examination & diagnosis

The right treatment depends on the correct diagnosis

Examination at Hammersmith Osteopath

Your first appointment

Your first appointment will be the most important. No treatment can take place without diagnosis.  Alison will want to learn about you, your symptoms and your medical history. So at the first appointment, you should bring the following:

  • Details of past illnesses, operations, accidents, physical problems and when they took place; in the case of a child, the birth history.

  • The results of any medical tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, blood tests and so on, whether or not they are related to your current condition; also any film or CD of scans.

Alison will make a thorough physical examination and specific manual tests to determine the best treatment; this is essential to diagnosis leading to an effective treatment plan. If it is necessary to get further medical tests this will be discussed with you at the time.  

What to wear

For the examination and treatment, you will usually need to undress to your underwear.  Please feel free to bring a pair of shorts (stretchy) with you if this would make you feel more comfortable.  It is also helpful if women wear  bras that can be undone at the back to access the spine.

Examination at Hammersmith Osteopath

Treatment

There are several techniques that Alison may use to treat you; the choice depends on the condition, age and medical history of the patient.

Alison always uses the most gentle technique possible for your condition.  She very rarely uses high velocity manipulation (when you hear a click) as there are many other techniques that can be more effective and less traumatic. Techniques used for babies are so gentle that they can even feed whilst receiving treatment.

Although the clinical techniques used may involve some massage type methods, osteopathy is not massage it is a clinical therapy in which osteopaths are trained to deal with biomechanical problems of the body and to diagnose and treat injuries.  This goes far deeper than massage which only addresses the superficial muscles. Osteopaths are also trained to differentially diagnose conditions so that when another type of treatment would be more beneficial you will always be referred GP or the most appropriate health professional ensuring you always receive the most appropriate clinical care.

Speeding Recovery

Alison prescribes exercises for you to do at home to aid and/or speed  recovery as well as providing advice on how to prevent injuries from recurring. She will give specific recommendations for any changes you should make to help you recover and prevent future problems.

Occasionally you may have a reaction to your treatment. If your body has become used to being out of alignment, it can be quite a shock for it to discover that it is suddenly realigned and allowed to relax again.  This reaction lasts a short time and you should feel better when your body adjusts to the changes.

What Alison can help with include:

Acute / Chronic Back Pain
Muscular, Ligament and Joint Injuries
Headaches (when related to a strain within the spine)
Muscular strains or spasm 
Performing Artists
Voice Strain in Actors, Singers, Teachers and Public Speakers
Pain or stiffness associated with arthritis or osteoporosis
Postural problems
Rehabilitation after accidents
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
Sciatic pain
Sports injuries
Work Related Upper Limb Injuries
Hip and Knee Injuries