Osteopathy is a hands-on approach to prevention, assessment and treatment to allow your body to heal. Osteopaths are experts in the musculoskeletal system and how it interacts with other systems of the body. An Osteopath must train for a minimum of 4 years, graduate with over 1000 hours of hands of clinical practise and must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. So, you can be sure that you are in safe hands with an Osteopath.
What does Osteopathy treat?
Osteopathy can be used successfully to treat specific conditions, but by nature, Osteopathy is a whole-body approach to restoring health. Sometimes pain is caused by a combination of issues around the body. For example, in treating a shoulder condition the Osteopath may also look at the neck, back and hips. Or with back pain, they may treat your digestive tract or internal organs if there is an indication that dysfunction in that area that may be contributing to your symptoms.
What should I expect?
On your first visit, you will be asked about your current symptoms, your medical history and how you live your day to day life. The Osteopath may ask about injuries or incidence even from your childhood, this may seem unrelated, but they want to build a picture of what your body has been through as it may be relevant to your current complaint. Because Osteopathy is a whole-body approach they will ask about digestion, menstruation, and other body systems, as they consider how they interact with the musculoskeletal system. They will also be checking that your symptoms aren’t indicative of something more serious, and if they suspect this is the case, they will refer you to a medical doctor for further investigation.
It is advised that you wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that you can move easily in. Be advised that you may be asked to undress to your underwear for some parts of the assessment and treatment. This is a standard part of treatment and not cause for concern if you are worried about this just tell your Osteopath and they will accommodate. Because they are assessing for the cause of your pain, some parts of the assessment may be uncomfortable. Always let your Osteopath know if something is uncomfortable and/or painful.
A common question is “does it hurt?” If you are working on an area that is already in pain there will commonly be tenderness and some discomfort. But on the whole, Osteopathy is quite gentle and not generally a painful treatment option. Most patients find Osteopathic treatment very relaxing and it is often shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate in people receiving treatment.
Does it work?
Of those who visit an Osteopath, there is a 96% satisfaction rate. It is not always a complete cure for everyone’s problems, but it will improve aspects of your overall health and wellness. Another focus of Osteopathy is to allow you to understand what is happening to your body and why, so you will be more empowered to help yourself.