Post Treatment Advice

General information and frequently asked questions about your treatment

The main aim of treatment is to restore normal function and to reduce pain and discomfort. Any treatment procedure may possibly create unwanted or additional discomfort or 'side' effects. Osteopathy is no different in this respect, but fortunately these 'side' effects are usually very mild. Medico legally we are obliged to advise you of any usual and associated serious adverse effects associated with treatment, however rare.

  • You have been seen by a qualified and registered osteopath who has provided an appropriate course of action on your first visit. If you have been asked to return for a follow up appointment your osteopath will have explained the importance of doing so to achieve a particular outcome.
  • Patients are allotted approximately 60 minutes for their first appointment and approximately 40 minutes for any follow up appointments. Allotted times are not fixed and your osteopath may spend more or less time during your appointment. Time spent on treatment is dependent on the complexity of the problem or how much can be achieved on each visit. Time is also required for providing exercises and advice.
  • It is common to feel stiff and sore following treatment; this usually lasts around 48-72 hours. Most people describe their reaction as similar to aching and pain felt after exercising. It is common also to feel tired after a treatment. If you have any concerns about your treatment please call us.
  • These effects seem to be more common after the first treatment and are often less in subsequent treatments.
  • If you have been asked to undertake some exercises please try to do these regularly and follow the plan set by your osteopath. If your osteopath asked you not to exercise, there will be a reason for this which was explained to you and you should wait until advised otherwise.
  • You may have been directed to the British Osteopathic Association website for specific exercises. The link is www.osteopathy.org. Click or use this link to the exercise videos and choose the relevant one.
  • Always try to remain active if possible; this helps your recovery as well as maintaining your mobility.
  • If you have been referred for a scan or further investigation please keep in touch to let us know the result.

Specifically, and only with manipulation of the neck, there is an associated, but rare, serious risk of damage to the neck arteries and possible stroke. However, it is important to note that no one study has shown osteopathic manipulation to be directly causative, and also that a variety of studies have shown neck movements generally may create this same risk, (Looking up whilst decorating or gardening for long periods and visiting the hairdresser, for example, may all heighten risk).

Although there are difficulties in estimating any risk, studies indicate that this risk certainly appears to be very low and has been estimated to be anywhere from 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 6 million. This is a very low risk and needs to be placed in the context of the risk from everyday activities

Of further interest is that previous research has indicated that the arteries in the neck do not appear to undergo any more strain in manipulative treatment than they do in normal everyday neck movements.

Osteopaths are trained to minimise this risk still further by conducting a thorough case history and examination in order to identify any warning signs of increased vulnerability.

It has to be remembered that millions of neck manipulations are carried out every year by highly trained osteopaths with the main outcome being improvement in pain levels and mobility. Neck manipulation will not be recommended if there is any doubt as to the suitability or safety of the technique in your particular case and therefore treatment will only be carried with your full, and informed consent. Although we are experts in the application of focused and specific techniques you are free to express your own preference from the choice of technique available. Osteopathy is more than just spinal manipulation. If you would like to discuss these issues further please email us for more information.