What to expect from your osteopath

Before your first appointment

You can arrange an appointment by phone, email or by dropping by during opening hours. Hopefully we’ve answered a lot of your potential questions on our website, but if you need any more information on anything before your appointment, please give us a call.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

You do not need a referral from your GP. Indeed, most patients ‘self-refer’. We may, with your permission, contact your doctor to report our findings and treatment of your condition, or to request reports of investigations or treatment you have received elsewhere.

Your initial consultation


At your first appointment your osteopath will listen and ask questions about the problem that you are seeking help for. We will also ask about your medical history, general health and lifestyle, including any history of injuries, medical conditions and any medications you are taking.


We will then perform an examination to help establish the nature of the problem. This will usually involve observing your posture, assessing your mobility by asking you to perform some simple movements, and using our hands to assess the body tissues for pain, inflammation and tension. We aim to treat the patient as a whole, because the structure of the body means that sometimes you can feel symptoms such as pain or stiffness in one part of the body that are linked to problems elsewhere.

Diagnosis and treatment plan

After our examination we will explain what we have found, and discuss a treatment plan that is right for you. We will explain the likely benefits we think we can achieve, as well as any potential risks, and make sure you are happy with the plan before we go on to treat you.

Osteopaths are also trained to check for signs of serious conditions which we cannot treat. If this is the case we may advise you to see your GP or other appropriate healthcare professional.

Treatment and advice

As osteopaths, we treat primarily using manual therapy techniques such as massage, joint mobilizations and manipulations, but we may also use other therapies including ultrasound, interferential, laser and dry needling. We will always make sure you are comfortable with and consent to any treatment methods we use. At each follow-up appointment we will review your progress and agree any changes to the treatment plan with you.

For more details on specific treatments see our treatments page.

We may advise you on stretches, rehabilitation exercises and other self-help measures at your consultation. We can also provide a range of sports tape and supports. We can offer ongoing maintenance treatment to support your longer term optimal health.

Helping you feel comfortable

We know some of our patients can be a bit nervous, especially before seeing an osteopath for the first time. We want you to be comfortable during your treatment, so we try to be flexible to meet your individual needs and expectations.

Is treatment painful?

As osteopaths, we have a wide range of treatment techniques we can use, depending on what is suitable for you as an individual. Some patients prefer a strong treatment, while others respond better to very gentle technique, depending on personal preference and the nature of the problem. We will warn you if we think a technique may cause some discomfort, and be guided by you to tell us to stop if anything is too uncomfortable.

After a treatment around half of patients may experience some mild soreness. This usually lasts less than 48 hours. If you have any symptoms that concern you after a treatment, please contact us for advice.

What to wear

We will usually ask you to remove some clothing so we can examine the problem areas properly, but also to examine any related areas and general posture. If you are uncomfortable undressing down to your underwear we can usually work effectively around loose or flexible clothing or gym wear (e.g. shorts, leggings, tracksuit bottoms, T-shirts). We also have gowns available for you to wear.

Your choice of male or female practitioner

We have both male and female practitioners working at Churches Osteopathic Practice, so if you feel happier with one or the other, just let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.


We are happy for you to bring along a friend or family member to accompany you during your treatment. We ask that all patients under 16 years old are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Your consultation with your osteopath is completely confidential. We will only disclose any information, clinical findings, treatment or our case notes to anyone else with your consent.