The first appointment is twice the time of any subsequent ones as a full account of the problem has to be discussed, also a medical history and a current systems check. If patients are taking any regular medication it is helpful to have a list or a copy of a repeat prescription.
It is also helpful if patients wear loose clothing to be able to undertake simple movement tests and if possible to show the osteopath the part that hurts; often a pair of shorts or joggers will fill the bill. Chaperones are welcome to support patients, indeed are required for anyone under the age of 18.
Once the history and discussion are complete, the Osteopath will observe various movement, orthopaedic or neurological tests and come to a conclusion or diagnosis and discuss this with the patient. They will also discuss treatment approaches and if everyone is happy, then proceed to treatment.
There are variations to this for Neuro Development Therapy where a first appointment can last up to three hours with a battery of physical, visual, hearing and written tests.
For all therapies treatment reactions and risks will be discussed and also an estimate of the number of appointments that will be necessary to achieve a successful outcome.