Let’s talk about your initial consultation and what to expect

Let’s talk about your initial consultation and what to expect

July 6, 2023

You’ve booked your first osteopathy appointment, but don’t know what to expect?  We’ve put together some tips on what your initial consultation might look like, from what to wear to what to ask.

Step 1: Make a booking using Find an Osteo

Firstly, you don’t need a referral to see an osteopath.

When you make your booking, you’ll be told how long the consultation will be, initial consultation can vary from 30-90minutes in length.

Confirm the duration of your first and subsequent appointments with the clinic, along with the associated cost for the session. An appointment made on behalf of a minor, will need a parent or guardian to attend.

Step 2: Your first consultation

An initial consultation is about getting to know you. Your osteopath will listen to your health and wellbeing concerns, ask questions about any health problems, symptoms and how they may affect your daily life. They will ask you questions about your medical history, illnesses, medications you’re taking, and other factors which might not appear to be directly related to your problem.

This session may not always involve active treatment or management, but it is the pivotal step in creating a tailored healing journey for you.

Here is your checklist for attending your first sessions:

  • Bring any relevant medical history –X-rays, notes on medication, any GP notes
  • Wear comfortable, flexible and appropriate underwear and clothing
  • Be honest about your pain, concerns and share your goals

Step 3: The physical examination

A physical examination will depend on why you are visiting the osteopathy, the location of your injury or pain. In some cases, you may need to remove some clothing for a thorough examination. There are four types of tests an osteopath may take you through to determine how to treat, manage and release tension.

  1. Clinical tests: These may include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, as well as movement and postural assessments, which may help determine how best to manage your condition.
  2. Movement: During the examination, you may be asked to perform simple stretches or movements. The osteopath may lift your arms or legs, be asked to bend over, or be asked to perform an activity. This allows the osteopath to analyse your posture, mobility and assess your injury or pain.
  3. Comprehensive assessment: Osteopathy takes a whole-body approach, so 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.
  4. Palpation: To assess the health of your joints, ligaments and soft tissues, your osteopath will use palpation. This involves touching and examining the area of concern.

Any hands-on therapy will be gentle but may leave you feeling sore for the first 24 to 48 hours after treatment.

Step 4: Your treatment plan

Your osteopath will suggest a custom treatment plan tailored for you. It may span multiple sessions depending on your response to treatment and could include hands-on therapy, educational information, dietary suggestions, exercise programs and lifestyle advice.


Time to take control of your health and wellbeing? Find an osteo today!