What do osteopaths do?
While the word “osteopathy” is often heard, the vast majority of people don’t actually know what osteopathy is, or what osteopaths do.
Osteopathy is a form of patient-centred hands-on manual therapy, established in the USA by physician and surgeon Dr Andrew Taylor Still in the late 1800’s. Still’s intentions were to provide an alternative form of health care after losing three of his children to meningitis. He was passionate about the way the body is structured and functions as one integrative unit, and is capable of self-healing. Dr Still developed osteopathy as a philosophy and form of treatment based upon these principles, which is the foundation of osteopathy today.
So what does an osteopathic treatment involve?
Osteopaths treat more than you think. For example, muscle strains, joint sprains, arthritic conditions, headaches, back and neck pain, pregnant women and babies, children and teens, postural issues, sciatic pain and overuse injuries, just to name a few!
Firstly, your osteopath will ask detailed questions about your problem, goals, medical history and lifestyle factors. Following this, an examination of the whole body is conducted and relevant tests are used to identify the source of pain. This takes into account all tissues of the body that may be contributing to your problem, including bones, joints, muscles, nervous system, blood vessels and organs.
Your osteopath will provide a hands-on treatment which will address the whole body and resolve local dysfunctions and in distant sites which may also be affecting the injury. Osteopathic treatment aims to improve overall wellness, body alignment, mobility, stability and reduce symptomatic complaints.
Techniques used may include soft tissue therapy, stretching, positional release, joint mobilisation and manipulation, balanced ligamentous and membranous tension and cranial approaches. Your practitioner will provide you with a treatment plan tailored specifically to your own presentation, and advice on how you can best manage the condition at home for the best outcome.
Who can see an osteopath?
Anyone can see an osteopath!
You do not need a referral from your GP to see an osteopath, and those with private health can claim if they have extras cover. Osteopaths also provide consultations for Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Transport Accident Claims (TAC), those with chronic disease management (CDM) GP referrals and WorkCover patients. See our FAQ page for more.
Our body functions more efficiently when it is in balance so Osteopathy is also a great approach to our health and well-being.
If a pain develops find out why! Don’t just ignore it until things get worse; see your local team of osteopaths at East Gippsland Osteopathic Clinic.