Treatments

Osteopathy

A treatment using techniques such as stretching, massaging and mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues, osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions.

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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 important types of dysfunction in your body.

In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete a minimum of five years of university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.

Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care scheme. Osteopaths are registered providers for workers’ compensation schemes, motor accident insurers and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

What conditions does osteopathy treat?

Osteopathy treats a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems, but it also has a role to play in the management of many other conditions. The most common complaints for which patients consult Osteopaths include:

  • Sciatica
  • Headaches
  • Work-related and repetitive strain injuries
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Pains in peripheral joints such as shoulders, knees and ankles, tendonitis and muscle strains.
  • Back and neck pain
Mothers To Be

Seeing an osteopath is useful for mothers-to-be in helping manage their back pain during pregnancy and preparing them ahead of the birth. Osteopathy can also play a significant role in pain management or when used in conjunction with medical treatment. Also, there is a wide variety of gentle non-manipulative techniques for use on infants and small children.

Additional Information

If you are having your initial consultation, we encourage you to bring your X-Rays, scans and results with you. You don’t need a referral. You can simply contact us on 5752 5005 to arrange an appointment.

The Treatment Process

The initial consultation. Your initial consultation will firstly involve us asking a series of questions about your pain or injury so that we can fully understand what the problem is, how and why it has occurred, and why it has not resolved itself.

Tailoring an individual treatment plan. Once we know why your pain exists, we tailor an individual treatment plan for you. We examine and treat your pain and address not only the painful areas you have but also other related areas that you probably didn’t know were sore. We will explain your problems, and provide you with practical advice that will not only help you manage your current problem, but also prevent it from occurring in the future.

The treatment. Due to our ‘hands-on approach’ to treatment and our ‘whole body approach’ to your health, we do require you to undress during the consultation. This usually means undressing down to your underwear whilst treatment is being undertaken, so we ask that you wear appropriate underwear.

Women can wear short leggings or tight shorts over their underwear if they prefer. Hospital–type gowns are provided if you would like one and usually offered upon the first consultation. If one is not offered, please ask your osteopath if you would like one, and they will be happy to oblige.

The Treatment Process (cont.)

In some instances, where your problem is quite chronic, deeper muscle work or slightly stronger techniques may be required to address deeper structures. We will always explain why we are doing what we are doing, but feel free to mention any concerns that you have at any time throughout the consultation.

Some treatment modalities such a deep tissue massage or other soft tissue modalities or manipulation can be painful when being addressed by your osteopath.

Tolerable pain levels differ from person to person, so if you find that the treatment is too painful for you to manage, please give your osteopath feedback and we can adjust our pressure.

Determining number of consultations or treatments. Different conditions and individuals will require a different number of treatments to help get you back on track. In general, the longer you have had a condition, the longer it may take to resolve or become properly managed. Some people find they only need a few consultations, some with more persistent problems require more.

A management plan and treatment approach will be discussed with you at the time of consultation. We will likely give you ‘homework’, which may include: stretching techniques, exercise advice, the use of heat or ice and referral advice.

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Our treatment focuses on providing the best possible outcomes for you. Not only do we treat your pain but we also identify the underlying cause and reduce the risk of the injury recurring.

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Additional Information

What are the benefits of osteopathy?

Osteopathic treatment in itself is ‘preventative’. Osteopaths respect the body’s natural ability as a self-regulating mechanism and only intervene when pain or discomfort is present.

The benefits of osteopathy are the general improvement in mobility and structural stability of the body. In turn, other systems of the body such as the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems function more effectively and for many general conditions, minimal treatment is required.

What are the qualities of osteopathy?

The philosophy of osteopathy is what sets it apart from other medical disciplines. The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner.

If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. When the body is free of restrictions in movement, osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.

Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, and mobilisation or manipulation of joints.

In some cases, osteopaths can complement the advice given by GPs. For example, people who suffer from arthritis are often prescribed medication by their GP. In addition to that, osteopaths can ease the pain caused by joint and muscle stiffness, by improving joint mobility and the flow of blood to the joints, and show arthritis sufferers how to prevent causing injury to themselves.

Osteopaths believe in working as part of a health system of health providers and often refer back to the G.P. or another allied health professional where appropriate.

What does osteopathic treatment involve?

The first visit to an osteopath will run along the same lines as an initial visit to a GP. A complete medical history is taken and questions asked about lifestyle, diet and emotional status.

The osteopath will want to hear about all symptoms, as well as details of any past accidents or traumas, even if they may seem unrelated to the patient’s current problem.

The osteopath will then perform a musculoskeletal assessment, observe how the patient is using their body, identify any obvious mobility impairment and evaluate posture. Neurological and orthopaedic tests help the osteopath to eliminate possible underlying pathologies and differentiate the basis of the patient’s complaint.

Osteopaths are highly trained to manually locate points of restriction or excessive strain in various parts of the body. Using a finely tuned sense of touch or palpation, the osteopath will assess the spine, joints, muscles and tendons. An osteopath may also refer for further testing (X-rays) to confirm findings, or review existing diagnostic results where available.

The initial consultation will take around 45 minutes to complete, after which the osteopath will be able to offer a diagnosis and discuss a treatment program. Treatment could include such techniques as soft tissue (massage) stretching, to increase blood flow and improve the flexibility of joints and muscles; articulation to mobilise joints by being passively taken through their range of motion; dry needling muscle energy, to release tightness on the muscles by alternatively being stretched and made to work against resistance.

If the diagnosis is one that requires further investigation or specialist intervention, an osteopath will suggest a referral to an appropriate practitioner. Osteopaths often treat in conjunction with a GP, dentist, podiatrist or other health care professional.

Because osteopathy emphasises self-healing, an osteopath may also advise home exercise programs and lifestyle adjustments. All treatment programs are highly individualised and depend on the patient’s current condition, history, and the ability to adapt to change.

How many consultations/treatments will I need?

Different conditions and individuals will require a different number of treatments to help get you back on track.

In general, the longer you have had a condition, the longer it may take to resolve or become properly managed.

Some people find they only need a few consultations, some with more persistent problems require more. A management plan and treatment approach will be discussed with you at the time of consultation.

We will likely give you ‘homework’, which may include: stretching techniques, exercise advice, the use of heat or ice and referral advice.