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Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine is a system of diagnosis and treatment that uses a broad range of manual and movement techniques to assess and treat neuromusculoskeletal pain and other functional problems. Osteopaths view the body from an integrated systems perspective instead of focusing only at the area of a pain complaint. By understanding how each of the body systems that may be involved in a condition are interrelated, an osteopath aims to correct the source of the problem. Treatment doesn’t stop there though; osteopaths will help you to optimise your physical function and teach you how to maintain it.

Osteopaths are government registered health practitioners with training covering medical sciences and diagnostics as well as orthopeadics, biomechanics, neurology, pain science and osteopathic manual therapy. This means that osteopaths are primary care practitioners and are trained to carry out standard medical examinations, provide primary treatment for most neuromusculoskeletal pain problems, and to recognise and refer conditions which require further medical investigation. Osteopathy provides best-practice care for conditions ranging from osteoarthritis pain and tension headaches to sports injuries.

Osteopaths believe that getting patients to back to health and teaching them to how to stay that way is the best form of long-term preventive care. The key to preventing health problems recurring, and to developing long-term solutions, lies in increasing your awareness of the causes of problems, and in helping you develop the skills you need to manage your own health. This can include:

  • Identifying causative factors, such as problems with overuse, deconditioning or workplace ergonomics.
  • Teaching more efficient body usage in actions at home or at work.
  • Providing exercises both for rehabilitation and prevention.
  • Teaching therapeutic movement exercises or relaxation techniques to reduce physical stress.

With an emphasis on health literacy, preventative medicine and wellness, osteopathic philosophy takes an integrated approach to health care. We involve you in your own care, with support beyond illness recovery through to dynamic health and high level fitness. Studies have consistently shown that people report a high level of satisfaction following their osteopathy treatment for pain problems.

  • Is osteopathic treatment for me?

    If you have a neuromusculoskeletal injury or pain problem, or a movement issue, then osteopathic treatment is for you. Children to patients in their 90’s plus and everyone in between can benefit from a personalised osteopathic approach to their health care if it is appropriate to their complaint.

    Osteopathic treatment isn’t appropriate for all pain or functional conditions though. If we happen to be your first point of consultation on a new issue that isn’t likely amenable be to osteopathic care we can help identify the nature of your problem are refer you to the relevant health professional or specialist.

  • How does an osteopath treat my condition?

    Osteopathic treatment involves manual therapy (hands on) techniques including soft tissue stretching and massage, resisted muscle contractions, patient-inherent movements, nerve mobilisation, therapeutic needling, joint articulation and manipulation. The treatment is gentle and conducted with your assistance.

    Because osteopaths look at the ‘whole’ picture of human functioning, they also use a variety of approaches which acknowledge the many factors contributing to balance and health. We may therefore provide advice on diet, exercise, posture and other aspects of daily life. This comprehensive approach to management will help you to achieve the best possible level of health.

  • Is osteopathy treatment safe?

    Yes. Osteopaths train for over five years and government regulation ensures that osteopaths develop and maintain the skills necessary to care for you safely.

    Most treatments are gentle and are aimed at getting maximum effectiveness from the minimal necessary intervention.

    Osteopaths in Australia have demonstrated an excellent safety record.

  • What is the difference between osteopathy and chiropractic or physiotherapy?

    It is not surprising that this is one of the most common questions we are asked, since each of these three professions treat many of the same conditions. Defining other professions isn’t our role, so if you want the best answer it’s probably best to compare your experiences.

    What we can say is that osteopathy has been at the forefront of manual medicine treatment for nearly 150 years and therefore many of the manual treatment approaches used in other professions have their roots in osteopathy.