What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established recognised system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It is distinctive by the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.

What kinds of problems may Osteopathy help with?

Whilst back pain and neck pain are the most common problems seen, Osteopathy may help with a wide variety of problems including changes to posture in pregnancy, babies with colic or sleeplessness, repetitive strain injury, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, headaches and migraines, the pain of arthritis, soft tissue sprains and strains and sports injuries among many others. Leaflets explaining many of the common treatments used are available at the clinic.

What can I expect when I visit an Osteopath?

When you visit an Osteopath for the first time a full case history will be taken and you will be given an examination. You will normally be asked to remove some of your clothing and to perform a simple series of movements. The Osteopath will then use a highly developed sense of touch, called palpation, to identify any points of weakness or excessive strain throughout the body. The Osteopath may need additional investigations such as x-ray, scans or blood tests. This will allow a full diagnosis and suitable treatment plan to be developed for you.

How many treatments will I need?

Osteopathy is patient centred, which means treatment is geared to you as an individual. Your Osteopath will give you an indication of your treatment plan and options during the initial consultation. For some acute conditions one or two treatments may be all that is necessary. Chronic conditions may need more initial treatment and ongoing maintenance sessions at 2-6 month intervals.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

A formal referral from your GP is not necessary. Whilst patients may be referred to Osteopaths by Doctors, many patients self-refer.

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide variety of treatment techniques. These may include soft tissue techniques, rhythmic passive joint mobilization or the high velocity thrust techniques designed to improve mobility and the range of movement of a joint. Gentle release techniques are widely used, particularly when treating children or elderly patients. This allows the body to return to efficient normal function by maximising blood, neural(nerve) and lymphatic flow.

Can I claim Osteopathy on my private health insurance?

Many private health insurance schemes give benefits for Osteopathic treatment. Reimbursement will depend on the insurer and the plan you have chosen. Contact the helpline of your insurance company who will explain the actual benefits and methods of claim for your individual policy. We offer the HICAPS system at the clinic for immediate payment of your claim.

What are the origins of Osteopathy?

Andrew Taylor Still, born in 1828 in Virginia, USA, trained as a doctor according to the system of medical education available at the time. As time went on he followed a different path from many of his peers, eschewing alcohol and the habit of contemporary physicians of administering crude drugs at their disposal in heroic quantities. This drove him to seek new methods of treating sickness. The outcome of his research was the application of physical treatment as a specialised form of treatment for which he coined the name ‘Osteopathy’.

In 1892 A T Still organised a school in Kirksville, Missouri, for the teaching of Osteopathy and it was from these small beginnings that Osteopathy was brought to Australia early in the 1900’s.

Preventive care

Osteopaths are concerned not only with trying to alleviate patient’s pain and other symptoms, but also with trying to help prevent problems recurring. We regard treatment as a cooperative process between practitioner and patient and encourage patients to participate in preventive health programs. Preventive osteopathic care may include the prescription of exercise programs, provision of ergonomic and postural advice, and dietary and general lifestyle advice. In addition, where appropriate, osteopaths may refer patients to other practitioners to assist with preventive work.