Frequent Asked Questions

Why Osteopathy?

With the increasing pressures on hospital and GP workloads made worse by limited resources, osteopathy offers a cost effective source of healthcare:

  • Simple musculo-skeletal problems such as back pain cost the NHS and industry billions of pounds a year

  • Osteopaths help to keep patients mobile and already succeed in keeping an estimated 25,000 patients a day out of doctor’s surgeries and off hospital waiting lists

  • Speedy, local access to osteopathic care normally within 2-3 days for acute patients often averts the possibility of conditions becoming chronic

  • Osteopathy can help to reduce pain and minimise dependency on drugs

  • Osteopathy can often prevent the need for further medical investigation or surgical intervention

  • Continuity of treatment allows patients to see the same practitioner for the entirety of their treatment

  • Patients are seen by practitioners skilled in clinical assessment and applied differential thinking

  • Patient reassessment at each attendance prevents continued treatment of an incorrect diagnosis

  • Osteopathy will help develop self-support strategies and exercises appropriate for each patient to prevent re-occurrence of injury

  • No capital costs to the GP practice as all support staff and all resource costs are inclusive within fee set

What to expect when visiting Stuart Yates Osteopathy:

Your first visit/ Consultation

  • Your initial consultation will take around between 45 and 60 minutes.

  • A case history is taken which investigates your problem. Your symptoms are usually discussed in detail to find out what and where they are, how long you have had them, possible causes and when it happened. Your osteopath will ask about any previous treatment including medication, xrays and blood tests and will also need to know about any other medical history (past or present) and whether you are currently receiving any medical attention.

  • Next our osteopaths will use their clinical training to conduct a full physical examination. Your osteopath will see how your body moves and what might be causing your pain. During the clinical examination you will be asked to perform certain simple movements so your osteopath can observe how your body moves and what might be causing your pain and how these movements effect of condition. The osteopath will then use a highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. During the examination various tests may be performed. This may include taking your blood pressure, reflexes or other orthopaedic tests to assess what is wrong.

  • At the end of the examination your osteopath will discuss with you their findings and will outline what the treatment is likely to involve. Any questions can be dealt with at this time, with your permission treatment will commence.

  • Please do not hesitate to ask your osteopath to stop at any time during the treatment and explain anything they do or say

  • In most consultations there is time for treatment; however if your complaint is complex or you have an extensive medical history, it may take longer.

  • If your osteopath thinks that osteopathic treatment is unsuitable for you at this time, they will work closely with your doctors and other healthcare professionals to find a treatment that is more suitable.

  • Occasionally you may be referred back to your GP or a medical specialist for further tests if there is any doubt about the cause of your symptoms.

  • As with any healthcare appointment, your confidentiality is assured.

To save time at your initial consultation please:

  • If you have scans, x-rays, bloodwork or other reports, please bring them with you.


  • Please allow 30 to 45 minutes for each subsequent treatment visit.

  • At every visit your osteopath will ask you questions of how your condition is progressing and how it is effecting your everyday life, reassessment will all occur so that the osteopath can confirm their previous diagnosis before continuing with treatment

  • Instead of drugs, Osteopaths use their hands as to discover the underlying causes of pain and to carry out treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques. These may include: soft tissues stretching, rhythmic passive joint movement, or HVT (high velocity thrust) techniques, to improve the range of movement of the joint. Gentle release techniques are often used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients; when done gently and in the hands of a trained, skilled and good adjuster, there is very little force and minimal discomfort.

  • After treatment an Osteopath can advise on maintaining a realistic level of health and avoiding those things that might be damaging. For example, exercises to adjust posture and/or, advice on diet and lifestyle, can be given as part of a personal health care programme and to prevent the reversal of treatment between visits

What can Osteopaths treat?

The most common conditions that we treat are:

  • Back and neck pain, Shoulder and arm problems, Pelvis, Hip and leg problems, Sports and other injuries. However, patients have found Osteopathy helpful for many other conditions. 

  • If you would like any more information please contact us.

  • Musculo-skeletal problems such as neck and back pain, any joint pain, sports injuries, muscle strains and ligament sprains, whiplash associated disorders, repetitive strain injury (RSI).

  • Symptoms of headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, constipation and other gastro-intestinal problems can also be treated by your osteopath.

What if osteopathy is not suitable?

  • If your osteopath thinks that osteopathic treatment is unsuitable for you at this time they will work closely with your doctors and other healthcare professionals to find a more suitable treatment.

  • Occasionally you may be referred back to your GP or a medical specialist for further tests if there is any doubt about the cause of your symptoms.

I am in pain, can osteopathy help me?

  • Most likely, yes. After a full examination your osteopath will know whether you are suitable for treatment or need referring for further investigations.

How much does it cost?

  • Initial consult: £50. Follow up treatments: £35. Keep checking the website for current offers.

How many treatments will I need ?

  • When you go to see your osteopath for the first time it is likely that you will be asked to come back for another treatment within 7 days or earlier, depending on the severity and “age” of the problem. The number of treatments depends on the condition and you as an individual, two patients with the same condition can require a different number of treatments. We aim to keep your appointments to a minimum if you are able to make the lifestyle changes suggested, and carry out the exercises recommended by your osteopath this may help to reduce the amount of treatment required as well as reducing the chance of recurrence.

  • You can rest assured that your osteopath will discuss your options with you, and only advise you to make appointments that are necessary. Your osteopath should be able to give you an indication of the approximate amount of treatments needed after your first visit.

  • We want you to be aware that if you think that you are not making progress under our care your osteopath is always here to talk you through it and reassess if required

  • If your problem does not seem to be resolving within these sessions, you may be referred to your GP for further investigation.

When is the best time to consult an osteopath?

  • Prevention is better than cure, and it is often easier for your osteopath to treat underlying stresses and strains when there is no current pain.

  • You do not have to be in pain on the day of the treatment, many patients regularly visit our clinic for “check-ups” in either 6 or 12 month intervals so that conditions can be pre-empted and prevented, this is very common with our sports clients.

  • Most pain is easier to treat in its early stages so you do not have to wait for a particularly painful episode to settle before visiting your osteopath.

How soon can I get an appointment?
  • Contact us for an appointment. We aim to see you within 24-48 hours, at your convenience.

What should I wear for my osteopathic appointment?
  • Wear comfortable clothing and modest underwear or shorts. You may be asked to undress to your underwear for examination and treatment; this is so your osteopath can see how your body moves and what might be causing your pain.

  • It is important that your osteopath can see and feel not only the area causing your problems, but also other areas of your body that may be related to your condition. 

  • It is not always necessary to undress to underwear after initial examination but we use towels to help protect your modesty if it is the case.

Can I bring a friend or relative?

  • If you are a little nervous about visiting your osteopath, you are welcome to bring someone to accompany you into the treatment room, but please keep in mind very personal questions may be asked and you may be asked to undress to your underwear so please bring somebody you are comfortable with.
  • Remember that patients aged 16 and under legally need to have a parent/guardian present throughout.

Does osteopathy hurt?

  • Osteopathy is usually painless but may be a little uncomfortable. Most people find osteopathic treatments to be gentle and relaxing.
  • With some conditions certain techniques may cause some discomfort but not normally more than you are already used to with your problem.
  • Your osteopath will warn you if this is likely to be the case. Remember you are in control of the session and can ask the osteopath to stop or change to another technique at any time.

How will I feel after my osteopathic appointment?

  • Some relief may be felt after treatment, but for 24 to 48 hours after the treatment you may experience some minor discomfort or aggravation of your symptoms. This is a normal part of your body’s response to the osteopathic treatment.
  • It is also common for the full benefit of the treatment to be felt after 2 to 3 days. Should any reaction to your treatment cause any concern at all, please feel free to contact your osteopath for advice. If necessary, leave a message on our answering machine for a response at the earliest opportunity.

What makes Stuart Yates Osteopathy different?

  • Easily accessible - we are located situated only 5 minutes from Junction 7 of the M6
  • Appointment times that fit around your schedule; the more notice you give us the earlier or later we can be available 
  • Your osteopath will always keep you informed of your condition and your prognosis
  • Your predicted treatment programme will be outlined to you after your first consultation and you will not be expected to continue treatments if they are no longer appropriate to you or you decide not to continue
  • From initial consultation we aim to keep you at work or return you to work as soon as possible
  • We will make sure you are appropriately referred to another healthcare practitioner if we feel you will benefit more from alternative treatment.

Osteopathy is it safe?

  • Osteopathy has been proven to be remarkably safe, much safer than taking painkillers or surgery. Diagnosis is vital and Stuart Yates Osteopathy pride ourselves on an investigative approach to establishing the cause of your problems and not just treating symptoms.
  • When performed correctly in experienced hands risks, are minimal and you will always be advised of any attendant risks involved in your case. Because osteopathy is delivered by a registered osteopath, risk factors are identified before any treatment is given; your osteopath will explain possible risks of treatment and discuss any concerns you may have prior to commencing with treatment.

How can I be sure I am in safe hands when visiting an osteopath?

  • To qualify, an Osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculo-skeletal medicine and includes more than 1000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques.
  • A Registered Osteopath has demonstrated to the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) via a detailed application process that they are safe and competent, that they have adequate malpractice insurance and have agreed to abide by a Code of Practice.
  • Your Osteopath can choose from many different Osteopathic techniques. If there are any known side effects from the one your Osteopath selects, they will inform you.

In May 2000 ‘The Osteopaths Act 1993’ became law, the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was formed to oversee and enforce this Act: 

  • It is a criminal offence in the UK, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as an osteopath, (or any derivative e.g. osteo-therapist, osteopaths assistant etc.), unless registered with the GOsC.
  • Only practitioners meeting the highest standards of safety and competency are eligible for registration.
  • All Osteopaths work to a strict code of ethics. Some of these include: Safety, honesty, competence, confidentiality, a caring approach, integrity, to be non-judgmental, professionalism in dress and manner, and postgraduate training*.
  • The British Medical Association’s (BMA) guidance for General Practitioners (GP’s) states that doctors can safely refer patients to Osteopaths.
* 30 hours CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is part of the GOsC yearly registration requirements; thus ensuring that Osteopaths are up to date with new techniques and medical advancements.

Do I need a referral from my doctor to visit an osteopath?

  • No, it is not necessary to be referred by your GP, osteopaths are qualified to diagnose as well as treat patients.
  • If your osteopath finds anything that would be better treated by your GP or other healthcare professional, they will write a letter of referral for you. Some insurance companies may require a G.P. referral before authorising treatment.

Can I get an osteopathic treatment in the evening or on Saturday?

  • Yes, we offer appointment times that fit around your schedule we offer morning, evening and also appointments on Saturday; with opening times depending on your schedule and the more notice you give us the earlier or later we can be available.
  • Evening and weekend appointments are popular and fill up quickly but it’s worth calling up for a last minute osteopathy treatment as occasionally there are spaces or last minute cancellations.

What is the difference between an Osteopath, Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

Below is an outline of the main similarities and differences between the two, but bear in mind it is from an osteopath’s point of view; if you ask a chiropractor or physiotherapist, you may get a different answer.

The Similarities:

  • Osteopathy and Chiropractic were founded in the USA in the late 19th century.
  • A formal training leading to a BSc(Hons) or Bachelor's degree. (Osteopathy recently upgraded to a Masters Degree Qualification).
  • All are statutorily regulated with their own Acts of Parliament and their own General Councils.
  • Osteopaths and chiropractors both have a common philosophy about the importance of the integrity of the spine in ensuring good health. The primary treatment objective of both is to remove bodily aches and pain.

The Differences:

  • Generally osteopaths spend longer with each patient (on average 45 minutes) compared to chiropractors (on average 5-10 minutes) and physiotherapists (on average 20mins).
  • Osteopathic patients generally require less frequent treatments, and their treatments are spaced out over a longer period of time, rather than once or twice weekly for chiropractors. Some chiropractors are known to require or encourage their patients to sign on for a course of 12 or 24 or more treatments, even for minor complaints like lower back ache.
  • Chiropractic treatment tends to emphasise on quick manipulations of spinal joints only ("cracking the spine").
  • Physiotherapists tend to use a lot of exercise programs rather than hands on treatment
  • Osteopathic treatment tends to involve rhythmic stretching, articulation, mobilisation and manipulation on joints and muscles of the whole body.
  • Chiropractors use the title “Doctor” in front of their name whereas osteopaths don’t as they feel the public may confuse them with GP’s.
  • Osteopaths are able to perform diagnosis by visual inspection and palpation (feeling by hand).
  • Physiotherapists do not diagnose and have strict protocol for each condition with only small variation between patients (NHS).
  • Chiropractors rely on x-rays for diagnosis and believe that the form (alignment) rather than function of the spine is key.
  • Osteopaths do not order x-rays unless they are clinically indicated. This minimises a person's exposure to radiation.

Can a patient be referred by a GP to an osteopath?

  • In recognition of the high standards and competence achieved by osteopaths, the British Medical Association (BMA) has authorised GPs to refer to registered osteopaths.  
  • Osteopaths have a high level of clinical musculo-skeletal disorder training, and the primary care skills to triage for pathology requiring referral. Osteopaths are increasingly used by general practitioners for rapid (within 48 hours) assessment of musculo-skeletal complaints.
  • In May 2009 the BMA developed some informative guidance on how to refer to independent practitioners, including osteopaths. We welcome such referrals and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the process.