Osteopathy: Everything you need to know

So what is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy incorporates manipulation and/or joints to treat whole systems of the body- that is, the WHOLE body

It is a non-invasive manual therapy that aims to improve health throughout all body systems, by using manipulation and strengthening of the musculoskeletal framework.

As Osteopaths, we focus on the spine, muscles, and joints to improve the body’s nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems. It is a complementary therapy, with both diagnosis and treatment carried out with our hands.
Osteopathy uses a holistic approach, treating the whole body. We can help in the relief of arthritis, back pain, headaches, tennis elbow, postural problems, and a wide range of other conditions. Osteopaths can also detect other issues and will refer patients to other specialists when needed.

What to expect during a treatment?

During an initial consultation, your osteopath will listen, discuss your health problems, and take notes. Generally, this consultation will last between 45 mins to an hour. You will then be physically examined and may be required to remove some clothing so your osteopath can clearly see how you are moving and make a concise diagnosis. Simple stretches and movements may be requested, so your osteopath can accurately analyse posture and mobility. Using their hands, your osteopath will assess the health of the joints, ligaments, and tissues. A treatment plan will be proposed, including dietary changes, home exercise programs, lifestyle adjustments, and the number of sessions likely to be needed. Manipulation and hands-on work are gentle, but there may be some tenderness for the first 24 to 48 hours.
Many private health insurance policies will partially fund osteopathy for appropriate conditions.

Osteopathy can benefit the musculoskeletal framework and other systems. Our Osteopaths can also help with back pain and poor posture, which includes advice on preventive treatments. Treatment includes gentle and subtle manipulation, stretching/massaging the muscle, and changes to workplace ergonomics, such as seating and desk position. Other prevention advise can involve:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Lifting techniques
  • Posture
  • Breathing
  • Stress reduction

If there are signs of a serious condition, such as a severe disc injury, the osteopath may recommend doing some imaging tests and direct the patient toward conventional treatment.

Furthermore, Osteopaths can help with insomnia resulting from chronic pain. Pain and discomfort can lead to restless nights.

Are there any risks having an Osteopath treatment?

It is normal to feel some tenderness, rather like after exercising, for 24 – 48 hours.

So what is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

A lot of people ask us this question!!! A chiropractor can also treat the back, but their focus is more likely to be on the position of the spine and joints, usually looking at one specific problem area. They are more likely to “pop” or “crack” the joints. An osteopath looks at the body as a whole, aiming to improve all body systems, including nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems. This is done via manipulation and strengthening of the musculoskeletal framework.

If you feel that you may benefit from osteopathic treatment, or just want to talk to one of our osteopaths, please give us a buzz on 97738085. We are more than happy to help you out.

This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

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