Useful Information

You will have read the information about changes to the way the practice is operating during the pandemic.

You will be seen by a fully qualified registered osteopath or physiotherapist who will explain what they are doing at all stages of your consultation.  They will need your consent to any procedures and will talk to you about the risks and benefits as well as potential outcomes of not having any treatment.

We know that some people are nervous about visiting an osteopath or physiotherapist. We are encouraging people to come on their own during the pandemic but understand this is not always possible.  Please call us to discuss arrangements if you wish to have someone attend the practice with you and we will explain the protocols.

Please ask your practitioner to stop the treatment and explain anything they say or do at any time during your appointment if you are uncomfortable or need more information.  

It is important that the osteopath or physiotherapist sees not only the area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort but other areas which may be related to your condition. We suggest that you wear loose clothing, eg leisure wear. You may be asked to undress to your underwear for a postural examination.  We understand and respect individuals modesty and you may be able to put some clothing back on before any treatment is administered.  We are unable to provide towels or gowns currently, you may bring a cover such as a towel or wrap with you.

Your practitioner needs to know about your health, past and present and you will be asked more detailed questions about your complaint, medical history including operations and illnesses, any medication you are taking and about any changes in your general health. Although some questions may seem unnecessary, all this information helps the practitioner to make a diagnosis and devise a suitable treatment plan with you.

You will be asked to perform certain simple movements in order that your practitioner can understand and assess your condition. Further examination will normally be conducted while you lie on the examination couch. Your practitioner may perform tests such as blood pressure, reflexes, joint mobility and muscle strength.

A diagnosis will be made and explained to you and in most cases, some treatment will be given with your consent. If your practitioner does not think you will benefit from treatment, they will explain this to you and suggest a different way forward.

You will be given advice regarding reactions to treatments and maybe prescribed exercises to support your treatment.

Please see the ‘After your treatment - General Hints’ document for information that might be useful before or after your appointment.

 If you have questions at this time, please call or email the practice. 

As with any medical examination, you will probably be asked to undress to your underwear, so please wear something you are comfortable in. For example, some patients opt to wear shorts and sports clothing.

During the pandemic we are unable to provide blankets or covers, you may like to bring a small wrap or cover with you.

Your first appointment with an osteopath or physiotherapist will generally last between 40 and 60 minutes. Follow up appointments are generally up to 30 minutes. A few patients seeing a neuro-physiotherapist may need double this length of time on follow up appointments. This will be explained to you when you book or at your first appointment.

The number of appointments required varies according to the patient's needs. Some patients may require just one appointment; whereas others may require several. However, we aim to keep your appointments to a minimum. Your osteopath or physiotherapist will be able to advise you at your first appointment on how many sessions you are likely to need.

During the pandemic this is more difficult than it has been in the past. We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible but we are limiting the number of people in the practice at any one time.  We know having someone with you during your consultation and treatment may make this much easier for you.

Patients with carers or children are welcome to bring someone with them.  This person accompanying you must answer the Covid screening questions and will have their temperature taken too.

Please call us if you would like any clarification about this.

Treatment does not usually hurt although some techniques may be uncomfortable. Your practitioner will tell you what to expect, and will want you to let them know if you are in pain so they can modify their approach. Some people may experience discomfort after treatment, this is usually nothing to worry about and is a normal, healthy response to the treatment we are delivering.

No, although some people are referred by GP’s specialists, health visitors or midwives, most of our patients are self referring. Some insurance companies require you to see or speak to your GP first.

Yes. We are registered with most healthcare insurers including AXA PPP and BUPA. We always recommend you speak to your insurer first before your first appointment, if you are planning to claim for your treatment.  They will normally give you an authorisation number, please bring it with you to your appointment.

Radlett - Monday & Tuesday 8am to 6pm, Wednesday 9am to 8pm, Thursday 9am to 6pm, Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Hitchin -Tuesday 8.40am to 6.pm, Thursday 8.40am to 6.pm.

OSTEOPATHY – PHYSIOTHERAPY - SOFT TISSUE THERAPY

Your practitioner will normally have told you that you may feel some increased soreness or tenderness and what to do to minimise or avoid it after your treatment.  It is quite usual and normally doesn’t last more than 24 – 48 hours. However, if you are worried or would like any more advice about pain killers, cold packs, sleeping and sitting please do not hesitate to call the practice.

You will often have been given exercises, if appropriate and they should be carried out on a regular basis.

 Sitting

  • If you have low back pain avoid sitting, try lying as described below.
  • If sitting is unavoidable, use an upright chair.
  • Use a cushion to raise your hips above your knees.
  • Stand up and potter around every twenty minutes or so.
  • If you are working at a desk, especially at a laptop, speak to your practitioner about modifications you can make.
  • Frequent short breaks away from the computer can help avoid back, neck and eye strain.
  • Driving involves sitting and long journeys should be broken up.

Lying

  • Lying flat on your back is not advised. Use a pillow under your knees or between bent knees lying on your side.
  • Placing a duvet under your sheet may make a hard bed more comfortable or consider buying a mattress topper.
  • A rolled towel around your neck may help relieve neck pain.
  • We can advise you on shaped pillows too.

Movement

Many problems are caused by repetitive movements such as reaching, stretching and twisting, even for small items.  Lifting carrying and pushing can aggravate many conditions.

Avoid sudden movements, move slowly, particularly when moving or stretching

Cold packs

Used to reduce pain, swelling and help control inflammation

Cover the area to be treated with a thin cloth to avoid ice burns.  In the first 24hrs after the injury or treatment apply the cold pack (frozen peas, gel pack) for no more than 5 minutes every hour, after 24 hours apply cold for 15 minutes (no longer) every 3-4 hours. 

Heat    

Can be soothing and comforting. It should be warm rather than hot and can be useful to reduce muscle tension and spasm.  Do cover skin before applying a hot pack, water bottle or wheat bag to avoid burns or scalds.

We understand that people have demands upon them and although we might advise rest this is often along the lines of “a change is good as a rest”.  We are happy to give you practical advice about workstations, caring for young children, training for competitive sport or undertaking general exercise.

After your appointment – General hints

HAND THERAPY

You may temporarily feel some increased tenderness after your initial assessment and treatment.  This is not unusual but if you are worried or would like advice please do not hesitate to contact the practice.

  • You will be given exercises (if appropriate). These will need to be carried out on regular basis.They should NOT increase your pain levels, if this should occur and you feel they have been carried out correctly, please discontinue the exercises until you have seen or spoken to your therapist.
  • If the area is swollen, please try to elevate your hand as much as possible.
  • Try to keep the unaffected areas moving as much as possible.
  • Contrast bathing: Alternating hot & cold water treatments will help reduce swelling, decrease pain, control inflammation and so improve mobility of the affected area. Immerse the area for 30 seconds each in hand hot water followed by immersion in iced cold water. Alternating the hot and cold so that you end in the hot water. (x4 hot, x3 cold) Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a day until the swelling is under control.

Surgical wounds: If you experience any of the symptoms below, please contact the hospital where your operation was carried out or your GP.

  • Sudden increased pain levels
  • Hot to touch
  • Throbbing sensation
  • Foul smelling odour coming from the wound site

Splints: If you have been fabricated a splint.

  • These should not be left in direct sunlight, on the radiator, front seat of your car or in hot water as this will alter the shape and therefore lose its function.
  • If you feel that a small area is uncomfortable, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist to correct this for you.
  • Splints can be cleaned using cool soapy water and a soft toothbrush.

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment/condition; Please do not hesitate to contact the practice.

All our practitioners are experienced and fully qualified in their field and registered with Statutory regulatory bodies. There is quite a lot of overlap with some of our skills and the different conditions patients present with.  Some have further qualifications or special interests.  Osteopathics Radlett has practitioners with expertise in Hand Therapy, Neuro physiotherapy and Paediatric osteopathy.

At our practices, osteopaths and physiotherapists work together as a team so patients receive the treatment and advice that is most appropriate for them.

Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners, now described as Allied Health Professionals. They have the ability to diagnose and treat a number of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Osteopathic treatment sessions are often more gentle and usually involve more treatment of soft tissues, muscles and ligaments with manipulation of joints than chiropractic sessions.

Physiotherapists are Allied Health Professionals too.  They tend to be more experienced in working with people who have had operations or need exercise and rehabilitation to restore their normal function. Physiotherapists apply therapeutic techniques and intervention in order to assist recovery of functional limitation and disability following injury and disease.

Specialist physiotherapists have significant training and experience in managing complex conditions eg Hand Therapy and Neurophysiotherapy

Chiropractors treat the same areas as osteopaths but concentrate particularly on the spine. They don’t do as much work on muscles and tend to do more clicking of joints so their treatments sessions are often shorter.