What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that recognizes the important link between the body’s structure and the way it functions. It is a holistic form of healthcare where practitioners consider how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, connective tissue, circulation and internal organs function together as a unit.

By taking the whole body into consideration, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners work to identify the cause of a client’s injury and treat more than just the symptoms. For example, a common presenting complaint is clients experiencing lower back pain. One would expect treatment to be focused locally at the back where the pain is occurring. However, via a detailed assessment, our Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will work to try to understand why the back began hurting in the first place. This may lead the practitioner to look at your feet and foot posture, knees or look at anterior tightness through the hips.

Our Osteopathic Manual Practitioners understand that the body is a complex functional unit where the musculoskeletal system is also closely related to and dependant on the circulatory, respiratory, neurological and lymphatic systems. Therefore, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners take into account all of these systems in order to formulate a holistic treatment plan.

What can osteopathic manual practitioners treat?

steopathic Manual Practitioners can treat a wide range of conditions and can support their clients from infancy all the way through to 99 years of age (or older!)

An example of conditions that osteopaths commonly see include:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Spinal disc injuries and rehabilitation
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches
  • Sporting injuries
  • Joint pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Runners knee
  • Tendonitis/Tendinopathy issues
  • Shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Postural complaints
  • Workplace injuries

What does treatment involve?

During an initial consultation, our Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will ask a range of questions to identify the extent of your injury and pain. They will then assess your body movement using skilled evaluation and diagnostic techniques to identify areas of dysfunction. Treatment then involves hands-on techniques. These techniques may include massage, stretching, gentle joint mobilization, muscle energy techniques, as well as dry needling, and exercise prescription. Advice on workplace ergonomics, sleeping posture, muscle imbalance, and weakness are then incorporated to prevent the injury from re-occurring. You will then receive a Client Care Plan which provides a clear path for your recovery.

What are the major osteopathic techniques?

The osteopath will use their hands to find areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction, or strain within your body, particularly the spine. With your consent, you'll probably need to remove some clothing from the area being examined, and you may be asked to perform simple movements. You should then be able to discuss whether osteopathy can help treat the problem and, if so, what the treatment program should involve. Some techniques involve:

  • Massage – to release and relax muscles.
  • Stretching stiff joints.
  • Articulation – where your joints are moved through their natural range of motion.
  • high-velocity thrusts – short, sharp movements to the spine, which normally produce a clicking noise similar to cracking your knuckles