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Osteopathy: What to expect

What Happens During Osteopathy Consultations?

Osteopaths take an integrated approach to health care, so we require a lot of information from you to help us accurately understand your complaint and then work to provide you with the most suitable treatment.

Firstly, we will ask you for a comprehensive history of your current complaint. Then we will ask about your medical history, including questions about previous surgery and illnesses, family history, medications and lifestyle. After we have understood the details of your complaint and your medical and health history we will need to do a physical examination.

Osteopaths do careful and skilled examination by touch, picking up details that help us determine areas of sensitivity, inflammation, joint restriction, muscular tightness and other tissue changes that may be relevant to your complaint. Assessing how your well body moves both actively and passively also gives us important information. Our detailed examination will involve looking closely at the affected region and then assessing it in the context of the rest of your body. Any important functional tests will also be performed, such as a neurological and cardiovascular assessments.

After the examination we will have a good idea as to what has happened and will discuss with you how best to address the issue. Occasionally the next step will be a referral for diagnostic images (ultrasound, x-ray or MRI scans), or a visit to your GP or another health care professional, but in most cases, with your consent, we will be able to start osteopathic care so you can start feeling better.

Who can osteopaths help?

Age or health status is not usually a barrier to osteopathic care. Children to patients in their 90’s plus and everyone in between can benefit from a personalised osteopathic approach to their health care if it is appropriate to their complaint.

Does osteopathic treatment hurt?

As a general rule, osteopathic manual therapy should not hurt and we do our best to ensure that you are comfortable throughout treatment. Occasionally, some techniques used can feel awkward or unusual but they should not hurt.

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How will I feel after treatment?

This depends entirely on the nature of your complaint. Some people feel immediate relief, while others may need a long course of treatment before significant improvement is achieved. While it is rare for you to feel worse after treatment, occasionally you may be more aware of your symptoms for a short time. This is usually due to the release of chemicals that make nerve endings very sensitive and is a normal response that will resolve within a day or two.

Is osteopathic treatment safe?

Yes. Extensive training over five years and government regulation ensures that osteopaths have the skills necessary to care for you safely. Most treatments are gentle and are aimed at getting maximum healing from the minimal necessary intervention. Osteopaths in Australia have an excellent safety record.

What about my exercise or sports routine?

We will often recommend some simple exercises that you can incorporate into your current routine. Sometimes it may be necessary to significantly modify your physical activity until your condition is resolved.