Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I make an appointment?
To discuss any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me directly and I can see if I can help you. To make a booking you can contact me on my email: or ring me on 07914 865001. If you would like to make an appointment in Towcester you can also book online through the clinic website at
2. How much does an osteopathy appointment cost and how long do they last?
The first appointment costs £55 for 1hour 15 minutes and includes a detailed information gathering and examination treatment and a follow-up appointment costs £42 for 35-45 minutes depending what is required. Many similar therapies give only 30 minutes for an appointment but I prefer to not make the patient feel rushed and allow time for discussion and exercise prescription.
3. What methods of payment do you accept?
All clinics accept payment by cash, cheques and BACs transfers.
4. Will my medical insurance pay for my treatment?
Most health insurance companies will pay for osteopathic treatment. However policies and companies vary in the detail so please check with your company which benefits are included in your particular scheme. Please tell the receptionist when you book an appointment. (Some companies specify which osteopaths are covered).
5. What should I bring to the appointment?
Some people can be nervous about visiting an osteopath. You are welcome to bring a friend or relation into the treatment room with you if you wish.
It is important that not only the area which is causing your problems is seen, as other areas may be related to your condition. You therefore may be asked to undress to your underwear. Please feel free to bring shorts if that would make you feel more comfortable or if you have an issue with dressing down, please contact me so that it can be discussed further. Every effort will be made to make you comfortable and protect your modesty as far as possible.
Please bring a note of your medication if you take any.
6. What can I expect at my first visit?
You may be asked to perform certain simple movements in order to assess your condition and further examination will normally be conducted while you lie on the examination couch. Various tests such as blood pressure, reflexes, joint mobility and muscle strength may be performed.
The diagnosis will be discussed with you, and in most cases some treatment will be given but if it is felt that you would not benefit from osteopathic treatment, then this will be explained to you. Occasionally osteopathic treatment is not appropriate and you will be advised on what to do next, which may involve you being referred to your G.P. for further tests or investigations.
Please do not hesitate to ask the osteopath to stop the treatment and explain anything they say or do at any time during your appointment
It is important that not only the area which is causing problems, but other areas which may be related to your condition are seen. So you will need to undress to your underwear. Please feel free to bring shorts if that would make you feel more comfortable or if you have an issue with dressing down, please contact me so that it can be discussed further.
Occasionally, you may feel some increased tenderness after treatment. This is not unusual and is a result of the changes induced by treatment. Some people liken the feeling to the effects of unaccustomed exercise.
If you have any questions before you make an appointment please telephone the practice or contact me at
or 07914 865001.
7. How many appointments will I need?
This is a tricky question to answer because the number of treatments required depends on so many factors. These factors include how long the condition has been present, the nature of any injury, the general health and fitness of the patient and whether there are any maintaining factors which may slow down healing such as underlying stress or occupational postures.
Although it is not possible to give a definitive answer to this question, as a rule of thumb, patients with short lived acute conditions generally recover with two to four treatments, while longer term chronic conditions will need more. Many patients benefit from an ongoing maintenance programme. This can range from coming once a month, for example following a significant injury or RTA, or to manage the strains from a particular sport or profession, to every 3-6 months for an ‘MOT’. This option is totally individual and can be discussed as your treatment progresses.
8. Do I need a referral from my GP?
Most patients 'self refer' to an osteopath for treatment. Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.
9. Do Doctors approve of Osteopathy?
Yes they do. Although osteopaths work mainly within the private sector we do also sometimes work within the NHS. GPs and consultants are aware of our high levels of training and our status of state regulation (See Osteopaths Act) so they often suggest that patients seek the services of an osteopath, particularly in cases of back and neck pain. We frequently work closely with the medical profession either referring patients back to their GPs for further investigations or requesting information about test results. There are also cases where it is important to keep GPs up to date with a patient’s progress with osteopathic treatment.
On May 27th 2009 The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) revised its guidelines for the treatment of patients with persistent non specific low back pain (of over six weeks duration). One of its recommendations is that these patients should be prescribed a course of manual therapy such as osteopathy.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines
Manual therapy, as practised by osteopaths, which includes spinal manipulation, mobilisation and massage, is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to assist GP’s improve the early management of persistent non-specific low back pain.
10. How do I know if an Osteopath is properly qualified?
In 1993, osteopaths became the first complementary health care professionals to achieve statutory recognition under the 1993 Osteopaths’ Act. The title ‘osteopath’ is now protected by law. In the UK it is a criminal offence to describe oneself as an osteopath unless registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). You can check whether an osteopath is registered by consulting the register at or by ringing GOsC on 0207 357 6655.
11. What training do osteopaths have?
Undergraduate students follow a five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in osteopathy (MOst).
In addition, osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. It is mandatory for a practitioner to complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.
Hints and Tips
These are very helpful in stimulating the circulation and drainage in the superficial and deep tissues where they are applied which assists the inflammatory (healing) process. Place a gelpack or frozen peas in a thin tea towel or pillowcase or use a wrung-out cold flannel over the inflamed area. Never place an ice pack directly on the skin. Apply the cold pack 5 minutes or until the area is cold and then remove it for an hour and then repeat.
Sitting Down with Low Back Pain
If you have low back pain, avoid sitting for a prolonged period. Stand up and move around at least every 20 minutes.
If sitting is unavoidable, use an upright chair and use a cushion to raise your hips a little above your knees.
Driving on long journeys should be broken up with rests and walking around to help reduce swelling.
Lying Down with Low Back Pain
If you are on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
If you are on your side, bend your knees and place a pillow between them.
Placing a duvet under your sheet may make a hard bed more comfortable.
A collar or rolled towel around your neck may help relieve neck pain.
If using an ice pack, do not leave it on the neck for too long – max 5 minutes – so that the blood supply to the head is not compromised.