Consultation and examination
During the first consultation, the osteopath performs a thorough examination of the patient and prepares a detailed profile of his or her health, including details of the specific drugs the patient may be taking and of any previous accident or situation that may prove relevant. This profile allows the osteopath to determine if indeed osteopathy is indicated in the circumstances and, if appropriate, to propose a treatment that is likely to help.
In order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, the osteopath will rely on a neurological examination, a postural analysis or palpation. Thus, he will be in a position to establish the causes of the patient’s problem with a reasonable level of certainty and treat the problem’s causes rather than just the pain. In the end, such a thorough examination will allow the osteopath to decide if further investigation is required prior to initiating treatment. In some cases, the osteopath may have to consult the patient’s physician. All information shared with the osteopath remains strictly confidential.
During treatments, patients will be asked to strip to their underwear so the osteopath may access those parts of the body and tissues that require attention. Therefore, patients may not wear towels or dressing gowns. They generally adapt to this situation readily.
The examination performed by osteopaths has been designed in such a way as to lead to a quick and thorough diagnosis of back and neck pains, sports-related injuries, and a number of other conditions. If it is true that an early diagnosis is essential to a quick recovery, it is equally true that a late diagnosis can postpone it for weeks. Throughout the treatment, the osteopath will keep the patients informed of his interventions and provide the required explanations. At the time of the first treatment, the osteopath may prescribe home exercises and heat or cold treatments; he or she may also provide advice on ergonomic and postural issues.
During the second session, osteopath and patient will discuss the patient’s reaction to his or her first treatment. If the patient’s reaction suggests that positive results lasted a few days before symptoms reappeared, the osteopath will rely on the same technique but will increase its intensity as required. Secondary effects, if any, will be the subject of discussions in keeping with the technique chosen. About 90% of treatments will rely on manipulations (massage, joint exercises, and stimulation of muscles under stress). It goes without saying that the osteopath expects the patient to cooperate during treatments.