What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of “hands on” manual medicine that diagnoses, examines, treats and manages musculoskeletal conditions.
Osteopathy is based on principles that
- The body is a unit
- The structure and function of the body are inherently related
- The body has its own self healing abilities
- Treatment is based on the above
What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
Osteopaths and Chiropractors both study at university for 5 years and treat musculoskeletal conditions. The approach to treatment and the basis for how we treat the body though is part of the fundamental difference.
For example, Chiropractors tend to look at all issues being derived from the joints in the spine, and treatment is based on treating the skeleton. Chiropractors will often have many treatment sessions close together and do a lot of spinal adjustments.
Osteopaths on the other hand treat not just the skeleton or site of pain, but combine muscle, connective tissue and joint treatment and rehabilitation. They look at the whole body as a unit in its structure and function and get to the primary cause of the issue which in turn means fewer treatments less often.
Is an osteopath a doctor?
Osteopaths have the title of Doctor, however, we are not medical doctors. Osteopaths are allowed to use the title of Doctor as long as they ensure their qualification and expertise is displayed as being an Osteopath.
Osteopaths are a regulated healthcare profession in Australia and all Osteopaths must be registered with AHPRA, Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency which strict practicing guidelines must be adhered to.
An Osteopath undertakes 5 years of study to become qualified.
What does an osteopath do?
An Osteopath will take a full medical history, do an examination and give you a diagnosis of your presenting complaint. We will then explain and educate you on your condition, give you tools for the best way to manage it, as well as treat with a “hands on” approach.
This means with your permission, we will use different techniques to help the musculoskeletal system function optimally and move in minimal or no pain.
Techniques employed by an osteopath are evidence based and include:
- Muscle and joint mobilisation
- Muscle energy techniques
- Joint Manipulation
- Myofascial release
- Dry Needling
Your Osteopath will treat the body as a whole, focusing not only on the area of pain, but the surrounding areas or get to the root cause of the pain itself. This may also include providing advice on exercise, stretches, rehabilitation, diet, posture, psychology of pain and stress management.
What conditions can an osteopath treat?
We, Melbourne Osteopaths see many conditions of the musculoskeletal system. These can include issues that are acute or chronic, in all ages groups and may include some of the following:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle spasm
- Arthritis, including Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and more
- Disc Bulges or commonly known as “slipped disc”
- RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury
- Pregnancy related issues such as pelvic girdle pain and instability, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain and sciatica
- Sports Injuries
- Complaints related to shoulder pain, hips, knees, ankles, wrists and elbows
- Postural complaints
- Tennis Elbow or Golfers Elbow
- Joint injuries
- Work Injuries
When should you see an osteopath?
It would be appropriate if you had any of the above conditions to see an Osteopath.
You may have pain that is
- Muscle spasm
- Nerve pain
- Joint pain
- Restriction in movement and inability to perform functional activities such as bending over, sitting, carrying, working
- Pain may be dull, sharp, aching, constant, intermittent, stabbing, burning, or worse with certain movements
- There may be numbness, weakness or pins and needles
If you have pain that causes shortness of breath, dizziness, fever, nausea or a new or different headache, and general malaise, you should see your GP first to rule out any underlying more serious medical condition.
St Kilda Osteopathy is an Osteopathic Clinic in Melbourne that sees patients of all ages, from all walks of life, and all types of musculoskeletal conditions. We are a professional, experienced, compassionate and dedicated team of Osteopaths Melbourne who aims to have your pain and complaint diagnosed, treated and managed to your highest level of expectation and praise.
If you are looking for an osteopath in Elwood, St Kilda, St Kilda East, St Kilda Road, St Kilda Beach, Middle Park, Albert Park, Windsor, Elsternwick, Caulfield, Caulfield North, Hampton, Brighton, South Yarra, Prahran, Malvern, Armadale, Melbourne CBD and beyond, don’t hesitate to contact us.