What is Osteopathy?
Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners who recognise the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which facilitates healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue, and internal organs work together as a whole functional unit.
Restrictions in joint movements, areas of tension and tightness in the
muscles, and problems in the connective tissues under the skin are examined and evaluated by your osteopath. These are treated using a wide range of hands on techniques, from deep soft tissue, therapeutic massage, mobilisation, articulation and stretching, performed by our experienced practitioners during a consultation.
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete a minimum 5 years of accredited university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general healthcare diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. With many of our practitioners going on to complete further study in Rehabilitation, Pilates, Pain Science, Paediatrics, Women’s and Men’s Health, Ergonomics and Leadership Development.
Osteopaths have training in standard medical examination of the musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems and are able to assist you with referral to an appropriate medical practitioner if required. With over 20 years of experience delivering services to the community, we are proud to have a network of incredible healthcare practitioners who work collectively to support each other, and our patients.
Osteopaths make their choice of treatment depending upon the patient and the condition, and may give advice on posture, exercise, lifting procedures, nutrition etc. They many also send off for x-rays or further investigations if applicable under their scope of practice.
At Western Region Health, we’re proud of the excellent reputation that our clinic maintains amongst the local community. When you think osteopathy in Melton, think Western Region Health as your first choice in quality healthcare services.
What conditions do Osteopaths treat?
Each individual is unique, so osteopathic treatment will vary from person to person. When you visit clinic, your osteopath will assess the mobility of problem areas, take a detailed case history, and form a diagnosis to work out the best treatment and management plan for your needs.
Osteopaths treat more than you think. They focus on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulatory system, connective tissue, and internal organs function as a whole body unit.
It is also very satisfying to motivate someone with ongoing health concerns. We will educate and support you on your personal journey to a pain-free life. We will encourage you to exercise well, adapt your posture, movement and activities to help maintain the problem at
an acceptable level. Encouraging our patients to take responsibility for their health and recovery is paramount.
Osteopathic treatment is most commonly sought for musculo-skeletal problems relating to:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Lower back pain
- Repetitive muscle strains
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis/golfers’ elbow
- Sporting injuries
- Headaches and migraines
- Postural strain and related ergonomic assessments
- Sciatica and disc injury
- Restricted movement or weakness
- Arthritic and joint pain
- Tendonitis and bursitis
- Pregnancy related (remove pelvic) pain and women’s health issues
- Foot & ankle pain and plantar fasciitis
- Workplace injuries
- Wrist and hand pain
Osteopathy and Children
At Western Region Health we have a team of osteopaths with clinical experience in the treatment of babies, particularly following birth and in their first year of life.
Clinical experience is invaluable when it comes to the management of infants and we appreciate just how important these first few months can be. As a result we have established an internal program at Western Region Health requiring all practitioners to gain at least two years of valuable, supervised experience in observation, assessment and treatment before being able to consult with infants.
We understand the arrival of a new born baby can be an extremely challenging time, with sleepless nights and in many cases, a household to run. At our (remove osteopathic) clinic we specifically look to address the musculoskeletal restrictions that can occur in conjunction with traumatic birth, reflux, tongue tie, feeding, flat head syndrome, altered movement, hip dysfunction, settling and sleep issues.
Our osteopathic clinic also maintains close relationships and an ongoing referral base with many local Maternal Child and Health Nurses, Midwives, Lactation Consultants,
Paediatricians, Obstetricians and Dentists who specialise in tongue tie frenectomy.
We often follow babies and support their parents through the milestones of their first few years:
- Rolling (3-6 months)
- Feeding (4-6 months)
- Sitting (6-8 months)
- Standing and walking on furniture (5-12 months)
- Crawling (7-12 months)
- Walking (10-16 months)
- Running (1-3 years)
- General learning and activity (2-5 years)
We have been thrilled to watch some of these children growing into wonderful adults and are proud to have them as lifelong patients of Western Region Health, now treating their own children.
In children, we commonly address musculoskeletal restrictions in an effort to assist with achieving improved health in conditions such as postural dysfunction, orthotics, asthma, falls, joint pain and restrictions, along with congenital conditions relating to Sever’s disease, Osgood Schlatter’s and hip dysfunction.
Although we get asked quite regularly, there is limited published Osteopathic evidence in the treatment of behavioural problems or bed wetting, but work is being done in this area to build this base to reflect our clinical results. We are able to work closely with these children through education, exercises, and support alongside their parents.
We are more than happy to answer any further questions you may have over the phone or in person. Please feel free to call and speak with one of our Practitioners who have special interests in this area.
For more research about the osteopathic treatment of babies and children please click here
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is an Osteopathic treatment?
Initial treatment at an osteopathic clinic takes approximately 40-45 minutes. The osteopath treats one patient at a time, and is in the room with the patient for the duration of the treatment session. In this time we take a full case history, and perform any physical, orthopaedic or neurological examinations that may be necessary in order to reach an accurate diagnosis.
Any further treatments are up to 30 minutes. In this consultation the osteopath will deliver treatment as needed, offer a management place, ongoing advice and support, and assess the improvement of the condition.
What techniques does an Osteopath use?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation.
Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.
There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain. You may experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, please do not hesitate to contact your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No, you can make an appointment at our osteopathic clinic directly, without a referral. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and require complex care you may be eligible for Chronic Disease Management (CDM) assistance.
Our osteopathy Melton and Bacchus Marsh locations can assist you in managing an array of musculoskeletal concerns or answer any further questions you may have. Contact our friendly team at Western Region Health on 03 9747 0077.