Below are some common questions on our core services, but please feel free to contact us if you have any specific question not shown below.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual therapeutic system of diagnosis and treatment for a vast range of medical conditions. Osteopaths work with the structure and function of the body based on the original principles set out by its founder, Andrew Taylor Still; that health and well being depends on the whole body working as a unit. The Skeleton, muscles, ligaments, nervous system, organs and connective tissues must work as one and or in conjunction with each other for optimum function.
What can Osteopathy help with?
Osteopathy can help with a number of musculoskeletal complaints in a number of joints, including but not restricted to the spine.
People commonly visit an osteopath for;
Will I be treated on my first visit?
The primary aim of your initial consultation is to establish what is wrong and whether osteopathy is a safe and appropriate treatment for you. Providing there are no contraindications to treatment we would normally expect to treat you on your first visit as there is extra time allocated for the case history.
How many treatments will I need?
Every patient responds slightly differently to osteopathy, but your practitioner will discuss with you on your first visit your diagnosis, the common anticipated number of treatments needed and a realistic timeline for recovery known as a prognosis. In some cases more chronic ailments may be best served being treated at regular intervals to maintain optimum functions and keep symptoms from returning as much as possible, this is known as maintenance treatment.
What will techniques are used in treatment?
The treatment and techniques chosen will depend on a number of factors from the nature of your complaint how acute or chronic it is as well as your past medical history as well as your preferences and expectations. Your osteopath may use a number of the following:
Do I need to bring anything with me to my appointment?
Please bring details of any prescribed medication or supplements you are taking. It may be of benefit if you have any recent relevant X-rays, scans or medical reports to bring these with you. Also bring any orthotics, braces or supports you use.
Do I need to see my GP first?
You do not need to consult your GP or doctor before seeking osteopathic treatment, however your GP or doctor are able to refer; the British Medical Association advise doctors that they may safely refer patients to osteopaths. Occasionally we need to contact your GP about aspects of your health and medical history. We will always obtain your consent before contacting your GP or other medical carers.
How will I feel after treatment?
Please bring details of any prescribed medication or supplements you are taking. It may be of benefit if you have any recent relevant X-rays, scans or medical reports to bring these with you. Also bring any orthotics, braces or supports you useaMost osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.
There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain.
You may experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns..
Is Osteopathy Safe?
Osteopathy carries few risks, and the vast majority of patients find treatment helpful. Adverse reactions are not uncommon however and about half of people have the following effects for a couple of days after treatment, most commonly after the first one or two sessions.
Severe adverse reactions are very rare. Osteopaths are trained to to a high level in order to screen patients to assess their suitability for osteopathic treatment. Your osteopath should always adapt their techniques appropriately or they may decide that treatment is not suitable for the patient and in this situation will discuss other treatment options, referring patients to other medical professionals as appropriate.
What if my condition changes over time?
It is important you tell your osteopath if your medical condition changes over time. This includes any new injuries or change of medications.
What should I wear?
Osteopathic diagnosis and treatment involves both observation and palpation, therefore you will probably be asked to undress to your underwear (especially at the first consultation) but it is not compulsory. Your privacy will be respected at all times. If you feel uncomfortable about this please bring clothing you will feel more comfortable in, such as a pair of sports shorts and sports bra for the ladies. If it is important to you that you are seen by a practitioner of the same gender, please make it clear at the time of booking, it is not a problem!
Can I bring a chaperone?
You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you or anyone you would be more comfortable with being present.. However, please be aware that they will become party to all conversation during the appointment. Anyone under the age of 16 should be accompanied at all times by a parent or appointed guardian.
Do you take health insurance?
The Body Balance Osteopaths are in the process of getting registered with a range of private health insurers. We advise you contact us before making your booking. Call 0800 987 5336, send a message via email or use our contact us form.
What is medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is a procedure in which a thin filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly towards myofascial trigger point. A myofascial trigger point is a small number of muscle fibre contraction knots, which can be related to the cause and maintenance of your pain cycle. They often occur as a result of neuromuscular dysfunction and in areas of musculoskeletal stress.
Is medical acupuncture similar to acupuncture?
There are many similarities and differences between medical acupuncture and traditional chinese acupuncture. Osteopaths at body balance are not traditional chinese acupuncturists and do not practice acupuncture. Medical acupuncture is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research as opposed to the traditional eastern philosophies in acupuncture and it is increasingly used in the management of musculoskeletal and sports injuries.
How does medical acupuncture work?
Thanks to Dr. Jay Shah and colleagues we know more now than ever that there is a direct biomechanics and mechanical effect upon a needle being used. We know that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favourable biochemical changes, which assist in reducing pain. It is essential to elicit so-called local twitch responses (LTR), which are spinal cord reflexes. Local twitch response with medical acupuncture is the first step in breaking the pain cycle.
What type of problems can be treated with medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is commonly used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Imbalance between nerves and muscles communication system are thought to be the primary contributing factor to the symptoms. Such conditions include, but are not limited to neck, back and shoulder pain, arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer’s elbow), headache to include migraines and tension-type headaches, jaw pain, buttock pain and leg pain (sciatica, hamstrings strains, calf tightness/spasms). The treatment of muscles has the greatest effect on reducing pain mechanisms in the nervous system.
Is the medical acupuncture painful?
The insertion of the needle is not necessarily painful due to the thin and solid structure which differs to that of a injection needle which is much thicker and hollow. The local twitch response elicits a very brief (less than a second) painful response. Some patients describe this as a little electrical shock; others feel it more like a cramping sensation.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes, we only use ‘one use’ sterile needles which are disposed of correctly in a sharps bin.
What side effects can I expect after the treatment?
Mild soreness is a common after the procedure much like osteopathic treatment. The soreness is described as muscle soreness over the area treated and into the areas of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days.
What should I do after having the procedure done?
Recommendation depends on severity of soreness you have and on the individual response to the treatment. Recommendations may include applying ice over the area, gentle stretches and modifications of activities or over the counter analgesic medications such as paracetamol.
How long does it take for the procedure to work?
Typically, it takes more than one visits for a positive change to take place. We are trying to cause mechanical and biochemical changes, so in order to maximise this change we are aiming for a cumulative response over time to break the pain cycle each time.
Why is my doctor not familiar with medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is a relatively new method for treating myofascial pain and not everyone is already aware of this effective modality. It is most prevalent amongst Physiotherapists and Osteopaths and chiropractors as well as Sports Medicine Physicians. Feel free to inform your GP about this treatment option.
Where does medical acupuncture fit in the entire rehabilitation program?
We mainly use medical acupuncture as an adjunct to our Osteopathic delivery. However, during the initial acute phase of injury where pain levels are too high for ‘hands on’ treatment to occur Medical acupuncture could be the modality of choice. It is very common to initiate medical acupuncture at the beginning of your treatment program if very acute in order to break the pain cycle from the moment you meet us. Once that is achieved, other treatment options and techniques are introduced.
Once I am feeling better, how often do I need to come back to maintain my progress?
Once the dysfunction or imbalance has been corrected our aim is to ensure the body will maintain the appropriate balance. However, the musculoskeletal system is under constant stress from the demands of varying postures, gravity, psychological and emotional states etc. A regular exercise program combined with good posture can prevent many problems. If the pain comes back, occasional sessions are recommended to treat and prevent serious injuries.
I am not comfortable with needles. Do I have to have Medical acupuncture?
No. Before any procedure you are always informed and your consent is mandatory.
What exactly is Kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape has become an increasingly common sight, worn by many athletes and sporting professionals, from cyclists to footballers, rugby players to cricketers. Often not missed due to the elaborate colours and patterns it is slowly becoming the new form of ‘strapping’ to those on and off the sports field or in or out of the office.
It differs from normal strapping in that its properties are designed and engineered to replicate our own skins’ thickness, weight and elasticity previnting that restricted feeling from normal strapping, and promoting healing and injury prevention and increasing range of motion through improved proprioception.
Who is it suitable for?
Although commonly attributed to athletes its often used for all varieties of people, all shapes and sizes more commonly for;
How does K-tape work?
Dependent on the treatment aim, a certified K-tape practitioner will use a variety of different taping techniques and patterns. Regardless of technique or method the main aim is to stimulate the nervous system (autonomic), via various different receptors, mainly the golgi, pacing ruffini and interstitial more interestingly having the following effects;
Do you use it within osteopathic treatments?
In a word Yes! It’s an excellent modality to use at the end of treatment in order to maintain and further enhance the treatment effects possibly in conjunction with exercises if prescribed. One of the main benefits of K-tape is that it can be worn for between 3 and 5 days, without re-application. Whilst in-situ it is treating your condition 24 hours per day.
Is there much research into K-tape and its effects and benefits?
Currently, there are approximately 40 research projects investigating the various effects and uses of K-tape. Clinically, it’s been in use since the 1970s when it was used in Japan. Athletes have been using this form of taping regularly since the 1990s but it’s really become commonplace since the Beijing Olympics.
There is already a wealth of case study and empirical evidence to support the positive benefits of kinesiology taping. Now we are in the process of research to increase the evidence base of this exciting treatment modality
Providing the best treatment, tailored to your individual needs. Whether it is Osteopathy, Sports Massage, Medical Acupuncture, Personal Training or nutritional advice that you need.
Want to know what Body Balance can do for you? Suffering with any pain and want to know if we can help? Desire to be healthier but struggle getting that balance?
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