Osteopathy is the study of the body's biomechanics and how each part of the musculoskeletal, neurological and visceral systems interact with, and influence every aspect of the human body. It is a holistic approach to health and wellness while understanding the effects and importance of stresses on the musculoskeletal system. The aim of treatment is to support the body’s self-healing capacity.Osteopaths offer patient-centred approaches to healthcare and functional improvement, which recognise the vital link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathy focuses on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Osteopaths are Allied Health Professionals registered with AHPRA and as such accept DVA, work cover and GP referrals (Medicare) for patients on health care and chronic care management plans. Osteopaths call also refer for imaging as well as issue Doctor's certificate for the workplace.
An Osteopath uses a variety of different hands-on methods, including:
- Spinal and joint manipulation
- Soft tissue massage techniques
- Articulation – gentle rhythmic joint movements
- Stretching muscles and joint capsules
- Muscle energy techniques – encouraging muscles to work against resistance
- Visceral manipulation – gentle movement of the abdominal and pelvic areas
- Sacro-occipital techniques - to help increase the flow of cerebral-spinal fluid as it baths the brain and spinal cord
Osteopaths are able to offer advice on injury prevention, pain management and rehabilitation programs. Osteopathy encourages you to take responsibility for your own long-term health and wellbeing, and can help you find out which lifestyle and environmental factors may be contributing to your condition. An Osteopath may work out a range of treatments, including individual exercise routines, relaxation techniques or body awareness sessions, which show you how to move your body in gentler ways.
Osteopaths can manage a range of conditions including:
- Neck and back pain
- Repetitive strain and overuse injuries
- Pregnancy-related discomfort
- Sports injuries.
Because Osteopaths believe that there may be a musculoskeletal link in many conditions, osteopathy may also help with a wider range of disorders. As Osteopathic techniques include a gentle approach, they can be suitable for many people, from the newborn to the older person, and for those with complex medical problems.