What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is an established, recognised system of diagnosis and treatment which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It is distinctive by the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability which we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body's structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.
[Description by the General Osteopathic Council, 28th October 1998]
What kinds of problems can osteopathy help with?
Whilst back and neck pain are the most common problems seen, osteopathy can help with a wide variety of problems including those due to changes in posture during pregnancy. It can help with some common conditions affecting babies and children, repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, and the pain of arthritis and sports injuries.
Terry Rulten will be happy to advise you as to whether he can help with your own particular problem. Feel free to give him a call on 01277 848900.
What can I expect when I visit the osteopath?
When you visit Terry for the first time, a full case history will be taken including details of your present problem, your past medical history and health in general. You may be asked to remove some of your outer clothing as appropriate, so that a thorough examination may be carried out to determine the nature of the problem.
The examination would typically involve you carrying out a simple series of movements to identify areas of dysfunction. Palpation will identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. Other tests such as neurological testing, blood pressure, X-Ray or MRI investigations may be carried out or arranged if necessary.
The assessment will be considered alongside lifestyle factors such as work and leisure to enable a full diagnosis and treatment plan to be developed.
Following treatment, advice can be given on what you may be able to do to help yourself, and how you can minimise the risk of further injury.
Treatment will normally begin on the first visit.
What does treatment involve?
Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques to suit the individual patient and the problem being treated. These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilisation or high velocity thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint.
Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients. This allows the body to return to efficient normal function.
How much does treatment cost?
When visiting Terry Rulten at the Brentwood Clinic:
The initial consultation, examination and treatment costs £45.
Follow up treatments are £40.
Payment is by card, cash or cheque with cheque card at the time of consultation and treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
Osteopathy is patient centred, which means treatment is geared to you as an individual. Terry should be able to give you an indication after your first visit. As a guide, for some acute pain, one or two treatments may be all that is necessary. Chronic conditions may need ongoing maintenance treatment. An average is 6 to 8 sessions.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No, the vast majority of patients self-refer. A formal referral from your GP is not necessary.
How can I be sure I am in safe hands?
Osteopathy is one of the safest forms of healthcare available.
A Registered Osteopath has demonstrated to the General Osteopathic Council via a detailed application process that they are a safe and competent practitioner, that they have adequate malpractice insurance and have agreed to abide by a Code of Practice.
What do the letters DO, BSc(Ost) and/or MOst after osteopaths' names mean?
These are osteopathic qualifications. The DO stands for diploma in osteopathy, the BSc and MSc are degrees in osteopathy. The length of training is the same for all, at least four years full-time training. The diploma course has been around the longest, the BSc and MSc degrees are now the standard osteopathic qualifications. Terry Rulten also has PGCE indicating that he has a Post Graduate Certificate of Education enabling him to teach osteopathy.
Can I have osteopathic treatment on the NHS?
Most osteopaths work solely in private practice, as does Terry Rulten. A few osteopaths may provide treatment on the NHS via a General Practice or local hospital. Enquire at your own GP practice to see if this is available in your area.
Can I have osteopathy on my private medical insurance?
Many healthcare insurers pay for osteopathic treatment. However, insurers vary enormously in terms of what they cover and how you should seek treatment and re-claim the cost of treatment. You are therefore advised to contact your insurer as soon as possible if you intend to make a claim.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to pay for your treatment at the time of treatment and to make a claim as appropriate through your insurer for repayment.
What should I do if I am unhappy with my osteopathic treatment?
Often problems are caused by misunderstandings and can easily be resolved by discussing your concerns with the osteopath directly. This should be done in the first instance. If this does not resolve the problem or your concerns are of a more serious nature, the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) has a Code of Practice which patients may refer to.
What is the status of osteopathy in the UK?
The 1993 report from the British Medical Association "Complementary Medicine - New Approaches to Good Practice" recognised osteopathy as a discrete clinical discipline.
Osteopathy is the first complementary health care profession to be accorded statutory regulation (Osteopaths Act 1993).
This legislation came into force on 9th May 2000 requiring all osteopaths to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).
It is now illegal for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC.
What are the origins of osteopathy?
Andrew Taylor Still, born in 1828 in Virginia, USA, trained as a doctor according to the system of medical education available at the time. As time went on he followed a different path from many of his peers, eschewing alcohol and the habit of contemporary physicians of administering crude drugs at their disposal in heroic quantities. This drove him to seek new methods of treating sickness. The outcome of his research was the application of physical treatment as a specialised form of treatment for which he coined the name 'Osteopathy'.
In 1892 A T Still organised a school in Kirksville, Missouri, for the teaching of osteopathy and it was from these small beginnings that osteopathy was brought to the UK around the turn of the century. The first school of osteopathy in the UK was set up in London in 1917 and over time other schools and colleges followed.
Today there are around 3,000 osteopaths in the UK performing over six-million patient consultations a year.
Terry Rulten Brentwood Osteopath