How does Osteopathy work?

how-does-osteopathy-workOsteopathy is a safe and gentle form of manual medicine which can be effective for the entire body. Osteopaths commonly focus on the musculoskeletal system but also look at other areas of the body including the nervous, lymphatic and circulatory systems. Osteopaths use gentle techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, stretching with and without resistance, myofascial release, biodynamics and cranial osteopathy to assist patients in achieving pain-free movement by correcting underlying dysfunction.

What sets Osteopathy apart from other forms of manual medicine is its principals:

  • The body is a unit.
  • The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms, having the inherent capacity to defend, repair, and remodel itself.
  • Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  • Treatment is based on applying these principles

In translation, the osteopathic belief is that by finding the cause of the pain, and treating this, the problem will be fixed and you will not need to come back time and time again.

An example of this is a patient who presents with knee pain. Osteopaths not only examine the knee looking for the cause of the pain but also examine the foot, ankle, hip, pelvis and low back then treat appropriately.

Exactly how does Osteopathy also help the body to heal itself?

The body is often able to care for itself, to compensate for injury. Nevertheless, in some instances, the injury is greater than the body’s ability to adjust or recover. In various other circumstances the body is not presently capable to regroup to be able to heal itself. This lack of ability may be produced by a variety of reasons, and the injuries, in some cases even small ones, start to develop a problem.

In those cases, treatment is needed to bring back the balance within your body and aid your body to be able to use it natural reserves and strengths to recover by itself.

Fundamental concepts of Osteopathy are:

1. Structure and Function are interrelated

An example: If you have sprained your ankle (structure) you will limp to compensate for the pain therefore not allowing your ankle to function properly.

2. The Body is a Single Dynamic Unit of Function

Using your sprained ankle as an example again:

  • The circulatory system supplies blood to every tissue and organ therefore causing swelling in the ankle.
  • The nervous system connects and integrates all of the body’s functions. So pain messages will be sent from the ankle to the brain saying I’ve hurt my ankle.  The brain sends messages back to say limp or rest it.
  • Connective tissue called fascia is a continuous sheath of living tissue that connects the body front to back, head to toe. It surrounds every muscle, organ, nerve and blood vessel. A primary function of this fascial system is to support and lubricate. With an ankle sprain we may see bruising within this connective tissue.  We may also start to get a sore knee or low back days later as the connective tissue is protecting the sprained ankle and now other tissues have to stretch or pull tight to compensate.

Thus, the circulatory system, the nervous system and the fascia all help to organize the body into a unified continuous whole. No single part exists independent of the whole. When even a small part of the body does not function optimally, the entire person is affected.

Understanding this concept of functional unity allows Osteopathic practitioners to diagnose and treat their patients as a functional whole. This may explain why an osteopathic physician may treat an area that is fairly distant from the area of pain or injury.

3. The Body Possesses Self-Regulatory and Self-Healing Mechanisms

We know that if we look after a sprained ankle it should be able to repair itself within 4-8 weeks depending on the damage.  What most patients do is not look after their sprained ankle and not listen to their bodies and therefore end up with an ankle not repairing or a neck or back pain due to compensation.

4. Rational Treatment is Based on Applying These Principles

Osteopathic treatment applies these principles with a sound and thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology. An osteopathic medical approach to treatment typically integrates osteopathic manipulation to restore structural freedom in the tissues, enhance fluid flow throughout the body, and creates the optimal setting for healing to occur.

For more information please give Osteo for Families a call and speak to one of our Osteopaths or check out


What sort of payment do you accept?
Cash, Cheque, Eftpos, MasterCard and Visa.
Can I claim using my private health insurance?
Yes, we can either provide you with a receipt which you will then forward to your insurer to claim or you can claim immediately through HICAPS.
Do you have Hicaps?
Do you treat babies, children and teenagers?
Yes, everyone is welcome at our clinic. Carly has extra qualifications in treating children but if you are unsure if she can help please contact the clinic to discuss a treatment strategy.
Do I need a referral to see an Osteopath?
No, an Osteopath is a primary health care practitioner, which means there is no need for a referral. All you need to do is call and make an appointment.
Can I claim my Osteopathic treatment through Medicare?
Osteopathic treatment is only covered by Medicare if your General Practitioner has organised a Chronic Disease Allied Health Services (formerly EPC) plan. This plan allows eligible patients up to five allied health services per year.

Once you have the plan you can ring and make an appointment. On the day of treatment you are required to pay for the consultation and then you can take the receipt to Medicare to claim. Medicare covers approximately $50 per consultation.

For more information please give the clinic a call.

Is Osteopathic treatment claimable under WorkCover, TAC or Veterans Affairs?
Yes, Osteopaths are able to treat patients supported by third-party insurers such as WorkCover, the TAC or Department of Veterans Affairs.

Patients who are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs must first obtain a referral from their General Practitioner made out to the Osteopath they are booked in to see.

All patients are required to pay for their consultation on the day of treatment and then the appropriate receipt will be given for you to claim back through your insurer.

Should I bring my X-rays with me?
Please bring any X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or any other test results that you feel are applicable to your first consultation.

Your Osteopath is also able to refer you for x-rays or further testing should they be required.

What to Expect

what to expectDocumentation

For a first visit, it’s recommended to arrive a little earlier, as you will have to complete added or initial paperwork.


Throughout your first examination our Osteo For Families Osteopath will ask questions about your issue and symptoms. You will also be asked questions about your medical history, any medicines you are taking or other factors that could not appear to be directly related to your problem. If your medical condition modifies throughout the course of your osteopathic therapy, please tell us right away.

Our Osteopath may also inquire about any recent X-rays, scans or test results that you could have.

Your initial assessment might last up to one hour. This will allow your osteopath to take a comprehensive history, examine and treat you. Follow-up treatments are typically much shorter. Depending upon your condition, we allow 30 minutes.


Depending upon the area of your body requiring treatment, you might be asked to undress to your underwear. It is essential that you feel comfy, so you might want to use loose trousers or bring a pair of shorts to change into.

Next, our Osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if essential, medical tests. This may include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and tasks or exercises, which will assist identify exactly how to manage your condition.

The examination may include passive and active motions, such as the osteopath lifting your arms or legs. Likewise you may be asked to stand and move the affected region. As osteopathy takes a holistic approach to therapy, our Osteopath might take a look at other parts of your body, along with the area that is troubling you. For instance, if you have an aching knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, hips and back.

You may also be supplied education and guidance to assist you in handling your condition between therapies. This might consist of offering you exercises to do at home or work.


Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy which means ‘a hands on’ approach is taken. Techniques used will consist of: soft tissue massage, repetitive motions, stretching with and without resistance, joint mobilisation and manipulation. Many osteopathic techniques are gentle and should not trigger undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on therapy of uncomfortable and tender areas, your Osteopath will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.

Some individuals experience light tenderness for a day or two after treatment, just like that felt after light exercise. If tenderness continues or increases substantially, call our Diamond Creek and Darwin Osteopathy Clinic on 0416 161 411 to discuss your concerns.

Generally you would anticipate seeing some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; nevertheless, some long-lasting or persistent conditions may need a longer course or even more regular therapy. If you have any concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.

Benefits of Osteopathic Treatment

Benefits of Osteopathic TreatmentWhat are the advantages of Osteopathic Treatment?
  • Removes the underlying reason for discomfort
  • Reduces discomfort and tightness in muscles and joints
  • Raises range of movements in the joints
  • Treats spinal issues resulting from poor posture or spinal disk injuries
  • Relieves chronic pain through non-invasive treatment
  • Reduces the tension on the joints
  • Reduces stress in the body
  • Relieves stress headaches and migraine headaches

Helps the body to adapt to hormonal and structural changes during pregnancy

  • Treats injury arising from accidents like (Sport injuries, Car injuries)

Encourages the body to heal itself

  • Increase circulation
  • Reduces blood pressure

Benefits of Maintenance Treatments

shutterstock_10950394How frequent is Maintenance Treatment?

As osteopaths can identify and deal with problems or constraints in the body even before they cause signs, many individuals opt to have a regular maintenance treatment to prevent troubles ocurring.

Stress factors to the body can cause illness & health problems which can manifest into disorder & generally discomfort. Through preventative & maintenance osteopathic therapies the danger of musculoskeletal & other general health issues going undiscovered is significantly minimized.

Everyone is different and their present clinical state, activity levels, diet and occupation are just some of the elements that govern their health and whether treatment is the appropriate thing for them or not. Some individuals benefit from receiving osteopathic treatment on a maintenance basis. Some individuals may present to our clinic every few weeks and some may come only every few months. However from medical experience we have recognized that it is those individuals who are aware of their wellness and maintain their healthiness that are the ones who benefit the most and wind up needing the least regular therapy.

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Diamond Creek ClinicDarwin Clinic

Osteo for Families – Diamond Creek

2 Cockatoo Court
Diamond Creek, VIC 3089
Phone: 0416 161 411

Located 1km from St Helena Marketplace, convenient for Greensborough, Diamond Creek, Eltham, Research, Montmorency and Plenty residents.

Osteopath helping people in Mill Park, Bundoora, Viewbank, Yallambie, Watsonia, Watsonia North, Briar Hill, St Helena, Yarrambat, Lower Plenty, Montmorency, Eltham North, Wattle Glen, Kangaroo Ground. Act now to improve your physical wellbeing.

Osteo for Families – Fannie Bay

8 Cooper Street
Fannie Bay, NT 0820

Enter from Playford Street.

Appointments available Tuesdays and Thursdays during school hours.

Osteopath helping people in lawa, Brinkin, Casuarina, Jingili, Lee Point, Millner, Moil, Nakara, Nightcliff, Rapid Creek, Tiwi, Wagaman, Wanguri, Karama, Leanyer, Malak, Marrara, Wulagi, Bagot, Bayview, Charles Darwin, Coonawarra, Cullen Bay. Act now to improve your physical wellbeing.


Osteopathy for Babies

Neck & Back Pain

Headache Treatment

Pelvic Floor