During your first appointment at our Ashtead clinic, the osteopath will ask you about your symptoms and your general health before carrying out a physical examination. The osteopath will use their hands to find areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain within your body. You will probably need to remove some clothing from the area being examined and you may be asked to perform simple movements to access your mobility of your spine and/or effected joints.
Once the osteopath has determined the clinical diagnosis of your problem, they will then be able to discuss whether osteopathy can help treat the problem and, if so, what the treatment programme should involve.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of manual medicine where the hands are used to diagnose and treat. There are no harmful side-effects, and osteopaths are taught to use minimal force.
It is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues all functioning smoothly together.
Osteopathy developed in the late 19th century by an American doctor, Dr. A. T. Still, who saw the body as a finely tuned, fully integrated machine, not a collection of parts. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and works with the structure and function of the body.
Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints; relieve muscle tension; enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and help your body's own healing mechanisms. Postural advice, stretches and exercises will also be given to aid recovery, promote a return to full health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Osteopaths believe that a problem with the mechanical structure of the body will impair its function, but that the body will heal itself if it is given the right circumstances. Osteopathic treatment helps the body heal itself, so treatment is a partnership between the patient and the practitioner. What the patient does with their body on a daily basis will either enable a faster or slower recovery, thereby requiring fewer treatments.
Rarely do you find a more motivated and a professional therapist like Howard. He is not only technically very good, but he also possesses great inter-personal skills.
M. Nielsen (Spa Director, La Manga Club Spa, Spain)
I cannot emphasise strongly enough the benefits of Osteopathy and deep soft tissue massages. For a number of years I have used in tandem both of these treatments during injury and as a general ongoing maintenance to prevent injuries.
Howard has been one of the practitioners at the practice I go to in Hatfield (The Hatfield Practice) and the treatment I have received from him has certainly helped me.
Graham (Runner with St Albans Striders)
I have been seeing Howard for sports massage for a number of years. Howard is excellent at pinpointing the trouble spots and is one of the best masseurs I have come across. A weekly session with Howard keeps my body in shape for competition.
F. Lawrence (Ironman World Championships 2008 finisher)
Howard has really helped to keep me on the road over the years and I'd recommend him to anyone. As a regular long-distance runner and triathlete, I always have tight and tired muscles, but after every session I leave with legs feeling much looser and fresher. He's not afraid to make you hurt a bit to really get at those tight spots!
A. Greenwood (Serpentine Running Club)
I have the pleasure of working with Howard at events and have taken full advantage of his skills. Any treatment, from manipulation to massage, I received from Howard has been a success and long lasting on the many issues I have. So much so he is always in immediate demand when we meet up! Thanks Howard.
C.Styles-Coles (Sports Massage Therapist at Human Race sports events)
Rave reviews from wounded. Ta.
Nigel (Head Coach at the Civil Service Rugby Club)