WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
Osteopaths are allied health practitioners highly skilled in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of musculo-skeletal complaints of the entire body using gentle, safe and effective manual techniques. Osteopathy considers the structure of the body as a whole and acknowledges the important link between this structure and its function.
Osteopaths use a range of approaches to enhance function and restore balance to the body, including manual therapy (stretching, massage, gentle joint manipulation and joint balancing techniques), exercise therapy, lifestyle advice and patient education. Osteopaths are also trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral.
Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and by Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Plans.
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered primary healthcare practitioners who complete a minimum of 5 years university training initially, followed by compulsory annual continual professional development to maintain their registration as an Osteopath in Australia.
COMMONLY TREATED CONDITIONS
Osteopaths can help you find relief from a range of acute and chronic conditions including:
- Pre and Post Natal Care
- Back and neck pain
- Headaches & Migraines
- Shoulder pain
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Postural and mobility problems.
OSTEOPATHY CARE DURING PREGNANCY AND BEYOND
A pregnant woman undergoes many changes, both physical and emotional, during her journey into motherhood. Osteopathy can support this transition, treat conditions as they arise and help your body accommodate the many rapidly occurring changes at this time.
The postural changes and increase in weight gain that occur in pregnancy are often obvious, however other changes, such as the softening of ligaments, may be more subtle. These dramatic (and exciting!) musculoskeletal changes alter the mother’s normal biomechanics and can result in increased muscle tension, decreased range of motion and often the exacerbation of pre-existing conditions. You may notice new aches and pains or you may notice a worsening of things you have been able to manage before pregnancy.
Osteopathic treatment aims to normalise the structure so that it functions as effectively as possible. Treatment during pregnancy is no different. Osteopathic care in pregnancy is encouraged for both symptomatic and preventative approaches – aiming to prepare women for childbirth and motherhood by easing pain and improving function while promoting a feeling of wellbeing.
Osteopathic care can also be beneficial in assisting with optimal fetal positioning, often resulting in more positive birth outcomes.
Some common reasons for visiting an osteopath during pregnancy can include:
- Low Back Pain
- Rib and upper back strains
- Pelvic Girdle Pain
- Optimising the baby’s position in preparation for labour
- Maintenance of postural balance and alignment
- Groin and/or hip pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Swollen Feet
- Breathing difficulty
- Pre-existing injuries which are exacerbated by pregnancy
POSTNATAL OSTEOPATHIC CARE
Depending on your pregnancy, labour and postnatal condition women may experience a wide range of issues postnatally. Osteopathy in the first few weeks and months post birth may help provide comfort and relaxation by decreasing muscular tension, improving posture and mobility and therefore taking away any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Unresolved physical stress from pregnancy and labour can contribute to ongoing back problems in addition to stress incontinence, constipation and menstruation issues. Abdominal muscle separation and pelvic floor weakness are also common problems postnatally.
Osteopathic treatment can also help with pain and discomfort associated with breastfeeding posture, lifting car capsules and prams, carrying and settling your baby and bending over the bassinet or cot. Another common postnatal condition is de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or ‘Mother’s wrist’ which is inflammation of the tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb often as a result of overuse and poor positioning while settling/patting or feeding you baby.
Postnatal osteopathic treatment can help with long term preventative care, allowing you to relax and enjoy your new baby.