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The first consultation takes up to one hour and consists of the osteopath taking a detailed history of the complaint and a medical history. The osteopath may ask you to undress down to your underwear in order to assess posture and ask you to perform simple movements to assess the range and quality of movement of the joints.
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.
The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.