Each person, condition and injury is unique so osteopathic treatments will vary from person to person.
Your osteopath will ask questions about your problem and symptoms. They may also ask about your medical history, any medications you are taking, as well as factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Your osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests, this may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises that will determine how best to manage your condition. The examination may include passive and active movements, such as the osteopath lifting your arms or legs.
Osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, so your practitioner may look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation. Most osteopathic treatments are gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between appointments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
Osteopaths treat more than you think. They focus on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulatory system, connective tissue and internal organs function as a whole body unit.
A visit to the osteopath does not require a referral. Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plans.
Osteopaths are registered providers for patients under the Transport Accident Commission, WorkCover and Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The osteopath’s role in the care of children is to remove physical tension from the body, which may contribute to an array of different symptoms that commonly present in infancy and childhood. Osteopathic treatment aims to facilitate healthy function in all areas of newly born and growing bodies by freeing up muscles and joints, improving blood flow and maintaining body symmetry for balanced growth.
With babies and children, the osteopath only needs to use a very light touch and gentle movement. The osteopath may sit with their hands gently holding the baby’s head or pelvis for several minutes at a time using only very subtle movements. At other times, the baby may be held or positioned in specific ways to gently bring about balance in the body. The osteopath uses no more pressure that is typically used when holding or dressing a baby.
Osteopathic treatment for babies and children uses no more pressure than would be used when holding or dressing a baby, and is delivered with the aim of keeping the baby comfortable and calm throughout. A wide range of common childhood conditions present to our osteopaths, however, osteopathic care is not just for ‘sick’ babies and children. Osteopathy aims to promote body symmetry in the growing child and general well-being.
Osteopathic treatment in pregnancy aims to reduce pain, improve postural balance and improve fluid dynamics including blood flow, venous (veins), and lymphatic drainage throughout the body.
Osteopathic care aims to make the most of increased flexibility of a pregnant woman’s body. Massage, stretching, joint articulation is applied to release areas of restriction, while taping and corrective exercise helps to off-load and support areas of hyper-mobility (too much movement). Overall, osteopathy aims to help maintain body balance and decrease physical stress during pregnancy, and support a healthy, happy recovery post birth.
We find that increasing physical comfort and body balance during pregnancy leads to women feeling emotionally better- and the associated release of feel-good hormones that affect the growing baby and support infantile growth mean better outcomes for baby too.