So what exactly does an osteopath do? We are asked this all the time J

In short… Osteopaths are problem solvers of the musculoskeletal system!

When I was asked what I was studying or what I do and I replied“Osteopathy”, the common response used to be “oh, osteopathy, that’s about bones isn’t it”, or “osteoporosis and osteopathy – they are similar, right?”

Well, actually, osteopathy is so much more than bones!!

Osteopaths are highly skilled “hands on” primary health care practitioners who are trained in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions in the body.

Many patients who have been referred to seeus – by their GP, sports doctor, friend, colleague, or even Google, have usually tried many other treatment modalities for their issues before they come to see us… They actually don’t know exactly what we do!! They come in to see us as our reputation for helping musculoskeletal issues and complaints have been so positive!

Osteopaths diagnose and treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions;

This can include:

  • Muscle spasm,
  • Joint sprains and muscle strains,
  • Headaches,
  • Migraines,
  • Sciatica,
  • Disc bulges,
  • Postural complaints,
  • Ankle sprains,
  • Arthritis related pain
  • RSI, (repetitive strain injury)
  • Pain associated with pregnancy,
  • Sports injuries
  • and more!


During a consultation, your osteopath will take a thorough case history that will cover the current complaint that you are presenting with, as well as your medical history – which may or may not have some involvement in your current presenting complaint. It is really important that we know as much as possible about your symptoms, pain and history so we can establish a working diagnosis, appropriate treatment plan and how to best help you, especially if you old injury has created certain compensatory changes through your body over time.

During our assessment we will also perform appropriate diagnostic tests that may include neurological and orthopedic tests, as well as general ranges of motion and functional assessments. We may look at several regions of your body, not just the area of complaint – and as clichéd as this sounds – “everything is connected” and hence one area will affect another and hence can refer pain, cause compensatory changes and altered biomechanics in several areas, hence assessment and treatment of all of the appropriate regions , muscles, joints and body systems are required! This all leads to creating a holistic approach to your treatment!

Osteopaths look at how the structure and function of the body are interrelated and how one area can have an impact on another – holistic!! For example, an ankle sprain can cause poor ankle strength and mobility, which in turn leads to poor walking and gait cycle, which in turn leads to hip tenderness and lower back pain. But the initial presentation may be of lower back pain. So without a thorough case history and whole body assessment, the ankle would have been missed out, hence the primary cause of the back pain is not addressed, and hence back pain lingers. By treating the ankle, lower limb, hip and back, the problem is hence resolved!

Osteopaths have lots of different ways to help treat an injury or problem. We may use a range oftechniques that can include massage, mobilization, articulation, stretching, manipulation as well as myofascial release, muscle energy techniques, cranial osteopathy and rehabilitation exercises. We will also provide advice on lifestyle factors that may be influencing your problem which can include stretches, exercises, diet, supplements and/or appropriate medical referral. Osteopaths will also refer to GPs, specialists and for scans such as X-ray, CT/MRI or ultrasound if required. We will not prescribe pharmaceutical medication.


Each person – no matter if they had the same complaint as the person before or after them, will not necessarily have the same treatment, amount of sessions or take home advice. Each case is INDIVIDUAL and is hence treated as such!

We care for our patients for THEIR complaint and history, and hence have such positive outcomes and loyal patient base that keeps growing. As does the profession!!

Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds depending on your policy.

It is also covered under Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management Plan where a GP may refer you to us for several visits which Medicare will cover part of the cost.

Osteopathy is an encompassing, involved, and caring approach to musculoskeletal health care.

Please be in touch if you would like any further information or have any questions. We look forward to have the opportunity to help you!

Gaby and the team at St Kilda Osteopathy



Phone:            (03) 9593 6333

FaceBook:      StKilda Osteopathy

Twitter:          @StKildaOsteo

Address:         22 Alma Road, St Kilda, 3182, Victoria