Treatment Expectations

Amongst the community, we have seen [in the last 3 years] an ever-growing appreciation for osteopathy and its role in helping with many painful conditions. One question we are commonly asked at the first visit is: What can you expect from osteopathic treatment?

To answer this question, one must understand that osteopathy works to enhance your body’s own healing potential by removing any obstacles from its path. This could include:

  1. Activities in your daily life that aggravate the problem (e.g. lifting, sitting too long, etc),
  2. Stiff areas that are overloading the injured tissues,
  3. Tightness in the injured or surrounding tissues,
  4. Old strain patterns that affect the functioning of an area.

Ultimately the recovery rate is governed by your general health and healing mechanisms. As a general rule those with a number of medical conditions will take longer to recover then those without.

Irrelevant of your medical history we would however expect to see a steady improvement in your symptoms within the first three treatments or 2 to 3 weeks. Symptom improvement may constitute anything from, the pain being less constant, the pain being of a lower intensity, the area of pain decreasing in size, an increased ability to perform activities, sleeping better and greater mobility.

The total time for recovery is largely dependent on how long you’ve had the symptoms for. As a general rule if the problem is:

6 to 12 months2 to 4 months

Duration of problem Approximate recovery time
Less than 1 month 2 to 4 weeks
1 to 6 months 1 to 2 months
Greater than 12 months 6 months

We would obviously expect to see an improving picture over this time frame. In some cases a 100% resolution is unrealistic however we are usually able to make the situation much more manageable. Babies and children tend to be more responsive to osteopathic treatment as their bodies are much more adaptable. Therefore, most problems are usually resolved within 1-2 months.

To summarise osteopathy works with your body to help it recover from injury. Thus the pace of recovery is ultimately governed by your body, we are merely guiding it in the right direction.