What Is Osteopathy?
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered allied health practitioners that use hands-on therapy and rehab exercise to manage musculoskeletal conditions. Practitioners complete a 5-year university degree in anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical diagnosis, and osteopathic techniques.
Osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, looking to treat the cause of the issue rather than just the symptoms. Your clinician may look beyond the area of injury, examining how the body functions as a whole. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also assess your ankle and hip to see how they are affecting the function of your knee. Lifestyle factors that can contribute to pain such as stress, sleep, diet and beliefs about your injury will also guide osteopathic management.
Your osteopath will conduct a thorough health history followed by an osteopathic assessment involving a variety of movements and clinical tests. In addition to assessment and hands-on treatment (massage, joint mobilisation, manipulation, dry needling) your clinician will provide education, lifestyle advice and a rehab exercise plan to help provide continued and long-lasting relief outside of the consult room.
The core principles of osteopathy that guide holistic treatment:
- The body is a unit, and the person represents a combination of body, mind and spirit.
- The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance.
- Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
- Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.