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What happens at my appointment?

Your initial appointment includes a consultation and the first treatment session, if appropriate. The whole appointment will last approximately 1 hour. During the consultation a full case history is taken, including details of the symptoms which led you to seek treatment, how long they have been troubling you, possible causes and how they affect your day to day activities. You will also be asked about your medical history, other current health problems and about any medication you are taking regularly. This further information helps in making a diagnosis and an assessment of whether osteopathic treatment is suitable for you. You will also be asked about activities and lifestyle as these may be relevant to your condition.

A follow-up treatment lasts 30 minutes. This includes time to discuss your progress and answer any questions you may have following your initial session


You do not need to be referred by your GP for osteopathic treatment, though patients often are. However, if you have an ongoing problem or are undergoing treatment from your doctor, it may be advisable to let them know that you are having or considering osteopathic treatment.

Examination and Treatment

The examination involves looking at you standing to begin with, observing your posture and any areas of muscle tension. Your range of movement in the problem area will also be assessed.  In many cases the osteopath will examine an area of your back, neck or limbs that you may not realise are related to your symptoms. Other tests, such as tendon reflexes or blood pressure, may be carried out.

For the examination and treatment of back and neck problems you will probably be asked to remove some of your outer clothes. If you would feel more comfortable, wearing loose clothing such as track–suit trousers or shorts is usually fine. Gowns are also available. You are welcome to have a friend or relative present during your treatment if you wish.

Depending on the history and examination findings, you will be advised if osteopathic treatment is suitable for your particular problem. Whenever possible, you will also be told how many treatment sessions you are likely to need.

Osteopathic treatment can include massage to stretch muscles and release tension, mobilisation and manipulation of joints. Sometimes massage of the affected area may cause a little discomfort and it is not uncommon to feel a bit more stiff or sore following treatment. This would normally settle within 24 hours.
In addition to the hands-on treatment, postural advice will be given when appropriate and exercises to carry out at home may be prescribed.

For some patients, osteopathic treatment is not suitable. In this instance some other form of treatment may be recommended or you may need to see your own doctor. If necessary your osteopath can write to your GP to give their findings.

The type of treatment you receive can vary at each appointment depending on your progress and may include the following.

Joint mobilisation

Spinal and peripheral joints can be restricted, not moving through their full range of movement, due to strains, muscle tightness and arthritis for example. We use techniques to improve the joint’s range of mobility; this can reduce pain and help ease muscle tension in the area.

Muscle energy treatment (MET)

Muscle energy techniques involve the patient gently contracting or tightening muscles against the practitioner’s resistance, followed by relaxation and stretching of the muscles to release tension and improve their function.


The manipulation may be a quick movement to a specific joint, which can cause an audible ‘click’; it is not painful. This is only a small part of treatment and is not used on every patient. Some people can be nervous about this “click”, but it would never be carried out unless our patient is completely happy for us to do so.

Cranial osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle form of treatment which can be applied to any part of the body, not just the head, and is suitable for people of all ages and for a wide range of conditions. Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change in the body’s tissues, the cranial rhythm or involuntary motion, and through this, identify where strains and stresses have occurred.

The principles of cranial osteopathy are the same as any other form of osteopathy. Osteopathic treatment releases tensions in the body’s tissues, which may have developed over many years from causes such as physical and emotional trauma, postural strains and illness. The human body is very good at adapting to these effects but with repeated stresses this becomes more difficult, tension remains in the body, leading to symptoms developing.  For many patients the gentle cranial approach will be very effective in relieving these symptoms as well as for treating recent and acute problems. It is not unusual to feel as if very little is happening during the treatment and most patients’ find this type of treatment very relaxing.

















  Judith Jenkins - Southport Osteopathic Clinic, 67 Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport PR8 4DE, Telephone: 01704 550694 Site By Lime Haze