Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Are you feeling nervous? Not sure what to expect? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), but if you are still unsure get in touch with us at the clinic for a chat!
What can I expect from my first session?
We allow up to an hour for your first appointment. This gives us plenty of time to thoroughly investigate your problem, discuss our diagnosis with you and give you some initial treatment.
Firstly we will listen carefully to understand your problem, the events leading up to it, your general health and lifestyle. We will go on to examine you. We usually ask you to undress down to your underwear for this. (If you would rather bring loose fitting shorts and a vest to wear this is fine.)
Your osteopath will discuss their diagnosis and proposed treatment plan with you. We use a variety of manual treatments including joint mobilisations, stretching and massage techniques. Treatment is usually very comfortable.
At the end of your first appointment we will advise you on things that you can do at home to help yourself.\
You are welcome to bring someone with you to your consultation.
What should I wear?
Depending on your problem we may ask you to undress to your underwear so please wear something you are comfortable in. Alternatively you can bring some loose shorts and a vest top to wear.
Do I need to bring anything?
If possible, please bring a list of any medication you are currently taking, and any recent x-ray or MRI reports which may be relevant (you can get hold of photocopies of these reports from your GP surgery).
Where can I park?
Free parking is available nearby in the Iceland or Co-op car parks.
How many treatments will I need?
Obviously this will depend on your problem. Your age, occupation and stress levels will also affect how quickly your body can heal. A simple sprain may be better after 2 treatments but a severe disc injury would take a lot longer. Your osteopath will advise you after they make their diagnosis.
Will treatment hurt?
Treatment is usually quite comfortable. Sometimes we may wish to use stronger techniques and if any discomfort is felt patients usually describe this as ‘good pain’. Your osteopath will be constantly checking that you are comfortable during treatment.
You may feel some soreness or stiffness for 24-48 hours after treatment, particularly if you haven’t had treatment before. This is quite normal but please call us if you have any concerns.
Can I claim on my insurance?
We are recognised by most of the major insurance companies – BUPA, AXA PPP, WPA, AVIVA, Simplyhealth etc.
BUPA and AXA PPP patients need to let us know when booking, as not all of our osteopaths are registered with these providers.
Please ask for a receipt of payment following your session.
What sort of training do Osteopaths receive?
All registered osteopaths practising in the UK have completed rigorous training. Students of osteopathy follow a four or five year degree course, during which they study anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition and biomechanics. Training includes a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. All our osteopaths are fully registered and insured.
The General Osteopathic Council sets the standards of osteopathic education and requires qualified osteopaths to update their training throughout their working lives, a process known as continuing professional development or CPD.
It is against the law to call yourself an osteopath unless you are qualified and registered with the GOsC.
Is Osteopathy safe?
Yes. Your safety is our primary concern. In common with medical practitioners and dentists, Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
We are trained to recognise any concerning symptoms (so called “red flags”) and will refer you back to your GP, or another healthcare professional if we believe further investigations are indicated.
Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist! What’s the difference?
The primary aim of all these treatments is to reduce bodily aches and pains.
All three professions are regulated by their respective governing bodies and are highly qualified so there is no right or wrong choice,
but what do these different treatments offer?
Chiropractors and Osteopaths have a lot in common. In fact Chiropractic developed as an offshoot of Osteopathic medicine back in the 1800’s.
Chiropractors train for 4 years and focus on the belief that the spine and nervous system govern our health.
Modern chiropractors in the UK are trained to treat a variety of musculo-skeletal conditions, however treatment of back and neck pain constitutes a major part of their practise. They are skilled in the use of spinal manipulation (adjustments) as well as offering advice on exercise and lifestyle.
Chiropractors may take x-rays to make their diagnosis, (something Osteopaths are not keen on. See our ‘Do I need an X-Ray’ Blog!)
is a holistic system of diagnosis and treatment based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, joints and connective tissues functioning well together.
Osteopaths study for 4 years including over 1000 hours of clinical training.
As well as their expertise in spinal health, they take a ‘holistic’ approach. Osteopaths aim to restore your body to a state of balance and will often look away from the symptomatic area to find the cause of pain.
They are skilled in spinal manipulation, as well as a variety of other hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, massage and joint mobilisation. They also advise on exercise and lifestyle.
is a broad based training lasting 3 years. Traditionally, physiotherapists are less ‘hands on’ with their treatment of back pain, using more exercise-based approaches.
Physios use their knowledge and skills to improve a range of conditions associated with different systems of the body and their course includes the care of neurological (stroke/MS/Parkinson’s), musculoskeletal (e.g. back and neck pain) and Cardiovascular and Respiratory patients. Physios learn about a variety of conditions, (not just musculo-skeletal like Osteopaths and Chiropractors,) so it’s best to seek out one who has undergone specialist training after qualifying.
Points to remember.
*Good practitioners from any of these professions will have a ‘tool box’ of treatments they can use. They will carefully select which treatments and advice to use based on you, the patient.
*Avoid therapists who continue to treat you in the same way without any signs of improvement.
*You should feel confident that your practitioner has your best interests at heart and has taken time to really understand your problem.
Here at the Plympton Osteopathic Clinic we are committed to helping you back to health. We take time to understand your problem and choose from a variety of different hands-on treatments depending on what your body needs at the time. If you would like more information about what we offer please Contact Us.
I contacted Mike after being in some considerable pain and prescribed diazepam by my GP. I can honestly say that after my second visit, which was today, the difference is incredible. Highly recommended for the ‘practical’ benefit of how much better I feel but also for the friendly, honest and warm nature that I have experienced.
Melanie (via Facebook)
“I was referred by my GP due to worsening arthralgia and back pain. My GP was also a patient and told me what to expect.
I was delighted that most of the treatment was gentle and effective. It keeps my muscles and joints mobile and reduces my pain and stiffness enabling me to enjoy life more.
I would highly recommend P.O.C. and have done on many occasions.”
A. Hunt, 56