No, you do not need to be recommended by your GP. However, if you wish to make a claim on your health insurance, some companies might require a doctor's referral as with any other specialist of consultant.
Osteopathy is covered by most of the major private health funds, but it is always best to check with your provider to ensure that the treatment you require is covered by your policy.
At the initial consultation the Osteopath will need to carry out neurological and orthopaedic testing, as well as discuss your full medical history, lifestyle and diet. They may also observe you making some simple movements to help with a diagnosis and to discover any possible leg length descrepancies. Following this, the most appropriate plan of treatment will be discussed and an estimate given of roughly how many sessions might be necessary to treat your condition effectively. Please allow 30-45 minutes for all consultations.
As with any medical examination, you might be asked to undress to your underwear to properly assess your posture, so please wear something that you feel comfortable in. Wearing shorts/loose-fitting clothing is preferable for treatment.
Having already designed a treatment plan to deal specifically with your condition, the Osteopath will use a number of techniques including soft tissue massage, gentle passive mobilisation and specific joint manipulation. Further details of treatments and techniques used may be found here.
Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that also includes advice and guidance on exercise, posture and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
The Osteopath will have assessed your condition and be monitoring your response during your treatment, both verbally and by your reactions. With skilled handling and consideration, most patients experience only minimal discomfort, with the majority feeling a lot better afterwards.
Side effects or adverse treatment reactions are generally very rare although some soreness in the region treated is not uncommon over the next couple of days.
The number of treatments required very much depends on the condition of the individual being treated. Influencing factors include age, general health, fitness levels and activities, as well as the type of problem and the length of time the patient has had the condition.
Some conditions are may be resolved within a few sessions, while others might need months of ongoing treatment. On average, two to eight treatments are usually sufficient to correct most problems that are amenable to Osteopathic treatment. Some patients with a chronic or longstanding history may choose to return regularly for preventative Osteopathic intervention, for example, for postural maintenance or relief from chronic pain.
If you have any queries about how Osteopathy could work for you, or wish to make an appointment, please contact us: