Nine things Osteopaths do that the NHS doesn’t.
NHS staff are skilled and dedicated people who work very hard on behalf of patients and do a brilliant job. Unfortunately, the NHS is such a big complex organisation and is often so overstretched that they can’t do everything for everyone. So this isn’t a criticism of the NHS, but here are some things that Osteopaths can do for you, which makes Osteopathy different.
Osteopathy is now recognised by NHS England as an Allied Health Profession alongside Physiotherapists, which acknowledges the fact that Osteopaths are degree qualified, professionally autonomous, regulated practitioners.
No waiting lists.
You can always see an Osteopath soon – same day or next day appointments are often possible. You don’t need referral from your GP, just contact the Osteopath yourself. It’s no use having to wait weeks for treatment if you are in a lot of pain now. Some people make appointments with us while waiting for an NHS referral, and then don’t need it when it comes through!
Appointment times that suit you.
Your Osteopath can be flexible about appointment times to fit in with your job / childcare / other commitments. Appointments can be changed (given reasonable notice) without any problem or without further delay.
Your Osteopath has time for you.
Appointments are 30-60 minutes long, so there is plenty of time to discuss everything relevant to your problem and how you can help yourself to avoid recurrences. We have time to explain to you the underlying reasons for your symptoms. and to agree with you what is the best way to treat it. There is time to talk about your lifestyle and how your job might be affecting your health, or how you can best balance your work, family and leisure to stay active and well.
Your Osteopath gets to know you and what works best for you.
Osteopaths take a detailed history of your health and lifestyle, so we can talk over anything in your past or current life which is relevant to your condition. It does seem like a lot of questions and a lot of information to sift through but often it helps to see the connection, for example to an old injury, or a job which involved repetitive movements, or a previous painful illness. The aim is to help you find a way to stay active and look after yourself.
Osteopathy treats all of you.
I remember a woman in her thirties with a painful left knee. She had been referred to an NHS physio, and by the time her appointment came through she had been limping and hobbling for so long that her right knee was painful too. The NHS physio said ‘I can’t treat your right knee, I can only treat your left knee’. An osteopath would never say that. An osteopath treats you as a whole person, so no matter where you have pain or discomfort as long as it’s appropriate for osteopathy, we can treat you.
Osteopathy treats you as an individual.
An elderly woman who was very petite came to see me because of neck pain. She had been referred to an NHS physio session which was a group class, with a mixture of all sorts of people with various reasons for their neck problems. They were all given the same exercise sheet, the physio went through the exercises and then told them all to do the exercises at home and come back in a few weeks if they hadn’t improved. Osteopathy is not ‘one size fits all’, it’s about your body, your life and how you can take care of yourself, so your Osteopathy treatment is unique to you.
Osteopaths do much more than just treat bad backs.
People associate osteopathy with back pain, but actually we treat the whole musculoskeletal system – that’s all of you except your vital organs. Within the NHS there are different departments for different parts of the body, for example an “Upper Limb Clinic” and a “Lower Limb Clinic”. Osteopaths can treat all of you and that makes perfect sense since your whole body is connected and moves as one. It’s not unusual for a problem in one area to affect another area so it’s often necessary to work on the whole body to really get to the cause of the problem.
In addition, Osteopaths can provide referral letters to other healthcare professionals , or ‘fit notes’ to employers, or reports for solicitors and insurance companies.
Osteopathy can help you maintain your mobility throughout life.
Some people find it useful to have regular all-over treatment sessions, like a maintenance plan, to help them keep mobile and feeling well. Some people have a recurring problem which they manage with the occasional help of some treatment.
As life goes by, everyone’s body changes and their needs change, so its’ good to have some help on hand when you want it.
Osteopathy is affordable – and you’re worth it.
Osteopathy is more affordable than you might assume. Concession rates are available for those on low income. What if your symptoms mean having to take time off work and losing income? How much is it worth to sleep well, to go to work each day without discomfort, to be able to enjoy playing with your kids or doing your favourite hobby without painful consequences?
Yes, you are worth it!