What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a “whole body” approach to diagnosis and manual therapy that uses a range of techniques to treat musculo-skeletal pain and movement disorders. Osteopaths look to understand how each of the body systems that could be involved in your health problem are interrelated and then aim to correct the origin of the problem and optimise physical function.
Osteopaths are statutorily registered practitioners. In Australia, osteopathic training involves a five year, full-time university education covering anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathology, neuroscience and medical diagnosis, in addition to osteopathic manipulative medicine. This means that osteopaths are primary care practitioners and are trained to perform standard medical examinations and recognise conditions which require medical referral.
What about long term preventative care?
Osteopaths believe that getting patients to keep returning for more treatments is not the best form of long term preventive care. The key to preventative health care and developing long-term solutions giving patients’ the knowledge they need to be aware of the causes of problems, and to manage their own health. This can include:
- Identifying the causative factors, such as overuse or workplace ergonomics.
- Advising on exercise programs both for rehabilitation and prevention.
- Teaching more efficient body usage in actions at home or at work.
- Teaching relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
- Working in conjunction with other practitioners where necessary.
How does an osteopath treat my pain problem?
Osteopathic treatment involves manual techniques including soft tissue stretching and massage, combined with mobilisation and manipulation of joints. The treatment is gentle and conducted with the patient’s assistance. As osteopaths also use a variety of approaches which acknowledge the many factors contributing to balance and health. We may therefore provide advice on exercise, posture and other aspects of daily life.