Frequently Asked Questions at The Osteopaths
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Treatment Painful?

Osteopathic techniques range from very gentle soft tissue work to high velocity thrusts (HVT) to manipulate the positioning of your body. Your osteopath will talk through different treatment options, and let you know if a treatment is likely to be uncomfortable – either at the time or after your appointment. You can then decide whether you are happy to go ahead or not. Your practitioner will ask your consent throughout your appointment before they perform a technique. If at any stage you feel uncomfortable or unsure you have the right to withdraw your consent.

What should I wear?

As with any healthcare appointment, it may be necessary for your osteopath to ask you to remove some clothing. This is so they can see and touch the areas of the body causing you concern. Your osteopath will want you to feel at ease, therefore if you feel uncomfortable undressing to your underwear, you may prefer to wear clothing, such as shorts and a t-shirt, or close-fitting garments, that will enable them to work effectively, so please do discuss this with them. Towels and blankets are also available. If at any point you feel uncomfortable please let your osteopath know and they would be happy to discuss how best to adapt to your needs. You may wish to seek treatment from an osteopath of the same sex as yourself. You are also welcome to ask a friend or relative to accompany you and be present throughout your appointment.

How long will my appointment take?

Your initial appointment will last approximately 45 minutes, during which time your osteopath will take a full clinical history, including asking you questions about your general health to fully understand what has happened and how best to act to ensure you receive the most appropriate care. This may take 10 minutes, at which point your osteopath will explain to you what they think is wrong. If it is appropriate and you are happy to proceed your osteopath will then examine you, performing a range of tests and assessments to better understand the relevant factors pertinent to your case. They will then discuss their findings and agree with you how best to help you. If appropriate you will normally receive treatment at the end of your first appointment. If the osteopath feels that osteopathic treatment is not indicated they will discuss with you the best course of action and write any appropriate referral letters so that you are cared for appropriately. Any follow up appointments are for 30 minutes long. Your osteopath will normally quickly re-assess your symptoms and gauge progress, prior to treating you.

What does treatment involve?

Osteopaths usually start any treatment by releasing and relaxing muscles and stretching stiff joints, using gentle massage techniques, rhythmic joint movements and muscle release techniques. The osteopath may also manipulate specific joints. While manipulation can be suitable in a number of different presentations, it is not an essential part of a treatment and other techniques may also be used depending on your problem. Some of our osteopaths also use acupuncture as part of your treatment. If they feel that this may help with your recovery they will explain the procedure to you and obtain your consent before proceeding. If you have any questions about your treatment do speak to your osteopath at any point.

How many appointments will I need?

This depends on your condition. Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits but more complex, long term or chronic conditions may require more treatment. Your osteopath will discuss this with you and provide you with an indication of what length of treatment you might expect.

Is osteopathy covered by private health insurance?

Most major health insurance companies cover osteopathic treatment. Please check your policy for terms and conditions and inform reception on booking. Our reception team would be happy to help you if you have any questions.

What should I expect during an online appointment?

 If you book an online appointment you should receive a confirmation email with a link which should take you to the “Video Appointment Screen”, (if you haven’t received this please let us know). We need you to be able to be “Hands Free”, so whether you use your phone, ipad or computer you need to have it positioned or propped up against something so that your practitioner can see probably two thirds of you. Wear whatever you are most comfortable in. Ideally  wearing either sports clothing; shorts or leggings and sports tops (a close fitting T shirt would do) is best because we may need to see how your joints such as your hip or shoulder move). If you are not sure just get in touch and we can discuss beforehand. 
It’s useful to be sitting for the first part of the appointment so a chair will be required. If you have a low back problem, it may be easier to have the phone in your bedroom so you can lie on the bed to carry out the stretches or exercises. We find it useful to check this using the selfie type photo in the camera of your phone, that way you can check what we will see.
We may demonstrate and ask you to repeat some exercises so you  will need to have a hand towel, theraband (Or if you don’t have that a tie or a scarf), a massage ball or tennis type ball. We can always discuss this during the appointment so don’t worry.
The appointment broadly follows the routine of a normal appointment in the clinic, We will take notes on how you are, we’ll discuss your symptoms and quantify how severe they are using a pain scale and functional assessments eg Putting socks on, whether the pain limits you reaching etc.
We will then ask you to perform some movements eg neck rotations or bending forward, it is useful for us to be able to see the area we’ll be treating so wearing a vest or something similar will be helpful.

Once we have a good idea of what is wrong we will explain things to you, answer any questions and discuss your treatment options. If appropriate we can then give you advice and/or exercises to use as a means of helping you take control of your problem. We will follow up this online instruction with a bespoke exercise programme which you will be able to access through our dedicated online exercise platform called Physiotec. If you require any follow up we can discuss this with you at the end of the session. This may be a further online appointment or simply a phone call, depending on your needs. 

Summary: To join the appointment-

  • Click on the Link in the email you received confirming your appointment, this should take you to the video consultation page. This will become active 5 minutes before the appointment starts.
  • You will see a “Join Call” button at the bottom of the video screen, click this and it will take you to the consultation. 
  • If this doesn’t happen, please call the clinic on 0141 8873734 and we will talk through the process.

Any payment for online appointments can be made through our website shop. Just select the appropriate appointment fee and follow the instructions. If you do not have a PayPal account just let us know and we can identify an alternative way to pay. 

COVID-19: Is it safe for me to visit the osteopath?

As lockdown restrictions have lifted it is now okay for you to seek treatment with an osteopath, although it is important that you are mindful of the potential for infection and the risk this may pose to you or your family, especially those over 70 or those living with a condition such as diabetes, chronic lung disorders and other long term illnesses. 

COVID-19: How do I know if I can visit?

The following guide should help you identify if it is okay for you to come and see us. Hopefully all your questions will be answered but if you are still uncertain after reading it through please give us a ring.


Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection?


Most importantly, we cannot treat anyone who may have, or have been exposed to spmeone who has the coronavirus. Ask yourself the following questions:


  • Do I currently have a fever?
  • Do I have any of the following symptoms that have started very recently


    • persistent cough (with or without sputum),
    • Acute loss of sense of smell or taste
    • hoarseness,
    • nasal discharge or congestion,
    • shortness of breath,
    • sore throat,
    • wheezing,
    • sneezing.
    • Direct contact with a known case of COVID-19 within 14 days


If you have a fever or high temperature and one of the other associated symptoms, you should take steps to isolate yourself. One of the best ways to be sure is to go to NHS 111 ( where you will find a symptom checker and lots of advice as to what to do next if you are not sure.

COVID-19: What steps have you taken to protect patients from infection?

Although we cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination in the clinic, we are taking all possible steps to protect you and our team so that we can remain healthy and continue to offer excellent care. These are some of the steps we have taken across our clinics:

  • Introduced extensive new hygiene procedures to make sure we are clean thoroughly and effectively;
  • Personal protective equipment for staff and patients if necessary;
  • Protective covers for pillows and the tables and removal of all linen/towels to reduce the risk of cross infection;
  • Pre-payment online through our website shop.
COVID-19: How do I pre-pay online?

Simply go to our website, navigate to the shop and click on the appointment type relevant to you. You will be guided to the payment page. All payments are made through PayPal and our website has an SSL certificate, meaning that it is appropriately encrypted to protect our customers (and us).

COVID-19: What we would like you to do for your appointment

We are asking patients to pre-pay for their appointment via our online through our website. Follow the link here to pay for whichever appointment type you are attending:


Should you be unable to pay online, we can accept contactless payments within the treatment room, however we are currently not taking cash.


We would like you to wear a face covering during your appointment (a mask would be ideal) for the duration of the appointment. We do have masks should you forget to bring yours. You do not have to do this, but it is advisable. You can still receive treatment if you would rather not wear a mask.


Currently we are unable to provide a reception area for you to wait and we will not have a receptionist on duty, so when you come for your appointment, we would like you to wait outside until a few minutes before allotted time.

COVID-19: What should I expect when I attend?

Accessing the clinics

At St James the building is currently locked, so the buzzer door entry system will be in use. Please press 36 and then the ‘bell’ symbol. We will answer the call to check who it is, and will buzz open the door for you.


Currently in Glasgow you are not able to enter through the front door of the Standard Buildings on Hope Street. You will need to use the Gordon Street entrance (to the left of Sainsburys, opposite the main entrance to Glasgow Central Station). There is a silver intercom panel with a button clearly labelled for our clinic. Simply press this, your osteopath will answer to check it’s you and we will let you in.


In Dalry the front door will be locked when you arrive. Please knock and you will be let in.


We would advise you to use the toilet facilities before treatment if you need to. They can be found in the corridor outside our treatment rooms.


How will my appointment be different to ‘normal’?


Your osteopath will meet you at the treatment room door; remember they are required to wear a face mask, gloves and apron so please don’t be surprised! This is to ensure we minimise any risk of infection. You will be asked to use hand sanitiser on arrival, and you will be offered a mask to wear during your appointment if necessary. We will also provide you with a disinfected container for you to place your clothes and personal belongings should you need to.


We will re-assess you for coronavirus symptoms at this point and may take your temperature. If your status has changed and you are symptomatic, we will not be able to treat you. We will ask you to return home to self-isolate and will postpone your appointment to a later date.


You can keep clothes on during your appointment, it may be easier to treat you if you are wearing flexible soft materials that allow free movement, such as sports clothing. We are unable to offer any blankets or towels to cover you. Please feel free to bring your own with you if you wish.

COVID-19: What if I need to see someone again?

If you do need a follow-up appointment there will be a chance to discuss this with your osteopath at the end of your treatment. If your symptoms not to disabling it may not be necessary to see you face-to-face, so you may prefer to have a follow up session via video link (when we will be able to re-assess you to track your progress, review and adjust any therapeutic exercises that you have been given) and plan the next steps of your care without having to open yourself to the potential of picking up the virus. Again, you can discuss this with your osteopath if you are not sure. We will do our very best to help you understand your circumstances so that you can make an informed decision about what you think is best for you.


Please be assured we are doing everything we can to keep you safe during the time you are in our clinic and our care. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!