Tips and advice
As we age, many of us begin to experience shifts in our range of movement, mobility, joints, balance and muscle strength. And because Osteopathy can help with muscle relaxation, joint flexibility, healthy blood flow, postural balance, and pain management, it’s a great addition to the toolkit for staying active and independent for longer.
But what exactly is Osteopathy, how does it differ from Physiotherapy and what makes it particularly effective for treating the ageing body?
Let’s start with definitions!
Osteopathy vs Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy, or physical medicine, as the name suggests, focusses on treatment of disease through physical methods like manipulation or exercise. While Osteopathy focusses on your neuro-musculoskeletal system – in other words, the bones, muscles, nerves, and other tissues that support your body and control its movements.
Both can be great for dealing with pain relief, rehabilitation after injury, muscle weakness and other issues, and both treat people to increase mobility and improve quality of life for patients.
Osteopaths, however, take a more whole-of-body approach, aiming to improve the body’s healing system to restore overall wellness rather than treating just the area causing the discomfort. It's based on the principle that wellbeing depends on the bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.
So, it’s not hard to see how Osteopathy can help support many of the physical changes that occur as we age.
What types of conditions do Osteopaths treat?
There are a range of conditions that our clients see an Osteopath for. We see a great deal of relief to even our oldest and most fragile clients through Osteopathic medicine, so may refer clients that present with:
The result of treatment includes relieving muscle tension, reducing pain, increasing range of movement, and improvements to
circulation, among others.
So, what can you expect at a treatment session?
At your first session, your Osteopath will ask about your health and any medical care you’re receiving. Next, they’ll complete a
physical examination to find areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain within your body – and you may be asked to perform
Treatment at the session may include a mixture of gentle and stronger techniques, to help improve your symptoms, such as:
Your Osteopath will also discuss your treatment plan with you, including whether you’d need further tests, such as blood tests or MRI scan to help diagnose your problem.
They may provide some indication of the number of sessions required for treatment. However, if if you have a chronic condition, ongoing Osteopathic treatment may be an effective method for pain relief or for maintaining mobility.
#1 Is Osteopathic treatment painful?
No, osteopathy is typically very relieving and not usually painful at all – although you may feel a little extra stiffness or soreness in the days immediately after treatment.
#2 Do I need a referral from a GP to see an Osteopath?
While many GPs do refer ageing patients, you can book to see an Osteopath without a referral if you have pain and symptoms. They will take a full medical history provide further referrals if you need them.
#3 Can I choose to see an Osteopath if my doctor has referred me to a Physiotherapist?
Yes! As discussed in this article, both Osteopaths and Physiotherapists can treat similar ailments, but the approach is very different.
So, you can choose which ever you prefer.
#4 Can I use Home Care Package funds to pay for an Osteopath?
Yes! If you have a Home Care Package, you can use it for Osteopathy. The best part is they visit and treat you in your home, so there is no need to attend a clinic. And treatment sessions are typically longer than in-clinic treatment, which is commonly set at 30-mins.
#5 How much does it cost to see an Osteopath?
In-home Osteopathic services at Age Up cost you zero dollars out-of-pocket because they are covered by your Home Care Package. Sessions are charged at $120 for 45mins and $150 for a one-hour appointment.
#6 Does Medicare cover an Osteopath?
Not usually, no. In the case of patients who have a chronic or complex condition and a referral from their GP under a Chronic Disease Management Plan, Medicare rebates may apply.
Anyone aged 65+ needing extra help at home may be eligible for up to$52k per year in government support - or those aged 50+ with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.
Understanding how you can use Home Care Package funding is one of the most important aspects of remaining well and living independently at home. Learn more.
To help make sense of all the various choices, we've compiled some the favourite tips we share when people call confused about how to compare providers. Read now.
Waiting for funding to come through can take time! Here, we've compiled our Top 7 Survival Tips for what to do about care when on the National Waitlist. Find out.
Everyone will tell you that you can get a cleaner or a gardener. But with a bit of knowledge, your Home Care Package can provide you with so much more! Discover.
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