Do I need a referral from my GP?
No, you can make an appointment directly without a referral. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and require complex care you may be eligible for Chronic Disease Management (CDM) assistance. The GP must complete a Allied Health referral form (PDF, 201 KB) to refer you to an osteopath for treatment.
Under the law, an osteopath needs to obtain your approval to treat you, so you may be asked to sign an ‘informed consent’ form.
Depending on the area of your body requiring treatment, your osteopath may ask you to undress to your underwear. If this is the case you should be offered a gown or covered with a towel.
What happens at my first consultation?
Your osteopath will ask about your problem and symptoms. This will include your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Your osteopath will advise you if they can treat you or you need to be referred.
Your osteopath will conduct an examination and clinical tests. These include diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which determine how best to manage your condition.
The examination may include passive and active movements. The osteopath may lift your arms or legs and you may be asked to bend over or stand in your underwear. Be sure to wear comfortable, flexible and appropriate underwear.
Osteopathy takes a whole of body approach to treatment. Your osteopath may look at the area that is troubling you as well as other parts of your body. For example if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
Is osteopathic treatment painful?
Most osteopathic treatment is manual therapy and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will aim to make you as comfortable as possible.
There are techniques which may cause some short term discomfort or pain.
You may experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
How long will my appointment take?
Your initial consultation may last around 40 -60 minutes. This will enable your osteopath to take a thorough history, examine and depending upon your condition and appropriateness treat you.
Follow-up treatments are usually shorter. Please check appointment length when booking.
How many appointments will I need?
This depends on your condition. Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits. Long term or chronic conditions may require more treatment.
Your osteopath will discuss this with you.
Are there additional investigations or treatments?
Following treatment, your osteopath may decide that additional investigations such as X-ray, scans or blood tests are required. Your osteopath may refer you to another health professional.