Osteopathy: Helping your body help you
The majority of injuries suffered by Australians occur in the workplace or during leisure activities, according to a National Health Survey (ABS). Osteopaths are uniquely positioned to assist people of all ages to prevent injuries that can easily occur in daily life.
Osteopathy, statistically the fastest growing health profession in Australia, is a form of drug-free, manual healthcare that focuses on a whole-of-body approach to health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.
“Osteopathy takes a unique approach to healthcare and looks at the entire body as a working unit,” explains Dr Emila Howley, of Finesse Osteopathy. “Osteopaths use manual techniques to assist all systems of the body and ensure each part is working correctly.”
Osteopaths regularly treat patients who have been injured in the workplace, at home or while playing sport. These patients may complain of lower back pain, headaches, muscle strain or joint stiffness.
Injury prevention means less time off work and more time enjoying good health, so it’s important for Australians to know how injuries can happen and how to prevent them.
In the office: select a suitable chair for your desk, take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen and move around the office periodically. Without these precautions, people may experience back and neck pain, eyestrain, headache pain or general stress and tension.
In the home: simple tasks such as lifting grocery shopping or carrying young children can easily cause injury. Bend your knees as you lift heavy items and avoiding sudden, jerky movements as these risk damaging the lower back or straining muscles.
Exercise: perform warm up and cool down stretches before and after exercise. This is especially important during the colder weather as the risk of injury becomes greater.
“With our lives becoming increasingly busy, yet sedentary, osteopathy offers a prevention plan that is quick and easy and offers a great way for Australians to maintain their health,” said Dr Emila Howley.
Osteopathy is safe for all age groups and osteopaths treat not only the specific problem but also provide lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, stress reduction, posture and breathing. Osteopaths encourage individuals to proactively prevent injuries and ailments, which in the long term leads to better overall health and less time and money spent on treatment.
Osteopaths can be seen directly without a referral or in addition to the care provided by a GP. It is acknowledged by all major health funds as well as DVA, Workcover, Medicare and attracts a rebate with a GP referral for chronic pain and conditions.
There are over 1750 osteopaths practicing in Australia. You can find your local osteopath by visiting www.osteopathy.org.au or calling Osteopathy Australia on 1 800 467 836.
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