Osteopathic Treatment – What to Expect

If you are a new patient:

If you are seeking osteopathic treatment, after taking an extensive case history, we do an initial structural assessment and perform motion tests and any necessary neurological and orthopedic tests. We may request other investigations if necessary for diagnosis to provide the optimal treatment.

We assess the range and quality of motion in joints and soft tissues and look at your general structural/ postural pattern.

The reason for taking a comprehensive case history and performing an initial assessment prior to providing treatment is to judge whether it is safe for us to use particular osteopathic techniques with you and whether osteopathic treatment is appropriate.

We are interested in what has worked for you previously, and whether you have osteopathic treatment preferences.

We can explain the osteopathic treatment plan, and gain your consent before treatment. You should let us know immediately, even during the osteopathic treatment, if you would like to change or stop and discuss the treatment we are giving you.

Your osteopath will then explain to you what they have found and how they would like to approach the treatment, as well as explain what you may expect, any risks involved, and gain your consent for osteopathic treatment.

More information about osteopathy:

  • What is Osteopathy?
  • Back & Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Athletes & Sport
  • Cranial, Visceral and Biodynamic Osteopathy

  • Pregnancy Care, Babies and Children


About osteopathic treatment:

The treatment itself can vary practitioner to practitioner, but all will involve a hands-on approach. Osteopaths have a wide variety of manual techniques they use to treat various complaints. They include:

  • Massage (soft-tissue releases)
  • Stretching
  • Articulation (joints are passively taken through their range of motion by the osteopath)
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (used to lengthen tight, contracted muscles)
  • Counterstrain (releases tight muscles by positioning the affected muscle in a shortened position to stretch the opposing muscles)
  • Manipulations (short, quick, precise low-amplitude movements used to improve range of motion at the joint)
  • Functional Techniques (gentle mobilisation of joints)
  • Visceral Techniques (working with fascia and organs).
  • Osteopathy in the Cranial Field
  • Biodynamic Osteopathy
  • Dry Needling

At the end of the treatment, your Osteopath will reassess the initial movements that you performed so that we can see how effective the treatment has been. Your Osteopath may organise a return consultation and may give you some stretches and exercises to do at home to help speed up your recovery or improve your body’s function. We may be able to give you advice about suitable physical activity during this recovery period.

We have special pillows so that our pregnant patients can lie comfortably.

At your consultation:


  • X-rays, scans and results of investigations
  • Private Health Insurance card /Workcover/Motor Vehicle claim numbers/ EPC form/ DVA referral form and card


  • Comfortable clothes. Depending on the osteopathic practitioner and the area of concern, some disrobing may be required, but at all times you will be draped with towels and/or provided with a gown to ensure you feel comfortable during the osteopathic treatment.


  • Allow 5-10 minutes extra for your initial consultation to fill in your information sheet. You can ask us to email one in advance.
  • Initial consults last up to 45 minutes and usually include osteopathic treatment.
  • Followup osteopathic treatments run for 30-40 minutes

How many treatments will I need?

The number of osteopathic treatments needed depends on how long you have had the problem, how severe it is, and how your body responds to treatment.

Like any other form of therapy/treatment, occasional unwanted reactions may occur. These usually don’t last long, but if you would like your osteopath to talk to you about what is happening, please contact us.