It's a method of diagnosing and treating most of the conditions/diseases that cause pain in the human body. Often people believe that Osteopaths just treat bones, namely the back - however, in our intensive four year training we learn to treat bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and the stuff that holds all this together - fascia. This means we can treat thumbs and big toes as well as headaches; and everything in between including, yes, backache!! If you're not sure if Osteopathy can help you, pop into the Alexander clinic any time for a free 15 minute consultation and find out if it can!When you first arrive at the clinic you will be asked to complete and sign a consent form. This is to ensure that you are completely aware of what is goingto happen during your appointment. Then a thorough case history will be taken. This will not only include questions about the nature and history of your current problem, but will also include questions about previous conditions and your general health. This is to give your practitioner a full and accurate overview of your general state of health.A physical examination based upon your case history will then be undertaken. In order to perform a full physical assessment it may be necessary for you to undress down to your underwear (during your treatment you will be covered with a towel whenever possible). If at any stage it is considered that your problem is not suitable for Osteopathic treatment the session will be terminated free of charge. The practitioner will then explain the diagnosis and commence with treatment.The number of treatments depends upon the nature and progression of your problem. They will involve a brief physical examination followed by treatment. It may be necessary in some cases to arrange regular 'maintenance' treatments in order to effectively manage your problem. These can be monthly to six monthly depending upon your condition, your budget and your ability to follow your management plan. In addition, you may be advised to take advantage of the facilities available at the Southgate Leisure Centre, or to other relevant practitioners in the area. Your practitioner may use some or all of the following treatment techniques:• Massage, mobilizations and manipulations• Muscle stretching techniques• Cranial osteopathy• Visceral osteopathy• Dry needling (modern acupuncture)• Orthotics (shoe inserts)• Ultrasound therapy• Home exercises and exercise regimens• Postural advice• Hydrotherapy• Dietary advice (including use of dietary manipulation,herbs and supplements) If he feels it is relevant, Paul may refer you to one of the following: • Alexander Technique• Racquet sports coaching• Yoga• Pilates• Body Pump• Aerobics• Swimming• Personal trainingThis raises the concept of true 'wellness' as opposed to merely the absence of disease or pain. Initial treatments will resolve your problem, however, it is likely that the stressors present in your life (for example poor posture or working practices) that caused the problem in the first place are still present. It is your management plan that is attempting to address these issues. Maintenance treatments are designed to catch the problem before it causes pain again and gives your practitioner an opportunity to review your managament plan.