What does an osteopath do?
Following the case history, our osteopathic assessment focuses on a range of movement tests, then using our hands to feel which muscles or other structures are not moving properly, and where muscles are particularly tight. As osteopaths, we will examine not only where it hurts, but other parts of your body too. (Often one part of the body affects another. Sometimes the pain is not at the “causing” part but at the “affected” part. We want to find the “causing” part).
Then we may perform some standard orthopaedic tests for your joints, or neurological tests if we think that any of your nerves have been affected. These tests are the same as those you may get from your doctor.
Having explained our findings to you and after obtaining your permission, we move on to treatment. Osteopathy is not a technique, but an approach that involves appraising your body from top to toe in order to assess where the problems are stemming from (not necessarily the same site as where the pain is) and applying any of a large array of hands-on techniques to help improve the situation. We may test the problem by asking you to move in certain ways, and we may measure improvements in the way you make those movements. Often we will recommend specific exercises to support your progress, and to help you to avoid having your problem recur. Our preventative advice may embrace your office set-up, your computer position, your car and advice about your usual activities of daily living.
We will also tell you if we think you need to come back for treatment and how often this might be. Each person is different and we do not give our clients generic “treatment plans” involving multiple sessions per week, or intensive courses of treatment that may last a number of months.
What happens at my first visit?
At the first visit we take a thorough, relevant medical history, assess your problem and provide you with a working diagnosis and treatment. You will be asked to remove some clothing so that we can make a proper assessment and provide treatment, so please wear underwear in which you will be comfortable. In particular, it is difficult for us to assess and treat effectively through tight jeans or sports bras. (Jeans are usually too thick to work through; sports bras obscure too much of the spine).
Usually treatment follows the assessment, but occasionally we need to refer you for further investigations before proceeding. If this is the case, we will explain what we need and why we think it is important.
See “What does an Osteopath do?” for more information.
How many treatments will I need?
Some people need just one treatment; other people need a few sessions; and others – typically those with longer-standing health issues or who have had serious injuries involving multiple fractures or difficult whiplash injuries – need more. Our clinic does not offer “treatment contracts” or try to tie you into a “program” as in our experience the risks of overtreatment are too high.
Do I need a referral?
No. Osteopaths are primary contact practitioners so no doctor’s referral is necessary. However, we are always happy to collaborate with other medical practitioners to achieve what is best for you.
The only times you will need a referral are if you wish to consult an Osteopath under Medicare's GP Management Plans, the Veterans’ Affairs Scheme or for WorkCover (in Queensland) only. Otherwise, just contact us directly
What rebates are available for my treatment?
If you have a policy with a private health fund that includes “extras” then it is very likely that you will be eligible for a rebate for part of your osteopathy fee. Simply bring your card to the clinic with you and we will swish it through our system to give you an on-the-spot rebate.
Some people are eligible for a Medicare rebate – see “Can I get osteopathy under Medicare?"
Do you have parking facilities?
Yes. Our reception and treatment rooms are all at ground floor level, with parking directly outside the clinic.
Where are you located?
We are easy to find. We are opposite Ashmore Plaza shopping centre and your main landmarks are Hungry Jacks and Pizza Hut. We are loacted in a medical plaza which is situated behind Pizza Hut. For more details Contact Us.
Can I bring a friend or relative?
Yes – if you wish, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment.
Can I get osteopathy under Medicare?
If your problem is both chronic (it has lasted over three months) and complex your general practitioner can recommend you for up to five sessions per year under a GP Management Plan (GPMP). At our clinic we charge our usual fee for the session, and so long as the magnetic strip on your Medicare card is operational (most are) we provide an on-the-spot rebate from Medicare of about $53.00. This is usually more than one-half of the consultation fee. (In the less likely event that your card’s magnetic strip doesn’t work, we will provide you with an invoice to submit to Medicare).
Is osteopathy considered Mainstream or Alternative Medicine?
Osteopathy has been a registered health care profession in Australia since the 1970s. We are regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and in 2004, Osteopathy was formally recognised as ‘mainstream’ when it was included on the Allied Health Framework of the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program under Medicare, an initiative that allows for the GP, at their discretion, to refer chronic and complex patients to an Osteopath under Medicare. (See 'Can I get Osteopathy under Medicare')
What training and qualifications does an osteopath have?
In Australia, all osteopaths complete a minimum of five years university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. We are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems. Australian university graduates hold either a double Bachelors or Master qualification.
Osteopaths are government registered practitioners, and are required by law to maintain ongoing professional development and education every year to stay in practice. This helps to keep us aware of advances in practice, techniques and relevant research.
Do osteopaths 'pop' joints like chiropractors do?
We offer lots of different techniques, of which spinal manipulation is one. However more often than not we find gentle, effective alternatives to manipulation, and should we want to use manipulation we will always check with you first.