Dr Nick O’Connor (Osteopath)
What defines an Osteopath?
One of the most common questions we get at our Hawthorn, Blackburn, Windsor and Ocean Grove clinics is “What is an Osteopath?” and “What is the difference between an Osteo, Physio and Chiro?”. Whilst we aren’t allowed to tell you about the differences between the professions we can tell you more about what an Osteopath is.
An Osteopath is an allied health professional who utilises manual therapy, structured rehabilitation and an holistic approach to a patient’s presentation to get the best results for their patients. Not only will an Osteopath use manual therapy, but there will also be a strong emphasis on rehabilitation to empower patients with the tools to keep them moving pain free.
Why choose Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is constantly evolving and striding forward to become more readily utilised by the general population who may need our care. It is a profession where patient care is at the forefront of anything else. Osteopathy is well known to take a holistic approach to treatment. We look at not only the presenting complaint you are coming in with, but how your work/life may be impacting on this. Have you ever noticed that if you have had a pretty stressful week at work, your lower back might start to ache more so than normal? Or do you feel like you need to stretch your neck all day without any improvement? An osteopath may be able to help!
We use manual therapy, exercise rehab and education to empower our patients to build a robust body to deal with any complaint.
How do Osteopaths work with other therapists?
Osteopaths have a great working relationship with other allied health professionals. Commonly Osteopaths will work alongside Podiatrists, Exercise Physiologists and Myotherapists to provide the best care for a patient. This may be referring a patient in for an orthotic assessment, or the patient who may need structured exercise rehabilitation classes with an Exercise Physiologist due to an underlying pathological condition.
Osteopaths will also work closely with local General Practitioners, Orthopaedic surgeons and Sports doctors. Due to the nature of an Osteopathic consultation and a strong emphasis on rehabilitation patients are often referred from GPs, Surgeons and Sports Doctors to incorporate a team approach for the recovery of patients.
At Beyond we are a multidisciplinary clinic with Osteopaths, Podiatrists, Myotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists which allows us to provide patients with the best care depending on their complaint. This allows for constant communication between practitioners to provide the best service possible for each patient.
What conditions do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopaths treat a range of musculoskeletal conditions. This may be a chronic condition a patient has had for a number of years, or it may be in the acute phase of a sporting injury. What you may see an Osteopath for:
- Neck or Low back pain
- Shoulder pain or discomfort
- Postural issues
- Headaches & Migraines
- Muscular strains & Joint sprains
- Workplace injuries
- Sporting injuries
We do this through a range of different tools, starting with an assessment to gain an understanding of how your body is functioning and where there may be some restrictions which may help with understanding the cause of the problem. The use of orthopaedic tests to further narrow in on the root cause is another important part. Osteopaths will also take an individual approach to each patient they see and consider what other factors may be impacting on their condition i.e stress, underlying pathological condition, medical education
What does an Osteopathy degree involve?
Osteopaths are Allied Health Professionals who have undertaken a 5 year university degree, of which 3 years Bachelor of Science (Clinical Science) and 2 years Master of Health Science (Osteopathy). During their studies, Osteopaths heavily focus on Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Neuroanatomy in conjunction with Osteopathic history and practice. This provides each practitioner with the knowledge to treat a wide range of conditions.
The first three years are heavily theory and practical based with a big emphasis on anatomy, physiology and pathology of different regions of the body and incorporating this into Osteopathic technique classes. These three years are where the majority of the techniques and knowledge of injuries/conditions are learnt. The final two years you are in a student clinic setting treating patients once per week and in the last year this is increased to two times per week.
If you haven’t already why not try an osteopath today to see if we can help you move through life!