assess the condition of nerves, joints, muscles and ligaments.

Once we have established our working diagnosis, we’ll always take time to explain to you what we found and let you know how we can help, and whether we need to make any referrals.

Unless we’re too concerned to treat, which is rare, we’ll start with treatment straight away so that you can feel the benefits before you leave our practice.

We use specific massage, mobilisation, manipulation and stretching techniques to improve the flexibility in joints and muscles, relieve tension, and ensure good circulation for effective recovery.

During the session, we will also provide advice on exercise, posture and other techniques to aid fast recovery and maintain treatment results.

To read about how we approach the various areas of symptoms, check out the section in our website called ‘what we treat’.

What should I wear for my appointment?

We’d ideally want to see the main area of concern, but the most important thing for us is that you’re comfortable during the session.

We usually ask patients to remove some clothing so that we can most accurately assess and best treat the problem. Often this means patients remain in their underwear. We’re very good at making everyone feel at ease (it’s a special skill of ours!) however if you prefer to bring along shorts and / or a vest, or to stay covered, that’s not a problem.

Does the treatment hurt?

Not usually – we are highly skilled at performing manual gentle, targeted and effective techniques, using the least amount of force needed to create change within the tissues.

We use massage, stretching and mobilisation most of all. There may be stronger techniques which cause some discomfort such as deep massage or joint manipulation – we’d only use those when this is necessary to make you feel better, and we’d always check with you continuously throughout the session to make sure you’re ok.

In some cases, where a lot of pain and inflammation are already present, the treatment may stimulate blood flow in the area and discomfort could increase before it improves. This usually only lasts 1-2 days, and we will advise you if we think this could be the case – and invite you to call us you need any further support.

What if I don't like the 'clicking' techniques osteopaths sometimes use?

We don’t have to use those. They are useful techniques for getting restricted joints loosened up quickly, however we totally understand some people don’t like them, and in some it may not be advisable to use.

We have a wide range of alternative techniques we can use to encourage freedom of movement in joints and can absolutely avoid the ‘clicking’ if needed.

Online Osteopathic Consultations:

What happens during an Online Osteopathic consultation?

During an online osteopathy appointment, we will:

  • Have your case notes with us or create a new file if this is your first appointment.
  • Discuss your symptoms, general health and recent activities.
  • Assess your alignment, movement patterns and any triggers for pain.
  • We may ask you to assist diagnosis by performing certain movements or tests, to help us find where exactly symptoms are coming from.
  • Suggest pain relief strategies – including ice or heat, stretches and exercises, self-massage (or easy instructions for a spouse) and other ideas.
  • Go through exercises with you in real time, so you can start feeling better straight away.
  • Provide a detailed stretch and exercise programme, which will be shared with you following the appointment.
  • Assess and optimise posture and ergonomics – this should come in handy if you’re now working full-time in a home-office environment!

Following your appointment, we will:

  • Email you with a summary of the advice given and an attachment with all the exercises prescribed, using a specialised software for exercise prescription called ‘Rehab My Patient’.
  • Many of the exercises in ‘Rehab My Patient’ include links to YouTube videos so they’re very easy to follow.
  • Call you 3 days after the session to follow up on your symptoms, see how you’re getting on with the exercises, and suggest any tweaks if needed.

Insurance, Referrals, Registration and Data:

Is your treatment covered by my healthcare insurance?

Osteopathy is covered by most healthcare insurance schemes, including Aviva, Cigna, Vitality Health, Simply Health, Health Shield and WPA.

Unfortunately, we’ve decided not to work with BUPA and AXA-PPP at present, as the remuneration for our work from those insurers is just too low – not much more than half of our usual fees.

Are the Osteopaths at Meadowside registered and insured?

YES – we are registered with the UK governing body for Osteopaths, the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It’s the law in the UK that all Osteopaths must be registered with the GOsC if they wish to practice as an Osteopath.

We are all insured for any eventuality, as you’d expect any private healthcare professional to be.

Do I need a referral from a GP to see an Osteopath?

Osteopaths are classed as primary healthcare professionals, which means you don’t typically need a doctor’s referral to come to us.

However, some healthcare insurers will request a GP referral or approval for Osteopathy as a condition to covering your treatment. Please speak to your provider to find out if this is the case for you.

What happens to my personal information, medical and treatment notes?

We comply with the latest GDPR regulations, and our privacy policy document can be read here.

We are obliged by law, as registered osteopaths, to hold on to patient’s records for 7 years, or until they reach the age of 25, whichever is later. However, if for any reason you wish for us to destroy your records, it is your right and we can do so.

Visiting Our Practice:

Do you have wheelchair access?

YES. We’re very lucky to have a lovely and spacious ground floor waiting area and therapy room with easy access for wheelchairs and buggies.

Can I bring my child or anyone else along for my appointment?

If you’re happy with this, then so are we. Older children or adults are welcome to stay in the room or wait in our reception area just outside the clinic room, and for little ones we have some toys and books in the room to keep them entertained.

What is your cancellation policy?

While we understand some changes in plans are unavoidable, we request a notice of 24 hours for any cancellation, so that we have a chance to offer the appointment to someone else.

Cancellations with a shorter notice may incur a charge of the appointment fee, though we will always endeavour to be flexible and understanding if you need to rearrange your appointment at short notice.