Frequently asked questions

Below are the answers to a number of subjects that many patients ask about.

How long is an appointment ?

The initial consultation may take up to an hour. Subsequent appointments are quicker, normally no more than half an hour. However, please note that you are not paying for time but for the result to make you better. Therefore a treatment session can be extended until both Osteopath and patient are happy that a significant improvement has been made in the patients condition.

The patient should always expect to feel considerably better following a treatment.

Out of hours appointments

The Osteopath will always make themselves available to treat patients in severe pain as soon as possible.

The practice opening times are between 08:00 and 20:00, so this should enable an appointment to fit around most peoples working hours.

How much does it cost ?

Initial consultation and treatment £65

Following appointments £45

Which conditions can you treat ?

For a list of all problems that can be cured using Osteopathy please see Treatable conditions

How quickly will I get better ?

The normal prognosis following the initial consultation is that often four appointments a week apart is enough to resolve most conditions. We would then recommend follow up monthly treatments, spaced over the next six months.

You will be given a prognosis which will tell you how long it is expected to take to resolve your condition and what the results should be after each treatment. This enables you to monitor the progress of your treatment and do not have to attend too many appointments before you are cured.

In this way you ensure that you do not receive treatment without direct benefit.

Can you treat old injuries ?

Yes, the nature of all the conditions that are treatable is that they are caused by muscles contracting in order to protect the body. The essence of Osteopathy is to make these muscles relax and restore the body its normal condition.

Traumatic accidents can cause the muscles to remain in this protective state for many years, Osteopathy can resolve this problem.

But I've had an X-ray !

X-rays show the shadows of bones, they pass radiation through a subject onto a photographic plate. The whole image is black, except the areas where a mass of bone prevents the radiation reaching the film. All soft tissues and fluid structures do not appear in the image. It is only possible to see diseases of the bone such as fractures, tumours or degenerative changes. You cannot see an intervertebral disc. You can see the gap between two vertebra where a disc exists, if it is being compressed the gap will appear narrower than those around it. In conventional medicine, this narrowing is called a worn or crushed disc. Answer The disc is in fact a fully intact but is being compressed. The tiny muscles of the joints between the bones of the spine are tightened on a reflex basis and compress one side of the disc, causing a bulge on the other side.

But I've had an MRI scan !

A Magnetic Resonance Image gives a three dimensional map of the fluid and bony structures of the body. This map is open to interpretation as with all investigative techniques. A disc is like an onion made of layers of cartilage. The layers surround a central jelly ball (called the nucleus pulposus). On an MRI scan a disc appears like a doughnut with a white outer ring and dark central hole. If a disc is compressed then the central hole spreads into the outer ring, narrowing the white margin. The narrower the white margin becomes, it could be assumed that the disc has burst and prolapsed. Answer The the centre of a disc is shaped like a sphere. If a sphere is compressed its size will increase to make a much large disc, this does not mean that it is damaged or burst; it is just compressed.

My X-ray shows Osteoarthritis !

Osteoarthritis is commonly known as wear and tear of the bony joints. On x-ray it shows up as lumps and bumps on the bone. These occur in everybody over the age of 30 and are vsible on x-rays. It is a normal process and part of the changing shape of our skeletons as we get older. It does not cause any pain. Every two years our skeletons are completely replaced. Cells called osteoclasts eat up the bone matrix. Cells called osteoblasts form new bone. All our bony structure is effectively reabsorbed and reformed. Bony joints are held together with ropes made or protein called ligaments. They attach on to the bone margins on either side of the joint. As we get older our joints become looser. The disks between our vertebra reduce in height and the bones of the spine become looser. Where the ligaments attach on to the bone margins, they begin to pull more as the movement between the bones becomes greater. As with time our whole skeleton is reabsorbed and reformed, small lumps become formed at the point of attachment through the increased pull of the ligament.

The lumps around the joint margins which show up on x-rays are called osteophytes. These lumps cause no pain and are present all over your body at every joint to different extents as you get older. The fact that they can be seen on x-rays does not mean that they are the cause of pain. If they are at every joint, why do some joints hurt and others do not ? If a lump of bone caused the pain, then how would the pain reduce for a while and then return. It would be constant and progressive.