Osteopathy is a form of manual health care which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of manual techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation or adjustment of specific joints and soft tissues.
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete minimum accredited university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general health care diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and by Medicare's Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Plans. Osteopaths are registered providers for DVA patients, as well as by State workers' compensation schemes and motor accident insurers.
How does osteopathy work?
As osteopaths we don't just focus on the initial problem you presented to us, but we identify how your current issue is affecting the rest of your body and how we can rebalance your entire body.
Each injury or problem is unique and can influence other systems in your body. So for an osteopath, it is important that we look at your problem in the context of your overall health and design an individual treatment plan exclusively for your specific needs.
We observe how you walk, sit and stand, the shape of your spine, your posture, and the balance of your shoulders and hips. We use a manual approach to examine your body, to identify all aspects of your condition, and determine the best way to resolve this and to lead you towards optimimal health.
As osteopaths, we can work with your general practitioner and your specialist to ensure that your individual treatment plan is fine-tuned to your needs.
Research and Evidence
Research within the osteopathic and other manual therapy professions has taken place over a number of years.
Research relevant to osteopathic treatment of musculoskeletal pain can be found in the following links: