What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a hands on form of manual therapy with a particular focus on the musculoskeletal system.  Osteopaths believe that structure has a significant impact on function, and vica versa. Osteopaths focus on how the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, gastrointestinal system and circulation function as a holistic unit to promote mobility and improve health.

What is the Osteopathic Philosophy?

The Four Principles of Osteopathy:

  • Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated
  • The body is a single dynamic unit of function; mind, body and spirit.
  • The body is capable of self-repair, self- healing and health maintenance.
  • Rational treatment is based on the employment of the above principles.

What should I expect in my 1st consultation?

At your first consultation we ask you to complete a new patient form regarding your full medical history. Expect to be asked plenty of questions regarding your presenting complaint, your medical history and other relevant lifestyle factors.  As Osteopaths have a ‘whole of body’ approach, you may be asked about other parts of your body that may not seem as though they relate to your problem.  At Sutherland Osteopathy, we like to be thorough to help us understand your health history and present situation so our treatment and management is appropriate and tailored to you and your life.

A thorough examination, based on information gathered in your history,  will then be performed to allow a diagnosis to be made.  If we feel your presentation would respond to Osteopathic treatment, and you are happy with our treatment and management plan, the treatment will then commence.  If relevant, you will be given ergonomic or postural advice regarding changes you could make to your daily activities that may assist in your recovery, e.g. moving the computer mouse closer or adjusting your car seat in a particular way.  A stretching and/or strengthening program that is adaptable and achievable will also be provided.

What should I wear?

Wear clothes you’re comfortable in – a comfortable shirt and stretchy pants are ideal. Depending on the area of your body that is being treated, you may be asked to remove an item of clothing. In this case, you will be provided with a gown and draped carefully with a towel.  We are very mindful of your comfort and modesty.

Will I have exercises to do?

Depending on your injury and the treatment plan that your Osteopath creates, you could be advised to complete certain exercises.  These will be explained, and you will be given an opportunity to try these before you leave to ensure you are performing them correctly, that they do not cause pain, and the suggested reps/sets/frequency is appropriate.  We have an extensive database of exercises at our disposal, and will provide you with relevant information so you are equipped to succeed.

What training and qualifications do Osteopaths have?

All Osteopaths in Australia are required to have completed 5 years university training (Bachelors and Masters Degrees) covering subjects in a variety of areas, including but not limited to, pathology, anatomy, physiology, general musculoskeletal diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.  They are trained in performing examinations of the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.  On top of these qualifications and training, they are also required to be government registered practitioners and to undergo professional development annually to maintain their government registration.  The Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency (AHPRA), otherwise known as the ‘public register’, ensures these requirements are met and maintained.

Do I need a referral?

No. However your GP may give you a referral containing relevant information to aid in your treatment process.  If you are eligible for the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Program, a referral from your GP with a Care Plan is essential.  Once on this program, your will receive a rebate from Medicare Australia for five (5) Osteopathic treatments per calendar year. We have the facilities at our clinic to make an instant claim.

Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) patients require a referral in order for their claim to be processed.

Is Osteopathy covered by Private Health cover?

Yes.  Please call your health fund to confirm your eligibility and rebate.  For your convenience we have a HICAPS terminal at our clinic to make instant claims, leaving only the ‘gap’ to pay.

What is Osteopathy Australia?

Osteopathy Australia (OA) is the professional body representing the interests of osteopaths and their patient’s right to access osteopathic services. A national organisation with state and territory based councils, OA is a member of the Osteopathic International Alliance.

OA’s core work is liaising with state and federal governments, and all other statutory bodies regarding professional, educational, legislative and regulatory issues as well as private enterprise. Their role is also to increase awareness of osteopathy and what osteopaths do.

OA members are committed to continuing professional education and OA requires all members to comply to their  standards.  OA requires a standard of professional and ethical behaviour over and above the requirements of registration.  All practitioners of Sutherland Osteopathy are members of OA.

Will the Osteopath refer me to another health or medical provider if need be?

Yes.  We are well aware of our professional boundaries and limitations, so if we believe you would be better suited to another health or medical discipline we will happily and appropriately refer you.  This is also the case if we need to refer you for safety reasons, e.g., we may feel you need to get further investigations via your GP before we can safely proceed with treatment.  We always err on the side of caution- your care and safety is our utmost priority. 

What do I need to bring?

Bring any paperwork or radiographic examinations (i.e. CT scans, x-rays, MRI’s, ultrasounds) pertaining to your condition you may have, as well as your Health Fund card if you are a member and can claim for your visit.  If you are eligible for the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Program, please bring a copy of your documentation.

Can I bring a friend or relative?

Of course! If you feel more comfortable, especially if it is your first visit, bringing along a friend, relative or carer. Please note we have limited space in our treatment rooms but we will do our best to make you and yours comfortable.

Will there be additional investigations or treatments?

Often we suggest follow-up treatments, including at home exercises, depending on the condition. If it’s an episodic condition (such as back pain or arthritis) we find many of our patients book appointments regularly (i.e. every 2-12 weeks depending on their needs and situation) for maintenance once the initial episode has been treated and addressed.  Let us be clear: you will not be pressured to rebook.  Our goal is to equip you with small modifications to your activities, and provide you with exercises, that are easily slotted into your day, to self-manage any issues, be they acute or chronic you may have.  We want you to be healthy and happy, and we are here to support you in your version of that.

What if my health or medical condition changes?

At each appointment we ask follow up questions regarding your health and medical condition.  Please advise us of any changes – things may have improved, things may have deteriorated, you may have started a new job or started training to climb Everest! – the more information and insight we have, the better equipped we are to treat you.