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So what exactly does an Osteopath do?
Osteopaths are hands-on therapists equipped to both diagnose and treat conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. We study at University for five years to attain our qualifications and a large volume of this time is spent gaining an extensive understanding of the structure and function of the human body.
As Osteopaths, we listen to your concerns. We take a detailed case history to understand the journey your body has taken over your lifetime. We observe and assess your musculoskeletal system for regions of stress and strain. We then correlate all the findings – what we have heard, what we have seen and what we have felt - to formulate a diagnose and then to effectively treat your presenting complaint. We discuss with you our management plan and we educate you about how you can maintain the effects of your Osteopathic treatment.
Osteopaths are primarily interested in movement. We observe the way your body moves; how you walk, how you bend, how you get into and out of a chair. We use hands-on palpation to see how your body responds to micro-movement; how it stretches, how it expands with breathing, and then how it returns again . If your body needs more flexibility we use techniques such as soft tissue release, stretching, joint articulation and/or manipulation to move the tissues in directions they are restricted. If your tissues need more blood supply we use techniques to encourage movement of blood flow. If your injured site is congested or swollen we use techniques to move blood and fluid way from the region. If you have too much mobility (this is called hyper mobility) then our techniques are aimed at improving joint coordination, muscle contraction patterns and less about improving flexibility.
We learn how to perform traditional physical examination and orthopaedic testing procedures– for example, if you present to us with a headache, we take a blood pressure reading, perform a cranial nerve examination, test body temperature for the presence of fever, and if indicated, refer for further investigations (for example X-rays) or on to other practitioners (visual testing, GP for bloodtests etc). Our Osteopathic assessment of the headache patient includes a thorough assessment of posture, neck and spine mobility and muscle tone to identify and then treat the musculoskeletal contributors to your headache.
How long has Osteopathy been around?
Osteopathy was founded in 1870 by an American called Andrew Taylor Still in 1870.
Still, a pioneer of his time, based his work on the premise that the human body was to be treated as a whole, rather than a collection of individual parts. RMIT and Victoria University in Melbourne, along with Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW offer Osteopathy degrees, with the oldest Australian trained Osteopaths having graduated in the '80's.
As Osteopaths, when it comes to health, what do we believe in and what are our principles?
1. Your body can heal itself
2. The structure of your body can influence the function of the body and vice-versa
3. When it comes to treating your ailments, we use the mantra 'Find it, fix it and leave it alone'
So, you've decided we might be able to help you, let us describe what happens during an appointment?
Every person; their body and their story is different. That's why every appointment with us is too.Your osteopath will ask about your problem and symptoms. This will include your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Your osteopath will advise you if they can treat you or you need to be referred to another health practitioner.
Your osteopath will conduct an examination and clinical tests. These include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, movement and postural assessments, which determine how best to manage your condition.
Be sure to wear comfortable, flexible and appropriate underwear and clothing. Osteopathy takes a whole of body approach to assessment and clinical management, so your osteopath may look at the area that is troubling you, as well as other parts of your body. For example if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Do you still have a question? Explore our FAQs or give us a call on (03) 4505 2554 and we'll do our best to help answer it.
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