My first visit to the osteopath was three years ago when I first started to experience back pain. It was only an occasional dull ache to begin with, but over a period of three months, it started to become more frequent. I also began to experience significant muscle tightness.
My symptoms were a direct result of my strength training. As my weights got heavier, the pain in my back was worse after intensive training sessions. My doctor sent me for scans and there was no structural damage. My back pain was due to the toll the weights were taking on my body.
We ultimately discovered that the range of movement in my joints and my mobility appeared to be the problem. As I was after a holistic approach to address these deficiencies, I sought out an osteopath in an attempt to get my muscles, bones and joints working together instead of against each other.
What to expect on your first visit to the osteopath?
Don’t be nervous. I experienced no pain during my first session. It usually takes just over an hour.
Osteopathy is concerned about the overall health of your body and, in particular, your musculoskeletal system health. Your osteo will chat to you about the history of your back pain, as well as any other pain you may be experiencing elsewhere in your body.
You’ll often find an underlying condition elsewhere in your body may contribute or is the root cause of your back pain.
After a complete history is done, expect a full body examination to follow. This will involve feeling your muscles and joints, and you might also perform some simple exercises to see how your body responds.
Once your osteopath has a complete picture of your physical health, they’ll discuss your recommended treatment plan. This treatment will begin during your first visit.
What type of treatments can I expect from the osteopath?
Some of the treatments for back pain involve the following osteopathic techniques:
- Muscle energy technique
- Cranial osteopathy
- Spinal manipulation
- Counter strain technique
How many visits to the osteopath will I need to fix my back?
Each patient is different. It will depend on how long you’ve had your injury for. Recently developed issues should take no more than three sessions to get you back to your normal self. In my case, two sessions were ample.
For medical issues and injuries that have been bothering you for some time, three sessions probably won’t cut it. You’ll probably need more before you start to feel completely healed. However, nine sessions is often the maximum you’d need.
How quickly should I expect to see improvement?
You should start to notice significant improvement in muscle tightness and any physical pain once you’ve completed your first session.
It’s important to make sure you go to your scheduled follow-ups and complete any exercises your osteopath has set out in your care plan.
From my own experience, I felt an immediate improvement after my first session, but I continue to practice the exercises given to me to make sure I suffer no further back pain.