Questions to Ask Your Osteopath Before Back Pain Treatment

Posted on: 17 September 2019

Osteopathy is a whole-body approach to treating musculoskeletal disorders, typically by using massage or manipulations. It can be an effective part of a treatment package for back pain, but it will work best if you understand your treatment. Here are some questions you might want to ask before your appointment.

What type of treatment will I receive?

Osteopathy is a hands-on treatment that attempts to improve the functioning of your entire bone and muscle system. There are a number of techniques that the osteopath may use. Simple massage is used to reduce tension in your back and lessen the pain that accompanies it. An osteopath may also use manipulation—a direct thrusting movement at specific parts of your spine. This may cause a popping or clicking sound, but this is quite normal and nothing to worry about.

Other techniques involve counterstrain, in which they move you into a less painful position so they can inspect the parts of your back that are causing problems, or lymphatic pump techniques, which attempt to reduce fluid blockages and keep it moving around your body. If you are not used to being massaged, you may find these techniques strange or uncomfortable, so it is important that you know in advance what kind of treatments you will be experiencing.

Will I need to do anything else?

Your osteopath will probably give you further advice about exercise, diet and posture. It is important that you take note of this advice and follow it. It is accepted nowadays that back pain is best treated by keeping active rather than resting, and the osteopathy session will help to relieve pain so you can get moving again. It is important to remember that managing your back pain is as much about lifelong habits as it is about a single session with a practitioner, so you should carry out any exercise regime you are given.

Will there be any side effects?

Osteopathy is generally safe, but you may temporarily experience headaches, or soreness where the manipulations took place. In very rare cases, patients have experienced nerve damage in the spine, but this is unlikely, especially if the osteopath is skilled and experienced. Make sure you understand any risks before getting treatment.

Osteopathy can help with acute or chronic back pain. Just talk to an osteopathy treatment doctor, and you could be taking your first step toward a life without back pain.

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