Osteopathy FAQs

1. How is the Osteopathy approach different?

Osteopaths are very thorough in treatment approach. During a session it will often feel like your whole body is treated, moved, stretched and released so that not only the painful area is treated, but also related tissues which have become involved.

Osteopaths study a full-time, 5-year double university degree. During this time we focus on excellence in palpation or ‘hands-on’ skill and biomechanical principles. This means we learn how the soft tissue, nerves, blood flow, lymph, organs, and joints in the body work together and affect each other.

The body is assessed and treated as a unit, rather than focusing on a singular part. As well as treating the area of pain here are some added considerations an osteopath might make when treating you:

  • If you have pain in your left foot, an osteopath might release tension in your right hip if it is found to be the cause of extra weight bearing in the left leg.
  • If you have period pain, an osteopath may improve rib mobility and work with you on your breathing so that the pressure in the chest cavity is not causing extra pressure in the pelvis.
  • If you have wrist pain, an osteopath may move your shoulder, ribs and neck to improve circulation to the whole arm.

2. Where did osteopathy come from?

Osteopathy originates from the United States. It was founded by a physician named Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. He later founded the American School of Osteopathy in 1892, where it then became popular in Britain, then Australia and New Zealand. Osteopathy is now a widely recognised primary health care profession for all ages.

3. Are there different types of osteopathy?

Yes. Structural Osteopathy is the treatment of the body by moving body part. This can include gently treating the organs (Visceral Osteopathy). Another branch or specialty is Cranial Osteopathy – influencing the cranium and the nervous system by gently manipulating the skull. This is widely accepted for the treatment of newborns and children.

4. Why are you called a doctor?

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHRPA) approves Osteopaths using the title of Doctor if the word osteopath is included next to the practitioners name.

5. Do you treat children?

We treat children of any age including newborns. We treat breathing difficulties, wry neck (or torticollis) or irritability. Babies may respond well to osteopathic treatment for generally being unsettled, croup, constipation and reflux . Even feeding issues such as difficulty latching on are treated.

6. When should I not use osteopathy?

Many of our clients come in for regular check ups regarding common aches and pains. Even if you are undergoing rehabilitation for a recent break or fracture, osteopaths may assist in reducing compensation patterns which start to develop – for example when using a walking stick or crutches.

Osteopaths are trained to recognise when manual therapy is not appropriate and when other medical attention should be sought. Your osteopath can refer you to other specialists who can treat these problems if required.

7. How many treatments will I need?

A number of factors influence the prognosis when developing a treatment program. These include age, diet, exercise level, and the length of time since the injury.

If there is a chronic problem people respond better with sessions closer together and may need a little longer. Most people notice an improvement after the first session, with the body better sustaining the new changes after 3 to 6 sessions. Your osteopath will discuss this with you during your initial treatment.

8. Claiming health rebates or Medicare

We do not do bulk billing or Work Cover. Medicare rebates only apply if you have a Management Plan with you from you Doctor.

The good news is we do process private health rebates. Just bring your private health card with you to receive an instant rebate (depending on your personal cover) then you only pay the remaining gap.

9. Can anyone call themselves an osteopath?

No – Osteopaths practicing in Australia are required to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Some also choose to register with Osteopathy Australia. Our Osteopaths are registered members of both the AHPRA and Osteopathy Australia.