What is Osteopathy? How can it help me?

History of Osteopathy 

Osteopathy is a five-year double degree or undergraduate plus master’s degree (depending on where you study). Osteopathy was founded in the late 19th century by A.  T. Still who believed current aliments and treatment performed by the medical profession had more negatives than positives. Still was a highly trained physician himself, but knew there could be a better way to treat instead of giving remedies such as arsenic and opium.

Core values of Osteopathy 

1. The body is a unit

Still believed that the body functions as a complex machine that should be treated as a whole with no isolated parts. As an example of this a tennis player complaining of shoulder pain up on serving, upon assessment finding restricted rotation at the wrist causing the shoulder to do more work thus causing pain at the shoulder. If you were to continually treat the shoulder without looking at the wrist this may not solve the problem.

2. The body has self-healing and self-regulatory mechanisms

Our body has an amazing ability to use the various tissues such as arteries, veins, lymphatic system and nervous system to heal itself. The role of an Osteopath is to facilitate these natural pathways our body has to influence recovery and healing.

3. Structure and function are interrelated

Various types of tissue pain can present in the musculoskeletal system for example men who are experiencing kidney stones will also experience flank pain and muscle spasms to the local abdominal musculature. Or someone who has suffered a rotator cuff injury may have pain radiating down to their elbow. By calming the local musculature, we can tap into principle 2 and see improvement.

4. Rational treatment is based on the above three principles

This last principle encompasses the above 3 so that the patient gets the best possible management and they are taken care of.

What can Osteopathy do for you?

As an Osteopath my aim of treatment is to treat the individual rather than the symptoms. This is because everyone’s story is different, the lower back pain a tradie suffers is different to the lower back pain a desk worker has. Osteopathic treatment is aimed at muscles, joints, ligaments and fascia. Osteopaths have a wide variety of tools that they can utilise including but not limited to:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Muscle energy techniques (very similar to PNF stretching)
  • High velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) techniques/manipulations
  • Counter strain
  • Indirect techniques

Some conditions that are commonly see by Osteopaths:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sporting injuries
  • Overuse injuries (such as carpel tunnel syndrome)
  • Neck pain
  • Rib sprains
  • Tennis/golfers elbow
  • ACL injuries
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle sprains
  • TMJ disorders
  • Chronic pain

If you’re unsure how Osteopathy can help you get in contact with us at Hobsons Bay Health Group and we can definitely point you in the right direction to making you the happiest and healthiest you can be!!!

Call us for more information or book your appointment online.

Author: Dr Lachlan Buckley