What should i expect at my first osteopathy treatment?

October 30, 2018

Todd Stewart Headshot

Written By Todd Stewart

Being injured and in pain is never fun! What can sometimes be a frustration that adds to this hard time is knowing how to deal with it, who to see about your injury and how/what they do to help you. On top of all this sometimes trying something new and different can sometimes lead to stress and anxiety. We don’t want this to be the case. This is why I want to write this post to try and answer any questions you might have, to help you feel comfortable right from the moment you decide to make a booking with us. 


Do I need to bring anything to my treatment?

Often one of the first questions people can have after they have made a new appointment is this. And … Yes there are a few things you may want to bring with you.

Private Health Insurance

If you have private health insurance this is definitely something you would want to bring. At The Osteo Collective we can claim your private health insurance on the spot with our HICAPS terminal when it comes time to pay. This means that your out of pocket expense will be less and you won’t have the hassle of manually having to claim your rebate. So make sure you check your purse/wallet to make sure the kids don’t have it!


Got some recent scans of your current injury? Or have some older scans relating to the area with something you think we should know about? You can definitely bring these along with you but it is not a necessity. Any extra information is always a good thing, which will allow us to make a more informed decision about your injury and how best to treat it. However it is not always a problem if you forget to bring them. We can always look at it next time or contact the location where you had your scan to get your report. 

Workcover, TAC, DVA, Medicare patients

If you have a claim number with Workcover, TAC or DVA and are wishing to claim this with your treatment we WILL need you to bring all relevant documentation. If you do have all the relevant documents that’s great! We simply charge a small gap fee and process everything for you. If you forgot to bring them along you can still claim, however you will have to do this manually yourself. 

What should I wear when I come to see an osteopath?

Looser clothes are always welcome! In reality however, it doesn’t really matter. While wearing tighter jeans may restrict some movement around the hips, we can often adapt our treatment if necessary. One of the other questions and concerns some  people have is “will I have to take my clothes off?” and we answer this question a little later. 

What will happen when I arrive at the clinic?

So you've made it to the clinic and enter the door. Firstly, thank you for choosing us and we hope you have a great experience! But, what happens now? Right now you should be greeted by someone at our reception, if not someone will be there very shortly so feel free to take a seat. When you are greeted we will provide you with a new patient form to fill out with general information, injury/past medical questions and a second page with a consent form. Please simply take your time to fill out the first page and have a read of our consent form. When you are done, hand your form back and one of our osteopaths will be with you very shortly.

What happens in an osteopathy treatment?

So this is where most people have questions, I’m in the room… now what? We normally have a structure to the way we conduct treatments and I will go into detail about this below. Don’t feel like you have to read all of the detail however! Often in the start of the treatment we will try to find out your level of knowledge about what you are entering into and give you a brief rundown before we start. 


We start off with just talking! The first thing we talk about is the problem that brought you to us in the first place. We will ask quite a few questions (How, When, Why, What etc.) and we can often ask questions about your hobbies, family, work or pain in other areas of your body. We are trying to form an overall picture of you and how you operate, what might be some hurdles we need to overcome, what we need to get your body better at doing etc. Remember that your injury recovery is not located in our small room but extends to your home, work and life in general. The more we know about you, the more relevant advice we can give to make sure you don’t re-injure or exacerbate your injury.

After talking about your current injury we then will ask some questions about your general health and past medical history. This information can often give us further clues as to how or why your current injury may have started, or just helps us to ensure that treatment is safe and adequate for you.


After having a chat the next step is to take a look at your body and see how it’s moving. Depending on your current injury determines where we examine. Therefore often this step is individual for your personal condition. However this will involve a combination of your practitioner palpating (touching/feeling) the affected area, moving the affected area to assess the motion, watching you move the affected areas and applying any relevant special tests.


The combination of the history and examination will give us a diagnosis to work with. This next step is deigned to help you understand what your problem is. Not only will we try to help you understand the problem, but why it has developed and how we will help you resolve the problem. 

Hands on Treatment

Now we can get down to the hands on portion of the treatment. Every treatment is different! We tailor your treatment to you and your injury. What can be involved is treatment to the soft tissue, skeletal and fascia systems of the body. As osteopaths we have a wide range of techniques we can use from massage in different ways, skeletal articulation or traction, Muscle Energy Technique (MET), manipulation of the joints in the body, Counterstrain and other indirect techniques. Some of these techniques you as the patient may want to avoid or dislike. This is absolutely fine! We will simply find a treatment technique you like and your body reacts well to and compose a specific treatment for you. Be sure to always let your osteopath know if you are sore/in pain or uncomfortable, or your may prefer the pressure to be increased. Feedback is always welcome!


The last portion to our treatment is to give you advise about what to do/not do and give you some exercises to take away with you to work on. The type and amount of exercises differ again but will normally compose of stretching, activation or strengthening activities. We want you to be crystal clear with what you need to do and how long the process will take so feel free to ask as many questions as you need!


A picture of one of our clinics treatment room. This treatment room located in malvern east will assist in relieving patient's pain levels that may have happened following a gym related injury. Find out more about the malvern east clinic at www.theosteocollective.com.au/malvern-east
Cheltenham clinic room

Will I have to take off my clothes in the treatment?

As we talked about earlier this is often a question people have when it comes to the hands on portion of treatment. Often it can assist in our treatment to disrobe the relevant areas, which allows us to better assess the area and use a wider range of massage techniques. However this is definitely not necessary! Your osteopath will often ask something like “if you could remove your top/pants that would be great. If not that is completely fine”. This is totally up to you, the patient. As we talked about earlier regarding what to wear to your appointment, this is a reason why it is not normally a problem with what you wear. You may be a person who would be comfortable in removing tighter clothing, you may want to bring a change of clothes with you to change before and after the treatment with bike shorts etc. or you may wish to wear looser clothing and not remove any. Whatever you choose to do is fine. 

If you are happy to remove articles of clothing a large towel is always provided to drape you when you are on the treatment table.

How many sessions will I need?

Again a hard question to answer in a blog post. It once again is totally dependant on your injury and nature of how and why it has developed. Some people may have a once off injury that may only require 2-4 treatments. Another person may have an injury that re-aggravates every 3 months and would require some more maintenance to prevent this from happening. It is also possible for people to be suffering from a chronic injury which may require a slightly different approach. In this situation more of a maintenance approach may be indicated and the focus of the treatment will be based around improving function rather than just pain levels. 
It does differ, but we will always do our best to help you understand what we expect to happen and what you can do to help yourself.


Payment & future appointments

The very last portion of your time with us is to head back to the reception desk. Here we can process your payment using your private health or relevant documents followed by making any future appointments that may be necessary. 


This would conclude your time with us for the first time and we would hope that you would love it! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope it has been informative to help you make your decision or feel more comfortable when coming in to see us. 

Remember that everyone is individual and people have different injuries and reasons to see an osteopath. Everyone also responds in an individual way which is why we take the time to learn about you and tailor your treatment, advice and exercises to you and your lifestyle. If you would like further information about our approach please do not hesitate to contact us!

If you would like to make a booking simply click the button below or give us a call (numbers at the top of the page). 

Surrounding Suburbs We Service

Beaumaris – Black Rock – Hampton – Highett – Mentone – Sandringham

Ashburton – Carnegie – Caulfield – Chadstone – Glen Iris – Malvern – Murrumbeena