Osteopathy is a type of alternative medicine that emphasizes manual readjustments, myofascial release and other physical manipulation of muscle tissue and bones. Osteopaths take a holistic consideration of your medical history to systematically identify causes for pain.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy and involves techniques such as:
- Joint mobilisation
- Exercise prescription
- Manipulation to skillfully adjust physical issues that may be resulting in pain and body dysfunction
So what does an osteopath treat?
Osteopaths treat MUSCULOSKELETAL injuries including:
- Wrist and ankle pain
They also treat surrounding bones, joints and nerves that may be contributing to your pain. Put simply, they treat conditions that stem from stress being placed on the body through inefficiency in everyday life.
How do they treat you?
Getting a thorough medical history, an Osteopath will decipher what caused you to become injured in the first place and then determine a combined treatment plan. This may involve combinations of therapies as distinct as massage, manipulation of joints, prescribed exercise, pain education or even some forms of counseling about injury and stress management.
Who is Osteopathy treatment suitable for?
Osteopathy treatment is suitable for adults, children, adolescents and pregnant women to treat a range of conditions including:
- Shoulder Pain
- Lower Back Pain and Sciatica
- Hip Pain, Knee, Ankle and Foot Pain
- Elbow and Wrist Pain
- Postural Correction
- TMJ & Jaw Pain
- Osteopathy for Kids
- Return to Work Programs
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Treatment under the Medicare
- Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program. A referral from your GP is needed to qualify for a Medicare rebate.
- Pregnancy Pain
What is the difference between the a Osteopath, a Physiotherapist & a Chiropractor?
I’m sure you find that anytime you find yourself in pain, everyone you know comes to you and says “i have a great chiropractor you should see” or “gosh my physio really helps me with that same issue” but have you ever had someone recommend their osteopath? So how do you know who to see for what, and when?
The easiest way to think about what a physiotherapist does, is to ask yourself a few questions….
- Do you have a physical disability?
- Did you injure yourself playing sport? Or maybe you had a fall and hurt yourself?
- Do you have a lack of movement? I.e. can you turn and bend?
If you answered yes to any of these conditions then you may want to see a physiotherapist. A physio will use a combination of treatment to reduce inflammation and control the condition initially, then they will focus on giving you exercise as treatment to re-educate movement patterns and build up strength and motor control.
Now chiropractors are often controversial as a treatment modality, BUT they can be helpful for spinal related injuries. They assess the body to determine areas that are not functioning properly.
This can be spinal (related to the neck, mid and lower back) or an extremity (related to the shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees or feet) and be caused by poor joint movement, nervous system interference or muscular dysfunction.
You may need to see a chiropractor if you have dysfunction in your spine, if it is not functioning efficiently and you are getting headaches, neck pain, back pain or sciatica as a result.
If the problem is not just pain, but a movement dysfunction that needs to be fixed by retraining the correct coordination patterns, then you are better off seeing a physio.
Although similar to Chiropractors, Osteopaths focus more on the soft tissues by using myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, craniosacral release, still’s technique and facilitated positional release.
They focus on how skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and circulation work together to improve your health & well-being.
How can a Osteopath help you during pregnancy?
A study published in the Published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2010 Jan;202(1):43.e1-8. Found that Osteopathic manipulation reduces the deterioration of back function during the final stages of pregnancy and help to alleviate some of this back related pain. Combining osteopathic treatments with physio can also help maintain and improve pelvic function towards the end of pregnancy, helping to reduce pain and make the birthing process slightly less traumatic.
If you think you may benefit from a consult with an Osteopath, Dr Edward Clark from St George Health in Sydney provides excellence experience and knowledge to deliver the results you need.