Osteopathy is a discrete system of manual “hands on” medicine that does not involve prescribing drugs or surgery. Instead an osteopath treats their patients with their hands and may advise on diet, lifestyle and rehabilitation exercises.
Osteopathy has been around for over 100 years having originally been developed in the Mid West of America by a medical Dr of the time. Since then it has developed substantially and is now a recognised and regulated profession in Australia.
Osteopaths train for 5 years at university in Australia and after graduation must continue updating their knowledge. Osteopaths must be registered with AHPRA, the federal governing body that oversees and ensures that standards remain high.
Osteopaths are trained to treat all age groups and some may have particular areas of interest:
- Chronic pain
Osteopathy is best known for its treatment of acute and chronic back and neck pain. In fact osteopaths are trained to assess, diagnose and treat all the joints and soft tissues in the body. The skull and bodily organs are also systems that can be treated by osteopaths, though these tend to treated by those with a particular interest and generally not by all.
When you come to see us we will first take a detailed case history of your complaint and general health, order any x-rays or if need be communicate with your GP for any appropriate CT / MRI / Ultrasound scans or blood tests, to diagnose your problem. If osteopathic intervention is appropriate to proceed with you will be examined in a very similar way to that of a medical Dr. However the biggest difference is with the osteopathic examination of your spine and soft tissues.
Osteopaths are trained to have a very heightened sense of touch and “palpation”. Delicate, detailed examination and “listening” to the involved tissues is how much of our assessment is done. Once the problematic area has been examined we will also look more globally and possibly examine other areas of your body to determine the overall picture as to what has happened to you and why you are not getting better. Once a diagnosis is reached this is discussed you with you and a treatment plan formulated.
There are many different techniques and approaches to osteopathic treatment. Your osteopath will determine based on your specific diagnosis and the approach that works best in their hands to how to proceed to get the best outcome for you. It is never a case of “treatment X for condition Y” and it explains why individual osteopaths work in such different ways.
The main approaches are:
- Structural / Soft Tissue
- Cranial / Visceral
- Functional / Indirect
- Active Osteopathic Rehabilitation
Aims of osteopathic treatment:
- To get you out of pain as fast as possible
- To improve your mechanical and physiological function
- Repair any damage
- To rehabilitate and prevent it happening again