What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Osteopathy is based on these principles
- The body is a unit, you are connect from head to toe, you can’t hurt one part of your body without affect another part of the body
- Structure and function are interrelated; if the structure is altered from normal, function will no longer be normal and vice versa
- The body has self healing and self regulating mechanism
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, (see below) osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body.
In Australia, osteopaths are university trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions which require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
Osteopaths don’t heal people. Osteopaths help your body heal itself.
(Source: Australian Osteopathic Association)
What can osteopaths treat?
Osteopathy is for all ages and abilities. Below is a list of the more common conditions that Osteopathy can assist with:
- Back and neck pain
- Joint pain
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Sports injuries – ie: sprains, muscle tension, tennis elbow
- Road injuries – ie: whip lash, head injuries
- Work accidents
- Head trauma
- Middle ear infections
- Pregnancy and post pregnancy pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Digestion problems
- Gynaecological problems
- Birth trauma
- Colic and feeding difficulties in infants
How do they treat you?
Osteopaths use a wide range of treatment methods. At Bendigo Osteo they will generally use 3-5 of the following at your visit.
Massage – rubbing and kneading of the soft tissues
Inhibition – apply constant pressure to hypertonic tissue that results in a release
Articulation – moving and wobbling joints taking them through their range of motion to improve circulation and increase mobility
M.E.T. (muscle energy technique) – actively stretching joints and muscles against resistance to help realign normal biomechanical function
H.V.L.A. (high velocity and low amplitude) – manipulation or ‘cracking’ of joint. As the name suggest it’s a quick movement in a short distance. It is used when safe to do so and with minimal force to maximise safety and reduce patient discomfort.
Visceral Techniques have a pumping affect on the organs that improves function and blood flow and promotes drainage from the area.
Lymphatic Drainage – the lymphatic systems drains 1% of your venous return in your body. The veins do the other 99%. Lymphatic drainage promotes venous return and helps with swelling, inflammation and therefore improves healing.
Counter Strain – involves shortening the dysfunctional tissues by position the joint so they are no longer under stress/load and this enables the tissues to relax and reset themselves.
Functional Technique – positions the joint to a point of balance and using the patient respiration allows the practitioner to release the restricted tissues
Cranial Technique – click for more information
Dry Needling – click for more information