FAQ's

Is osteopathic treatment painful?

Do you offer free initial assessments?

How many treatment sessions will I need?

Do you recommend regular check-ups or "maintenance" treatments?

Do you make contact with my doctor?

Do you issue off-work certificates (sick notes)?

Do you write reports for insurance companies and solicitors?

What is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

What if I have a complaint?

How and when did the practice begin?

Email us with any more questions, or comments on this site.

Is osteopathic treatment painful?

In general, no. There may be some mild aching or a slightly "bruised" feeling after treatment. Many patients feel freer and more comfortable almost immediately. Others feel quite tired-out for a few hours and maybe a little achy for a day or so. If your tissues are tense and sore, it may be uncomfortable at first to have them stretched and relaxed, especially if they have been tense for a long time. If your joints are elderly, they will inevitably be showing some signs of wear and tear and this may influence the rate and extent of response to osteopathic treatment.
Should any reaction to our treatment cause any concern at all, do please contact your osteopath for advice. If necessary, leave a message on our answering machine for a response at the earliest opportunity.

Do you offer free initial assessments?

No, we don't. The reason is that an initial consultation at The Osteopathic Centre, which includes a full history and a detailed examination, will require at least 40-45 minutes. This assessment process demands skill and experience and cannot be shortened without potential risk to the patient. If, at the end of this first consultation, there is any doubt at all as to your suitability for osteopathic treatment, we will refer you to your doctor.

If you are still unsure, or have any questions about whether you should attend, please telephone the practice and ask to speak to one of the osteopaths. (If busy, the osteopath may have to call you back.)
As mentioned on our home page, the vast majority of our new patients come to us on the recommendation of a satisfied patient or on referral by their doctor, so that in most cases, very few patients turn out to be unsuitable for osteopathy.

How many treatment sessions will I need?

This will depend on many factors. The interval between visits will be determined at the end of each treatment. We will always try to avoid over-treatment.
As a general rule, the better you are, the longer will be the interval between treatments. As soon as sufficient improvement has been made, and progress appears to be self-sustaining, you will be advised to contact us, or return, only if your symptoms come back.

Do you recommend regular check-ups or "maintenance" treatments?

Not as a rule. We consider that, given the opportunity, your body is quite capable of maintaining normal function. Our function as osteopaths is to identify and deal with any obstacles to normal function. In addition to advice on appropriate exercise and exercises, we will advise you on how to maintain improvement after you have been discharged. This may, for example, include advice on how to improve your posture at work, in your car, or whilst exercising.

Do you make contact with my doctor?

Yes we do, but not automatically. If your GP has referred you to us, the osteopath you see will, with your permission, write back to him/her with details of the osteopathic findings, diagnosis, treatment and any progress.
We will write to your GP, again only with your consent, if we need any more clinical information on your case, or if we need to send you back for further medical tests, treatment, or for referral to a specialist.

Do you issue off-work certificates (sick notes)?

Yes we do. Where appropriate, we issue Off Work Certificates as provided by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). These are accepted by employers and the DSS for benefit purposes.

Do you write reports for insurance companies and solicitors?

Yes, but we do this ONLY in response to a written request from the solicitor or insurance company. An appropriate report fee will be charged for this work.

What is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

There have been heated discussions about this question since the late 19th century when both professions were founded in the USA. Ultimately, there are probably more similarities than differences.

The similarities?
A hands-on approach to the treatment of the musculo-skeletal system.
A formal training leading to a BSc(Hons) or Batchelor degree.
Both professions are now regulated in the UK in the same way as medicine and dentistry.

The differences?
The manipulative techniques do differ in application and emphasis. Patients will often describe their experience of treatment from an Osteopath and from a Chiropractor in quite different ways. Chiropractic treatment tends to involve a more "direct" approach with an emphasis on manipulation of the spinal joints.
The Osteopathic approach tends to involve slower, rhythmic stretching or "indirect" techniques on the muscles and joints.
Chiropractors more often emphasise the need for regular check-up and maintenance sessions, once the main complaint has been dealt with.

What if I have a complaint?

In the first instance, PLEASE do talk to the osteopath concerned, or inform the receptionist on duty that you wish to be contacted, preferably directly, e.g. by mobile phone.

If you are still dissatisfied, the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) may be contacted by Email

or by writing to:

The General Osteopathic Council,
Osteopathy House,
176 Tower Bridge Road,
London SE1 3LU
Tel: 020 7357 6655
Fax: 020 7357 0011

How and when did the practice begin?

In 1971 David Gilhooley was asked to step in as a locum for Mr. Vivian Barrow, a well-respected elderly osteopath who had been in practice in Maidenhead since the 1940's. At that time the practice occupied Mr. and Mrs. Barrow's picturesque home on River Road, near the Brunel railway bridge over the Thames. On his retirement, Mr. Barrow offered his on-going practice to David.

The practice then re-located and, for the next five years, shared premises with two chiropodist/podiatrists in Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead.

In late 1977, David acquired the current premises at 1, The Crescent, Maidenhead and in 1990 this became "The Osteopathic Centre".

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