What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy was founded in 1870 by American MD, Dr Andrew Still. Osteopathy focuses on finding and improving health rather than on disease.
It is a holistic form of manual therapy that works on the principle that the body functions as a whole unit. This means that each and every part needs to work well together to maintain optimal health and function. It is when something becomes dysfunctional that the body tends to compensate, and symptoms such as pain or stiffness appear.
At Melville Osteopathy, we tailor a treatment to suit every person’s individual needs. This allows us to consult a wide range of patients from babies to athletes or professionals. We have a broad approach to Osteopathy among the staff at Melville Osteopathy. Our team may refer you to other trusted practitioners within our clinic if we believe that they may have a more suited Osteopathic approach for you at that particular time.
How can Osteopathy Help?
Due to our wide range of treatment approaches, we can assist in the treatment of many presenting issues such as:
- back, neck and pelvic pain
- sporting injuries and muscle strains
- general stiffness and postural concerns
- knee pain
- headaches or migraines and jaw pain
- sciatica and arthritic conditions
- shoulder and arm problems such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome
- preventative health
- pregnancy related musculo-skeletal complaints
During a consultation we will first take a detailed case history to hear about your presenting complaint and medical history. Additionally, because our approach is to find health and address the whole person, we will factor in information about all areas of your life (including social and psychological) into your treatment and management plan.
If we feel it is appropriate to treat then we will then we use our hands to firstly diagnose and then assess the cause of your complaint. We may also do further testing if required such as blood pressure, neurological and orthopaedic tests.
We then treat by using a range of manual techniques to increase mobility, decrease pain and improve general health and well being and ‘rebalance’ the body. Each treatment may differ, depending on what we believe you need during the treatment. All of our Osteopaths are highly skilled in a variety of approaches. We’ll then discuss a treatment and management plan for ongoing healing, health and maintenance.
Sometimes a patient will ask something like: “Why are you treating my knee when I came in with back pain?”. This is because we address the whole person and how they are functioning, not just the area where they are having symptoms. When there is a “dysfunction” in the body, we tend to compensate, often not knowing that there is an imbalance or problem. It is not until some time later when the body can no longer cope with this compensation pattern that symptoms arise and people will seek treatment. This symptomatic area is often different to the true cause. So, while we could just treat the symptomatic area, we believe that by treating the whole body you will be a lot better off for a lot longer.
We believe another reason Osteopathy is so effective is that we use a wide range of techniques including soft tissue massage and stretching techniques, muscle energy technique, the traditional joint manipulation, dry needling, visceral techniques, and the more gentle approach of cranio sacral osteopathy.
At Melville Osteopathy we take a special interest in treating pregnancy related musculoskeletal complaints and have a specialised pregnancy cushion which allows women to lie on their stomach right until their due date. This cushion allows optimum comfort for mum-to-be as well as ensuring safety for both mother and baby.
And finally, our little Osteopathic last but not least – we can also help with advice on exercise, diet and posture.
TRAINING & THE PROFESSION
By the way – it’s totally understandable if you’re not yet familiar with Osteopathy. The profession is still relatively small as there is only one place in Australia where you can study it. Currently there are around 2,500 Osteopaths practicing across Australia and only 60 in Perth, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing.
Osteopaths must complete 5 years of full time study at University to become qualified. Throughout the course, topics covered include anatomy, physiology, pathology as well as osteopathic technique.
All of the Osteopaths at Melville Osteopathy are nationally registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Agency (AHPRA).
Osteopaths are highly trained allied health practitioners, who are able to recognise when a condition needs medical referral rather than hands on treatment with us. If needed, we can liaise with your GP, or other health care practitioner to assist in managing your complaint in the most efficient and professional way possible.
If you would like more information on Osteopathy you can visit our national association Osteopathy Australia.