What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a hands-on manual therapy within Australia’s Allied Health Profession. The Osteopathic goal is to create change in the body structure and function therefore enabling its self-healing and self-regulatory mechanisms. Osteopaths treat people with a wide variety of chronic and acute musculoskeletal complaints. Commonly used osteo methods include soft-tissue work, articulations, exercise prescription, indirect releases, breathing techniques and joint manipulation.
An osteopath uses their expertise of anatomy and physiology to create changes to the body’s tissues. To do so he/she uses their hands and or imparts useful tips such as exercises, to facilitate healing. This is why it is considered a “holistic” therapy. Treatment can also include instructing the client in postural, mobility and movement, along with discovering and modifying the aggravating factors in one’s work, diet and life.
Some of the things osteopaths look for:
- Postural alignments
- Asymmetry and total range of movements of the body parts
- Uncomfortable movement
- Palpation of relevant body tissues for irregularities in texture, tone, temperature and reactivity
The tissues we take notice of and treat if indicated:
- All the body joints
- Lymphatics and circulation
- Visceral manipulation
What's the difference between Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?
There are philosophical and practical differences between all three modalities, which may often be true but not absolutely always true in all cases.
Osteopaths and chiropractors are taught fundamental skills like joint manipulation/”cracking” while physiotherapists need further specialised training in these techniques.
Physiotherapists are generally known for using exercise prescription as a primary tool, with consequently less hands on time, while osteopaths and chiropractors tend to place less emphasis on exercises, and more on corrective adjustments to the bodies musculoskeletal system.
In distinction to chiropractors and physiotherapists, osteopaths generally give the majority of a treatment to be a hands-on treatment, with or without exercise prescription, depending on the case.
When would I need to see an Osteopath?
Osteopaths work with patients with a wide variety of problems and are widely known for treating musculoskeletal injuries, joint pain and other pain syndromes including headaches, back and neck pain, pregnancy pre and post care, breathing disorders, digestive problems, genitourinary complaints, ear/nose/eye/throat problems, and arthritis related pain.
Any age group and most physical condition can be safely treated with a very great variety of techniques ranging from gentle to firm.
- Painful back, neck, shoulders, elbow, hip, knee, ankle among other issues. MCHC New Website
- Sports recovery/performance
- Postural alignment
- Medicare enhanced primary care plans from GP’s for chronic conditions of more than 3 months duration
- Many private health funds
How long is an Osteopathy consultation?
An initial consultation is usually 45 mins and follow-up consultations are usually 30 mins.
No referral is needed to see an osteopath unless you wish to consult one under the Veterans’ Affairs scheme or for WorkCare in Queensland.
What will happen in my Osteopathy consultation?
Your osteopath may use a combination of any of the following treatments, soft tissue manipulation, stretching muscle groups and spinal adjustments. They may also recommend exercises and dietary modifications. Osteopaths effectively support people with back and neck pain, sciatica, headaches, joint pain, work-related and repetitive strain injuries and sports-related injuries.