What to expect
- Holistic approach
- Innovative treatments
- Skilful handling
Osteopaths work from the viewpoint that the ‘body is a whole’: all the body’s systems are interconnected and it has a self-healing mechanism.
Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions.
They assist with healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function together as a holistic unit. Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body.
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation, or other gentle techniques.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
Osteopathy is most commonly associated with musculoskeletal medicine.
Some of the conditions osteopaths assist their clients with include:
- Back pain, pelvic pain, or sciatica
- Neck pain, headaches or migraines
- Hip, knee or ankle pain
- Shoulder, elbow or wrist pain
- Sports injuries
- Occupational overuse syndrome (OOS), also known as repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Views the whole body as one unit, which is why when you come in for elbow pain, we might end up treating your shoulder and pelvis. To do this, osteopaths study biomechanics, have a deep understanding of anatomy and consider lifestyle factors that may be contributing.
There are four osteopathic principles:
- The body works as a single unit of mind, body and spirit. Which means everything is connected and needs to be considered.
- The body has an innate self-healing capacity – the immune system is pretty incredible we think! Given the chance, with the right encouragement, most injuries will heal. This is what Osteopaths specialise in.
- Structure and function are interrelated and require balance. For instance, if you’re all strength and no mobility/flexibility, movement patterns will change, load will be placed on structures it shouldn’t and injury will occur.
Prescribed treatment should consider all of these things, and be based on the body’s self-healing mechanism, structure and function.
Physiotherapy practice is more closely aligned with the medical model of health. They focus on the problem area presented but with the view of addressing the key causes that may have led to the injury as well as factors that may impact the recovery of the injury.
The Physiotherapy profession prides itself on remaining current with scientific research and works closely with all health professionals to try and achieve the best possible outcome.
Physiotherapists are taught to follow treatment protocols and provide rehabilitative exercise-based treatment. A physiotherapy session may be a lot less ‘hands-on’ than an Osteopathy treatment; instead, the focus is a rehabilitative exercise-based treatment that aims to build you back up to your best after injury.