Everything you need to know about Osteopathy
“Osteopath? Is that bones?” is still a common question when I tell someone I’m an osteopath.
Scrap what you think you know about osteopathy.
We treat more than you think.
Osteopath’s are allied health practitioners, and are governed by a national body Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), along with GPs, nurses and other allied health professions.
Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare that has a holistic approach to the whole body.
Osteopaths have a thorough and in-depth understanding of the structure of the body and the way that it functions.
Osteopaths study for five years at university to learn and understand how the skeleton, joints, muscles, connective tissue and internal organs function together as a unit.
During this time we study subjects such as anatomy, neuro anatomy, radiology, microbiology, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and general medical diagnosis.
Given this knowledge, osteopaths are trained to identify when the body isn’t functioning optimally, and to determine the causative factor.
Because of this, we treat a vast array of conditions, injuries, aches and pains.
Our osteopathic philosophies are based around the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself when it is in the ideal and optimal physiological position.
Goals for treatment will vary between individuals but ultimately treatment is aimed at aligning the body into its optimal position and to allow the body do what it does best – encourage circulation and enhance healing, which is why osteopathy is suitable from birth to very old age.
Did you know?
- Osteopathy was established in 1874
- Osteopathic healthcare is provided in every continent except Antarctica and is practised in more than 50 countries
- Worldwide there are 43,000 osteopaths; nearly triple the number 10 years ago
- In Australia, there are only 2,300 osteopaths
- One in seven people in Australia have back problems ~ three million people
- One in five patients see an osteopath for a general osteopathic check-up
- The most common reasons for seeing an osteopath is for problems in the low, mid and upper back and neck and pelvic (hips/sacrum) area.
- At birth, we have around 300 bones in our body; we have 206 once we reach adulthood due to some fusing together, such as the skull
- General consensus is that we have over 650 named muscles but we may have as many as 840.
Dr Erin Coffey is an osteopath at the Health Creation Centre in Ocean Grove.