Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the FAQs we are often asked about osteopathy treatment. If you would like to book an appointment our contact details can be found here or you can book online.


Osteopathy

+ What can you expect on my first visit to an osteopath?

At the first consultation, we will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. We may also observe you making some simple movements to help make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of body to be examined.

Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body's points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.

We will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If we think your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, we will advise you about how to seek further care. We are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.

+ Will I have to remove any clothes?

The removal of clothes for osteopathic treatment is useful but by no means essential. A patient can reduce the need to remove clothes by wearing or bringing appropriate clothing with them, for example a vest top and shorts would allow 99% of treatments to occur without issue.

It is important that we can reach the area that needs treating, so a polo neck top for a neck and shoulder treatment would be very awkward, but a vest top would be perfect.

+ Does Irwin Osteopathy treat babies and children?

Yes, we are trained in both cranial and structural approaches and are happy to treat both babies and children.

+ How long do osteopathic appointments usually last?

In general, the first treatment lasts about 40 minutes, and subsequent treatments for around half an hour. Your first appointment is usually slightly longer to allow for a full case history to be taken.

Your appointment length will vary depending on what you require treating, some conditions take shorter periods of time, some longer.

+ How much does treatment cost?

At Irwin Osteopathy our initial consultation costs £40 and follow ups £35. Price varies for home visits and there is a reduced rate for babies and children.

+ Can I see an osteopath at Irwin Osteopathy through the NHS?

Currently, access to osteopathy on the NHS is limited, but services are becoming more widespread as commissioning authorities recognise the benefits of providing osteopathy to patients. We don’t currently have an NHS arrangement at Irwin Osteopathy but we are looking to do this in the future if the local primary care trust / GP commissioning groups make it available as an option to us. We'd recommend you speak to your GP and/or contact the local primary care trust. If they see enough demand from patients for osteopathy services it might become an option in the future.

+ Can I claim on my private medical insurance?

Simon Irwin at Irwin Osteopathy is registered with numerous private health insurance companies and many private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment, but not all. It may be possible to claim for a course of treatment. You should check in advance with your insurance company before seeking treatment to confirm the available level of cover and whether you will need to have a referral from your GP or a specialist.

If you require a practitioner's number please contact us and we shall provide it happily. You will need to bring your membership number and authorisation code to your first consultation if you intend for us to claim directly for your treatment, otherwise you may be asked to pay and claim back the cost yourself.

Please note, not all insurance companies have the same policies and it is your responsibility to check your policy coverage not your osteopaths.

+ What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health.

Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.

Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

+ What do osteopaths treat?

Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.

+ Do I need a GP referral to see an osteopath?

Most patients 'self refer' to an osteopath for treatment. Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.

+ Do GPs refer their patients to osteopaths?

Yes. GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council and British Medical Association.

+ Do osteopaths at Irwin Osteopath offer home visits?

Yes we do offer home visits. Tthere is a higher rate of charge for this service as attending an out-of-practice appointment increases the standard time for treatment. The rate charged would depend on the distance we have to travel to attend the appointment. Please enquire for a more specific price on 01372 362062.

+ How do I know if an osteopath is registered?

All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can use its Register to check whether your health professional is currently registered.

+ Can anyone call themself an osteopath?

The title 'osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the Register are entitled to practise as osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offence in the UK.

+ Can I find out how long an osteopath has been registered?

The date an osteopath first registered with the General Osteopathic Council can be seen in the 'Practitioner Details' on the Register.

+ What training do osteopaths have?

Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating.

Osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. They must complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.

+ Who sets the standards of training and practice for osteopaths?

The standards of osteopathic training and practice are maintained and developed by the General Osteopathic Council, the profession’s statutory regulator established under the Osteopaths Act 1993.

+ What is revalidation?

Revalidation is the process by which osteopaths will have to demonstrate that they are up-to-date and fit to practise, and meet the relevant professional standards.

All healthcare regulators are required by the Government to develop a scheme for revalidating their registrants. For further information see General Osteopathic Council's Revalidation page.

+ What should I do if I have concerns about the osteopath or the treatment I have received?

All osteopaths are expected to have a complaints procedure in place in their practice to address patient concerns.

Irwin Osteopathy’s policy is to firstly express your concerns/raise your questions with the osteopath. If you feel these concerns are not fully answered - or you do not feel comfortable asking the osteopath directly in the first place - then we invite you to approach the British Osteopathic Association directly. They will answer your questions or advise you how to take the matter further, if required.

British Osteopathic Association – www.osteopathy.org Tel: 01582 488455

+ Contraindications for treatment?

Contraindications for treatment (please note this is not an absolute list and many of these can still allow treatment as long as the practitioner is aware).

Local Contraindications:

(Treatment can proceed with these conditions on unaffected areas of the body). Before treatment begins, the osteopath should be informed of any of these conditions. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from your doctor prior to the treatment.

These are particular situations where massage and bodywork to a specific or local area will not be warranted. These include, but are not limited to the areas of:

  • Acute inflammation

  • Broken bone /over a non-consolidating fracture

  • Recent surgery

  • Inflammation of the skin

  • Varicosities (varicose veins) over sites with deep vein thrombosis

  • Local contagious conditions

  • Blood clots

  • Open wound or sore

  • Local irritable skin conditions

  • Undiagnosed lump

  • Acute lesion

  • Malignancy / over sites of active cancer

  • Skin infection

  • Tumor (secondary)

  • Acute flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Recent burn

  • Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)

  • Phlebothrombosis (thrombosis is the formation of a clot; in veins that develop thrombosis, the veins are known to have phlebitis)

  • Arteritis (condition in which inflammation of the arteries occurs)

The therapist should be informed before treatment begins of any of these conditions. It is always important that the client inform the practitioner of their current health status. However treatment may proceed in the presence of these conditions on other unaffected areas of the body. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from your doctor prior to the treatment.

Complete Contraindications:

Clients experiencing the following illnesses or conditions recently should NOT get Massage therapy, but Osteopathy may be allowed; these include, but are not limited to:

  • Burns (severe)
  • Infectious disease
  • Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction)
  • Appendicitis (painful inflamed appendix)
  • Cerebrocardiovascular accident (stroke)
  • Insulin shock or Diabetic coma
  • Epileptic seizure (convulsions)
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Pneumothorax (air or gas within the chest cavity around the lung)
  • Atelectasis (a collapsed portion of the lung which does not contain air)
  • Severe asthmatic attack
  • Syncope (fainting or loss of consciousness)
  • Acute pneumonia
  • Advanced kidney failure, respiratory failure, or liver failure (a very modified treatment may be possible with medical consent)
  • Diabetic complications such as gangrene, advanced heart or kidney disease, or very unstable high blood pressure
  • Eclampsia (a severe form {life threatening} of pregnancy-induced hypertension resulting in seizures)
  • Hemophilia *severe type (a hereditary bleeding disorder)
  • Under a Doctors’ care & taking corrective prophylaxis those with moderate hemophilia receive modified massage therapy.
  • Hemorrhage (involves rapid and uncontrollable loss of blood
  • Arthrosclerosis (severe forms of stiffening or hardening of the joints
  • Hypertension (unstable) (conditions that are not stable i.e., post stroke or heart attack)
  • Medical shock (a life-threatening medical emergency and one of the leading causes of death for critically ill people: the body reacts, and produces insufficient blood flow to reach the body tissues)
  • Fever above 38.5 degree C or 101.5 F (significant)
  • Some highly metastic cancers (diagnosed not to be terminal)
  • Systemic contagious or Infectious conditions

Kinesiology Taping

+ What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, therapeutic tape that can benefit a wide variety of injuries and inflammatory conditions. It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of movement.

+ What makes Kinesiology Tape different?

Traditional athletic tape is wrapped tightly around an injured area to provide rigid support and restrict movement. It must be removed immediately after activity to restore movement and circulation. Kinesiology tape, on the other hand, is thin and flexible, allowing it to provide dynamic support while still allowing a safe and functional range of motion. Rather than being wrapped completely around an injured area, kinesiology tape is applied directly over or around the periphery of the area. Most applications can be worn 4-5 days, even during intense exercise, showering, bathing or swimming. Therapeutic benefits accumulate 24/7 for the entire time the tape is worn.

+ What conditions can Kinesiology Taping be used for?

  • Joint Pain: Arthritis, bursitis, lupus, degenerative joints, poorly aligned joints, joint instability

  • Muscle Pain: Torn muscles, pulled/strained muscles, tight muscles, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, calf strain, pulled hamstring, groin strain, strained gluteals, abdominal strain

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Tendinitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis), patellar tendinitis, achilles tendinitis, whiplash, back strain, neck strain, rotator cuff injuries, iliotibial band syndrome (ITB)

  • Joint Injuries: Joint sprains, dislocated joints, sprained ankle, sprained knee, sprained wrist, sprained elbow, degenerated meniscus, torn cartilage, unstable joints, joint hypermobility

  • Overuse Injuries: Carpal tunnel, repetitive stress syndrome, shin splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, tension headaches

  • Swelling and Edema: Lymphedema, swollen joints, edema, lymphatic congestion, chronic joint or muscle inflammation

  • Postural Problems: Poor posture, round shoulders, scapular instability, muscle weakness, muscle imbalance, poor muscle tone, hypotonia

  • Recovery from Surgery Athletic injury surgery, reconstructive surgery, joint replacement surgery, meniscus repair, ligament surgery, tendon surgery, lymph node removal

  • Bruising: Bruising following injuries or surgery, contusions

  • Foot Pain: Plantar fasciitis, fallen arches

+ What brand of Kinesiology tape do you use?

We use Rocktape. For more information specific to the brand please look at www.rocktape.net


Seifukujitsu

+ Will I have to remove any clothing?

If a full body massage is required then, yes, removal of clothing to underwear is required, due to the use of oil. However a bikini is suitable and towels are used to cover the body parts not being treated at all times. If you have concerns please talk to the practitioner.

+ Contraindications for treatment

Please note this is not an absolute list and many of these can still allow treatment as long as the practitioner is aware.

Local Contraindications:

(Treatment can proceed with these conditions on unaffected areas of the body). Before treatment begins, the therapist should be informed of any of these conditions. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from the physician prior to the treatment.

These are particular situations where massage and bodywork to a specific or local area will not be warranted. These include, but are not limited to the areas of a:

  • Acute inflammation
  • Broken bone /over a non-consolidating fracture
  • Recent surgery
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Varicosities (varicose veins) over sites with deep vein thrombosis
  • Local contagious conditions
  • Blood clots
  • Open wound or sore
  • Local irritable skin conditions
  • Undiagnosed lump
  • Acute lesion
  • Malignancy / over sites of active cancer
  • Skin infection
  • Tumor (secondary).
  • Acute flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Recent burn
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of a vein)
  • Phlebothrombosis (thrombosis is the formation of a clot; in veins that develop thrombosis, the veins are known to have phlebitis)
  • Arteritis (condition in which inflammation of the arteries occurs)

The therapist should be informed before treatment begins of any of these conditions. It is always important that the client inform the practitioner of their current health status. However treatment may proceed in the presence of these conditions on other unaffected areas of the body. There will be cases where the practitioner will require a release from the physician prior to the treatment.

Complete Contraindications:

Clients experiencing the following illnesses or conditions recently should NOT get Massage therapy; these include, but are not limited to:

  • Burns (severe)
  • Infectious disease
  • Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction)
  • Appendicitis (painful inflamed appendix)
  • Cerebrocardiovascular accident (stroke)
  • Insulin shock or Diabetic coma
  • Epileptic seizure (convulsions)
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Pneumothorax (air or gas within the chest cavity around the lung)
  • Atelectasis (a collapsed portion of the lung which does not contain air)
  • Severe asthmatic attack
  • Syncope (fainting or loss of consciousness)
  • Acute pneumonia
  • Advanced kidney failure, respiratory failure, or liver failure (a very modified treatment may be possible with medical consent)
  • Diabetic complications such as gangrene, advanced heart or kidney disease, or very unstable high blood pressure
  • Eclampsia (a severe form {life threatening} of pregnancy-induced hypertension resulting in seizures)
  • Hemophilia severe type (a hereditary bleeding disorder) under a Doctors’ care & taking corrective prophylaxis those with moderate hemophilia receive modified massage therapy.
  • Hemorrhage (involves rapid and uncontrollable loss of blood
  • Arthrosclerosis (severe forms of stiffening or hardening of the joints
  • Hypertension (unstable) (conditions that are not stable i.e., post stroke or heart attack)
  • Medical shock (a life-threatening medical emergency and one of the leading causes of death for critically ill people: the body reacts, and produces insufficient blood flow to reach the body tissues)
  • Fever above 38.5 degree C or 101.5 F (significant)
  • Some highly metastic cancers (diagnosed not to be terminal)
  • Systemic contagious or Infectious conditions