Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues.
In Australia, Osteopaths are Government registered practitioners who complete a minimum of five years university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions which require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
Osteopaths treat more than you think:
Osteopathy treats of a wide variety of musculo-skeletal problems, but it also has a role to play in the management of a number of other conditions. The most common complaints for which patients consult Osteopaths include:
Lower back pains, neck pain, other joint complaints
Headaches and migraines
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
Pregnancy-care and labour preparation
Digestive complaints such as reflux, constipation, IBS
Asthma and other breathing difficulties
Birth trauma, wry neck
Colic, wind, reflux, constipation
Developmental and behavioral problems
Ear infections, teething, blocked tear ducts
Feeding and sleeping problems
Flat spots or misshapen heads
Treatment, what to expect:
Osteopathy is possibly the most complete of the modern day manual therapies. Osteopaths pride themselves on their hands-on approach to the human body and our treatment methods are considered among the safest and most effective forms of complementary medicine.
Osteopaths use techniques such as joint mobilisation and articulation, manipulation, massage, stretching, trigger point therapy, muscle energy techniques and functional treatment to assist patients to achieve normal pain-free movement and function by correcting underlying dysfunction. Dry needling and therapeutic ultrasound is also available. All techniques aim to restore balance and function to the body allowing healing to occur quickly.
During your first visit, your Osteopath will take a thorough medical history to ensure a safe and efficient treatment. Please arrive 10 mins prior to your appointment time to fill in a patient details card. Please bring any x-rays or other imaging to your appointment.
A typical treatment will include a case history, examination and hands-on treatment, and last about an hour.
Patient’s should wear loose fitting clothes to assist their Osteopath. Please note that some clothing may need to be removed in order to expose the area for treatment. If you are not comfortable doing this please let us know.
Please feel free to ask questions about any aspect of your consultation and treatment at any time.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No, you can make an appointment directly without a referral. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and require complex care you may be eligible for Chronic Disease Management (CDM) assistance. The GP must complete a special referral form (PDF, 201kb) to refer you to an osteopath for treatment.
What do I need to bring?
Bring along any X-rays, scans or test results or othotics that you may have.
Am I required to arrive early for my first appointment?
Yes you should arrive early for your first appointment as you will need to fill out initial paperwork.
Why am I asked to complete paperwork?
An osteopath will need to record your medical history to assist in discussing treatment options. Under the law, an osteopath needs to obtain your approval to treat you, so you will be asked to sign an ‘informed consent’ form.
What should I wear?
It’s important that you feel comfortable, so wear a comfortable shirt and loose pants or bring a pair of shorts to change into.
Do I have to remove my clothes?
Depending on the area of your body requiring treatment, your osteopath may ask you to undress to your underwear. If this is the case you should be offered a gown.
Can I bring a friend or relative?
Yes, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment.
What happens at my first consultation?
Your osteopath will ask about your problem and symptoms. This will include your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Your osteopath will advise you if they can treat you or you need to be referred.
Your osteopath will conduct an examination and clinical tests. These include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition.
The examination may include passive and active movements. The osteopath may lift your arms or legs and you may be asked to bend over or stand in your underwear. Be sure to wear comfortable, flexible and appropriate underwear.
Osteopathy takes a whole of body approach to treatment. Your osteopath may look at the area that is troubling you as well as other parts of your body. For example if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
What if my condition changes over time?
It is important you tell your osteopath if your medical condition changes over time. This includes any new injuries or change of medications.
Is osteopathic treatment painful?
Most osteopathic treatment should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.
There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain.
You may experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
How long will my appointment take?
Your initial consultation may last up to one hour. This will enable your osteopath to take a thorough history, examine and depending upon your condition, treat you.
Follow-up treatments are usually 30 mins.
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. Long term or chronic conditions may require more treatment.
Your osteopath will discuss this with you.
How much does an appointment cost?
Concession rates are given to Commonwealth Government Pension card holders for Osteopathy services only.
Medicare and third party consultations are to be paid on the day.
Are there additional investigations or treatments?
Following treatment, your osteopath may decide that additional investigations such as X-ray, scans or blood tests are required. Your osteopath may refer you to another health professional.