At the first consultation, the osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information about your lifestyle and diet. The osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis. You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.
Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body's points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.
The osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat your condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health.
Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.
Osteopaths' patient-centered approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.
As the efficiency of the muscles and joints becomes compromised over time, more effort is required to move or to sit upright at a desk – even the breathing mechanics can be affected. Any areas of injury are guarded by the muscles and compensated for elsewhere in the body. All of which takes energy.
The water content in our muscles and connective tissues becomes depleted over time, so functioning can be helped by keeping hydrated. As well as drinking plenty of water, regular stretching, and gentle daily exercise can encourage endorphins and a good night’s sleep, and therefore greater energy during the day.
When young, the body adapts easily to the stress and strain it is put under. As it grows older it begins to lose some of the elasticity which gives the body the flexibility to cope and adapt.
In particular this applies to the discs between the vertebrae and the joint cartilage. These require regular movement to ensure their maximum range and thereby increase local circulation and nutrition to the surrounding tissues which slows down the degeneration process.
As the muscles lose compliance, they are more prone to injury and stiffness, unless they are regularly stretched, and local strains treated to ensure speedy healing.
The spine is one of the most important and specialised parts of the body. Not only does it function to protect the delicate spinal cord, but it also allows for extreme flexibility and strength due to each vertebra articulating with the next, and forming a point of attachment for muscles, ribcage, shoulder/hip girdles and skull.
Nerves to all parts of the body branch out from the spinal cord carrying messages to and from the cord and the brain. It’s no wonder that when something goes wrong with the spine we certainly know about it. What is truly amazing, is that most of the time it performs all its functions so well!
"I have been treated by Anna Stainer at various times over a period of some fourteen years for various joint & muscular problems arising from gardening, DIY, sports, etc. Anna has always been very professional, welcoming, caring, and thorough. Her treatments have always been successful in alleviating the problem, and there has never been any pressure to undertake an extended course of treatments as I previously found with some other therapists. I would recommend her highly" M.D. Emsworth
"Very happy and comfortable with all aspects of treatment. I feel very confident in Anna's hands and have greatly improved my own pain management" M.S. Portsmouth
"Have been with Anna for many years and although I have a degenerative condition, treatment certainly helps and I always feel better afterwards. I would wholeheartedly recommend this lovely lady" R.B. Fareham
"I always look forward to visiting Anna. She’s not only a lovely, kind and caring person, she’s very professional and knows her profession well. Anna has been treating me for 6 years now and always makes me feel welcome, relaxed and better. I’m a hairdresser, so it’s my neck and upper back that suffer most, and without her treatment I would be in a lot of pain. Anna tailors the treatment to your needs" L.M. Whitely
"I have been coming regularly to Anna for several years with ongoing neck, shoulder and back problems. Anna's treatment and administrations are extremely helpful at maintaining my mobility. She is also a lovely person and I have no hesitation in recommending her and her practice" H.F. Southsea
"I find Anna’s treatments very effective. She has a methodical and constructive approach to the various neck and back problems I have had, keeps abreast of new research and developments, provides useful advice and is always welcoming and friendly" R.K. Waterlooville
"Anna is a kind person, and treats each patient on an individual basis, according to their needs. She always makes me feel at ease, and often tells me about the various courses she goes on to keep up to date with treatments. It is not just a job to her; her aim is to benefit patients with their ailments. You know you are getting the best treatment" B.M. Portsmouth
"I have always found Anna very professional and courteous in dealing with my treatment. I would not hesitate to recommend her to other people" M.P. Portsmouth
"I have found Anna very good at getting to the root of the problem – she is very skilled at her job. Plus her calm and approachable manner always puts me at ease. Jane the receptionist is always helpful and welcoming"
"Anna managed to find the cause of my problem and helped it immensely. She listens carefully and is thorough in her approach. I am now back to playing tennis and all my usual activities. Thank you!" C.P. Horndean
"For years I had experienced back and neck pain when a friend gave me an appointment to Anna as a gift and since then I have not looked back. I visit her on a regular basis where she realigns my back as well as relieving ancillary pains. I would thoroughly recommend Anna to anyone who requires relief and advice from a dedicated, professional Osteopath" F.B. Waterlooville
"I have been a patient of Anna's since approximately 1993. Over the years she has always relieved my painful body and sent me home feeling years younger. I have such confidence in her that I have recommended her to many friends and members of my family, all of whom she has helped beyond their expectations. What I love most about Anna is her empathy and skill. I look on her as more than my Osteopath but a friend, and have no hesitation in recommending her" L.T. Waterlooville