If you've recently been referred to an osteopath and have never been to this kind of clinic before, then you may be wondering about what your first appointment will entail. While this initial consultation may be more about assessing your problem rather than treating it, you can make things run smoothly if you prepare ahead of the meeting. What do you need to do?
Write Down Your Issues
Your osteopath will want you to tell them about the nature of your problem and any symptoms or pain you might be having. To make things easier, jot down some details in advance. It's easy to forget to mention something in an initial consultation—making a quick list helps you remember everything.
Get There Early
You'll probably have some forms to fill in when you go to your first appointment, so it's a good idea to turn up a bit earlier than you need to. This allows you to stay relaxed rather than having to rush through the forms because you've arrived bang on time.
Bring Along Test Results
If your GP or hospital has run tests or diagnostic procedures on you, then it may help to take any documentation you have to your appointment. For example, your osteopath will find it useful to see any blood tests, x-rays or scan results you may have had that relate to your current problem.
Your osteopath may need to examine parts of your body during your appointment, so it's best to wear loose-fitting clothes and shoes that you can take off easily. Alternatively, take along a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and change into them in the clinic. Bear in mind that your osteopath may want to examine different areas of your body to the ones that are giving you problems if they think that you have referred pain that is actually coming from a different area of your body.
Tip: You may be asked to strip down to your underwear so your osteopath can examine you in the right places. If you aren't comfortable with this, you can always take someone to the appointment with you.
If you've noticed that something makes your pain worse, then bring this stuff with you to your appointment. For example, if your foot pain is worse when you wear certain pairs of shoes or your back pain gets really bad when you carry a particular rucksack, then taking the shoes or bag with you may help your osteopath diagnose and treat your problem more easily.