Most people have a good grasp on what Physiotherapists and Chiropractors do but the mystery still remains around Osteopaths.
This is predominantly due to the much smaller number of Osteopaths in Australia. There are currently only three Australian Universities running Osteopathy courses, two of which are in Melbourne. As a result Victoria is rapidly increasing in numbers of Osteopaths and currently account for around 40% of the nations approximate total of 1800.
So what do we do?
Osteopathy, as a result of it’s ‘wholistic’ philosophy has always been very difficult for Practitioners and Patients to explain. Because Osteopaths look at how various regions of the body can cause strain and pain in other regions of the body they don’t just treat a specific range of conditions. Furthermore, because Osteopaths have a wide range of different treatment techniques they will vary their style of treatment from patient to patient.
A common day could involve – massaging, stretching and manipulating the lowback of a burly footballer with groin pain, gently improving the arthritic neck range of motion of an 80 year old man with headaches and then freeing up the lowback and abdomen of a new born baby with colic.
This diversity in treatment methods and conditions we treat is all a result of the underlying philosophy that the body is a single entity and the health of its structure will govern its function.
I recently heard a non Osteopath refer to what we do as ‘restore mobility, discover vitality.’ In a nutshell, with all the conditions we treat and all the different techniques we use, this statement is exactly what we aim to achieve.
Osteopaths will examine the body for areas of reduced mobility, which are contributing to the presenting complaint and then use the appropriate treatment techniques to improve that mobility.
Hopefully now for all our patients explaining what we do it’s clearer now that we help people discover their vitality by restoring their mobility.