What can I expect on my first visit to an osteopath?At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.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 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.How long do osteopathic appointments usually last?In general, the first treatment lasts 45-60 minutes, and subsequent treatments usually 30 minutes. Your first appointment is usually slightly longer to allow for a full case history to be taken.How much does treatment cost?Initial consultation and treatment: £40.00Follow-up appointments: £36.00Although between 45 & 60 minutes is usually allocated for an initial consultation and 30 minutes for subsequent treatments, fees are per appointment which may take more or less time than this.What is osteopathy?Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patient's general health.Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances.This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.What do osteopaths treat?Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.Do I need a GP referral to see an osteopath?Most patients 'self refer' to an osteopath for treatment. Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.Do GPs refer their patients to osteopaths?Yes. GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by the General Medical Council and British Medical Association.How do I know if an osteopath is registered?All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can use their on-line Register to check if your health professional is currently registered.Can anyone call themselves an osteopath?The title 'osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the UK Statutory Register are entitled to practise as osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offence in the UK.What training do osteopaths have?Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst). Many osteopaths continue their studies after graduating.Osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. It is mandatory for a practitioner to complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.Who sets the standards of training and practice for osteopaths?The standards of osteopathic training and practice are maintained and developed by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the profession’s statutory regulator established under the Osteopaths Act 1993.