Osteopathy is a primary health care system used to assess, diagnose, treat and manage a wide range of medical conditions. It primarily focuses on the musculo-skeletal system (bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues) using non-invasive manual treatment. An osteopath aims to restore normal function and balance by positively affecting the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems so the body is able to recover and heal.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between an osteopath & a chiropractor?
The key difference between osteopaths and chiropractors is that chiropractors focus mainly on the alignment of the spine using joint adjustments whereas osteopaths treat the body as a whole, using a combination of different techniques which is beneficial in a broader range of conditions.
What is the difference between an osteopath & a physiotherapist?
Osteopath’s work to treat the body as a whole and 90% of the treatment is hands on whereas physiotherapists oversee the improvements of specific muscle groups or parts of the body to restore movement and function with 60% of their work being hands on whilst also focusing on developing exercise programmes with their patients.
What conditions can osteopathy assist with?
Osteopaths who use a combination of traditional osteopathy and Craniosacral therapy can manage a range of conditions including low general aches and pains, including Fibromyalgia pain, joint pain including arthritis pain, pelvis, hip and leg problems, general, acute and chronic back pain, neck pain, headaches and migraines, shoulder or elbow pain including frozen shoulder and tennis elbow, muscle spasms, minor sporting injuries, disc injuries, postural injuries and neuralgia including sciatica.
What’s causing my symptoms?
Patient’s usually begin osteopathy treatment to restore balance, health and wellbeing in their body because all stressors, traumas and tensions leave their mark on the body and can affect the musculo-skeletal system. This could be stressors as a result from physical injury or postural problems, infection, environmental factors, chronic disease,emotional factors such as stress, anxiety or psychological trauma or usually a combination of any of these which leads to a reduction in health and quality of life.
How many treatments will I need?
This is very much dependent on the individual. A recent or acute injury may be treated in just a few sessions but complex chronic injuries or medical conditions generally need treatment for much longer. Once a problem is resolved a patient needs to book in for occasional maintenance treatment. A treatment plan will be outlined during your initial consultation. Many patients see drastic improvements in their health and significant improvements in their quality of life. Some make full recoveries even from long term, complex, chronic health conditions becoming entirely symptom free.
Are manipulations used?
Yes, manipulations are a set of hands on techniques used by osteopaths to diagnose, treat and prevent illness.
Do manipulations hurt and are they dangerous?
Manipulations do not hurt but due to the nature of the gentle physical work being carried out it’s not unusual to feel sore or stiff for the first few days after treatment especially if you are having treatment for a particular injury
Is osteopathy safe and are there any side effects?
Osteopathy is generally regarded as a safe treatment, although you may experience some mild side effects after your treatment including temporary worsening of current symptoms. This is a normal part of the practice as the body heals and is nothing to be concerned about but if you do have concerns your practitioner will be able to advise you.
Can I have osteopathy whilst having other treatments?
Osteopathy is compatible with other treatments, there is no reason why you should stop other treatments whilst doing osteopathy. During your initial consultation your health care will be discussed in detail, including symptoms, any medication you’re taking and current treatment you are having to ensure full disclosure to your osteopath so they can help manage your condition in the best way possible.
Can I still take my medication whilst having osteopathy?
It’s important to continue to take all of your medications your doctors have prescribed you whilst having osteopathy treatment. The treatment will not interfere with your medications. In many cases the treatment assists patients to come off medications for pain relief.
Can I have osteopathy whilst pregnant?
Osteopathy is safe to have during all stages of pregnancy. It can assist during pregnancy to help with lower back pain, pelvic pain and may help to reduce the need for medications during childbirth. It can also be beneficial post-natal to help with recovery from the birth.
Is osteopathy suitable for older people?
Osteopathy is suitable for anyone and can help with a wide range of medical conditions. Aging can make the body weaker as well as encouraging the development of conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and general aches and pains so osteopathy can help the elderly by increasing the mobility of joints, relieving muscle tension, easing stiffness and helping the body to compensate for these natural changes.
What can I expect from my initial consultation?
What happens during follow up appointments?
Generally, follow up appointments are 30 minutes long and involve the manual osteopathy treatment but they can be longer if required. There will also be a brief discussion of your overall health and how the treatment is impacting you and your life during the follow up appointments. Your osteopath will also be able to answer any questions that you may have.
Where are your clinics located?
Rakhee Mediratta’s clinics are currently in 3 locations: The Neurology and Pain Clinic on Harley Street in London, The Chalfont Clinic in Chalfont St Giles &The Bushey Practice in Bushey. Rakhee also offers home visits in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, London and surrounding areas.
Do I need a GP referral to see an osteopath?
Although most osteopaths will often treat patients that have been referred to them by a GP, a referral by a GP to an osteopath is not necessary. Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners, which means they are qualified to treat patients without a referral. Patients are easily able to self-refer and book an appointment with an osteopath for treatment.
Can I claim on my insurance?
Most private health insurance providers cover osteopathic treatment. It is possible to claim on the following insurance companies, Aviva, Vitality, AXA/PPP, Cigna, Aliance and Bupa Global except from Bupa UK. It’s important to check in advance with your medical insurance before seeking osteopathic treatment. Receipts can be provided to help you claim back some of the costs of your treatment
What training do osteopaths have?
How are osteopaths regulated?
The GDPR policy is an EU wide law, set out to govern, regulate and standardise the way osteopaths protect and respect their patient’s privacy. It determines how osteopaths can collect personal data, how they store it and under what special circumstances they can disclose it to third parties.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
What should I wear?
It’s important to feel comfortable during your osteopathy appointments so wearing loose fitting garments like shorts and a t-shirt is appropriate in order for the practitioner to be able to work on you effectively. It may be necessary for your osteopath to remove some clothing during your appointment so they can observe and work on areas of your body which are contributing to your health conditions. Your privacy will be respected at all times. You can bring a friend or family member along to your appointment if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Cancelling an appointment
Rakhee Mediratta has a waiting list of patients so please consider this when moving or cancelling your session. Please let your osteopath know if you wish to cancel or re-arrange your appointment with more than 24 hours-notice of your appointment so the slot can be made available for another patient. If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice, we reserve the right to charge the full fee. Appointments cancelled earlier than 24 hours-notice will not be charged.