What to Expect from Treatment

In Line with Osteopathic Council of Ireland, as a patient you can expect your osteopath to:

  • Treat you with consideration and dignity.
  • Explain your diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Seek permission to start treatment.
  • Maintain respect and discretion while protecting your confidential information at all times.
  • Provide you with a patient-centred treatment plan.

Osteopathy is a patient-centred system of healthcare

A first appointment generally lasts longer than subsequent appointments, to allow the osteopath adequate time to:

  • Listen and ask questions about your presenting condition, your general health and other medical care you are receiving. The information you provide will be confidential.
  • Correctly perform a physical examination. Osteopathy is a form of hands-on healthcare which requires the osteopath to perform physical examination and treatment. Your osteopath will advise you on suitable clothing to wear for your treatment. On occasion they may require you to remove some items of clothing, if this makes you feel uncomfortable feel free to discuss this with your osteopath.
  • Ask you to make simple movements and stretches, to observe your posture and mobility in order to identify if the pain or stiffness you are experiencing in one area, may be linked to an issue elsewhere.
  • Check for signs of other conditions they cannot treat and advise you to see your GP or other appropriate health care professional.
  • Explain their findings and agree a patient centred treatment plan with you. This plan will include the number of expected treatments (more than one may be necessary), likely effects of treatment and any potential risks or reactions you could expect. This plan will be reviewed with you at each visit.
  • Perform a Hands-on treatment, with your consent, and explain what they are doing during that treatment. Ask any questions at any time if you are unsure or if you have any concerns. Your osteopath may also recommend individual exercises and self-help measures to assist your recovery.
  • Osteopathic treatment includes techniques such as stretching and mobilisation for general treatment of the soft tissues, along with manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, connective tissues and organs. Some osteopaths practise a form of treatment called cranial osteopathy which is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment. The therapist uses gentle techniques to release stresses throughout the body.


Do I need a referral from my GP?

No, you can make an appointment directly without a referral and Osteopathic treatment is covered on most plans offer by Health insurance companies.

What do I need to bring?

If you have any, bring along any X-rays, MRI scan reports or test results that you may have relating to the issue.

Am I required to arrive early for my first appointment?

Please be on time for your appointment as you will need to fill out initial paperwork.

Why am I asked to complete paperwork?

An osteopath will need to record your medical history to assist in discussing treatment options.

An osteopath needs to obtain your approval to treat you, so you may be asked to sign an ‘informed consent’ form.

What should I wear?

It is important that you feel comfortable. A comfortable shirt and loose pants or a pair of shorts or gym wear is usually ideal. If in doubt you can ask your osteopath when making your appointment.

Do I have to remove my clothes?

Depending on the area of your body requiring treatment, your osteopath may ask you to undress to your underwear. Gym wear or loose clothing is usually appropriate to wear to you appointment. If you feel uncomfortable with undressing please tell your Osteopath.

Can I bring a friend or relative?

Yes, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment.

What happens at my first consultation?

Your osteopath will ask about your presenting condition and symptoms. This will include your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.

Your osteopath will advise you if they can treat you or you need to be referred.

Your osteopath will conduct an examination and clinical tests. These include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which determine how best to manage your condition.

The examination may include passive and active movements. The osteopath may lift your arms or legs and you may be asked to bend over or stand upright. Be sure to wear comfortable, flexible clothing or gym wear.

Osteopathy takes a whole of body approach to treatment. Your osteopath may look at the area that is troubling you as well as other parts of your body. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.

Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.

What if my condition changes over time?

It is important you tell your osteopath if your medical condition changes over time. This includes any new injuries or change of medications.

Is osteopathic treatment painful?

Most osteopathic treatment is manual therapy and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.

There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain.

You may experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.

How long will my appointment take?

Your initial consultation may last around 60 minutes. This will enable your osteopath to take a thorough history, examine you and, depending upon your condition and consent, treat you. Follow-up treatments can be shorter. Please check appointment length when booking.

How many appointments will I need?

This depends on your condition. Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after two or three visits. Long term or chronic conditions may require more treatment.

Your osteopath will discuss this with you.

How much does an appointment cost?

The costs of an appointment varies from patient to patient, generally costs can range from €80 – €100. Ask the practice when booking.

Are there additional investigations or treatments?

Following treatment, your osteopath may decide that additional investigations such as X-ray, MRI scans or blood tests are required. Your osteopath may refer you to another health professional.

Does Private Health Insurance cover Osteopathy Treatment?

Yes, most private health Insurance policies will cover Osteopathy Treatments. The amount of cover depends on the individuals Policy.

Health Insurance

All of the major health insurance companies including VHI, Aviva, Laya Healthcare, GloHealth and St. Paul’s Garda Medical Aid cover Osteopathy.

The amount of cover depends on your individual policy. Please check with your health insurance provider to see how much you can claim.

Osteopathic Council of Ireland (OCI), [https://www.osteopathy.ie/], accessed April 2023

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