What is osteopathy?
A form of manual therapy that bases treatment around four basic principles that collectively state that the body functions as a whole and has the ability to self heal. Osteopaths use their indepth knowledge of anatomy to free areas of the body that are functionally related to certain body regions.
What conditions to osteopaths provide treatment for?
Osteopaths provide treatment for many conditions across the lifespan. Some of the most common conditions presenting to Osteopaths include:
• Infants: Unsettledness, feeding/sleeping difficulties, plagiocephaly, torticollis & colic/reflux.
• Children: Benign headaches, stomach aches, poor appetite, constipation, sleeping difficulties, asthma & recurrent ear infections/upper respiratory tract infections.
• Adults: back pain, neck pain, headaches, postural concerns, dysmenorrhea, sports injuries, lower limb & upper limb pain.
• Pregnancy: low back pain, pelvic pain, pubic symphysis pain, upper back and neck pain, headaches, maintenance of general health and postural balance through pregnancy.
• Elderly: maintenance of joint flexibility and postural balance, treatment of arthritic and degenerative related stiffness, promotion of healthy circulation and venous drainage.
What treatment techniques do osteopaths use?
Osteopaths use their hands and apply treatment to the physical body, using a wide range of techniques including soft tissue massage, stretching, joint articulation, some joint manipulation, and gentle balancing techniques known as biodynamic/cranial sacral osteopathy. Techniques used are patient and presentation specific, and selected to ensure patient comfort and safety.
How safe is osteopathy?
All forms of manual therapy carry and element of risk. That said however, osteopathy has one of the best safety records of any medially related profession. Our osteopath chooses to use some of the most gentle and indirect techniques, especially when caring for infants, children and pregnant women.
What to expect as a patient:
The initial consultation is one hour. An indepth, full medical history is taken. Assessment includes indicated clinical and orthopaedic testing, and active/passive movement testing. A diagnosis is made and explained to the patient along with the proposed care plan. A consent form is signed prior to treatment. Treatment is delivered and the patient is reassessed, the osteopath takes note that treatment has improved pain free range of movement and postural balance. Exercises and advice are given; a follow up appointment is made, if required.
What to expect at your child’s initial osteopathic/movement therapy appointment: Firstly, the osteopath will ask some questions to identify any factors that may contribute to presenting symptoms and functional concerns expressed by the child’s caregiver. She will then observe the child's whole body posture. Assessment may include the osteopath gentle moving the child’s body, and depending on the child's age and ability, asking the child to actively move their body in certain ways. Any imbalances or restrictions noted are then related to the child’s current function. The goal of osteopathic treatment and pilates based exercise is to restore balance in the child’s body, to improve all areas of function.
Do patients need a referral?
No. Osteopaths are trained as primary health practitioners. Patients can make an appointment without a referral.
Is osteopathy evidence based?
Some evidence exists to support the use of osteopathy in various presentations. Please visit our Supporting Research page for recent studies investigating the role of osteopathy for the treatment of various conditions.