Training and regulation
Osteopaths undergo an intensive 4-5 year undergraduate course leading to a Masters Degree. During this training they study anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and pathology; learn how to examine the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal and neurological systems; and learn an array of manual treatment techniques to accommodate the variety of people and their presenting complaints. Osteopaths must complete at least 1000 clinical hours before graduation.
Osteopaths are allied health care practitioners in Australia and the U.K, where services are available on the NHS. The peak body for Osteopaths in Ireland is the Osteopathic Council of Ireland (OCI). Members of the OCI must comply to their standards and code of practice including completion of a minimum of 30 hours continual professional development per year.
What to expect at your consultation?
The initial consultation usually last longer than subsequent appointments. During this your Osteopath will;
- Take a case history. This involves asking listening and asking questions about your symptoms, medical history and general health.
- Perform a physical examination. You will be asked to do a series of active movements and brought through some passive movements. Special orthopaedic and neurological tests, and general medical screening will be performed if required. Your Osteopath will use their highly developed sense of touch to identify areas of restriction and dysfunction contributing to the symptoms picture. You may be asked to remove some items of clothing to facilitate this.
- All of this information from the history and examination will used to formulate a working diagnosis to guide treatment. This will be explained to you, and your Osteopath will agree on a patient centered treatment plan with you. This will also include any potential risks of reactions from treatment. This plan will usually be reviewed with each treatment.
- Treatment consists of soft tissue massage, myofascial release techniques, joint mobilisation and manipulation, gentle techniques such as cranial and visceral osteopathy, stretching and dry needling. Please voice any questions or concerns at any stage during the consultation.
- Your Osteopath will give a comprehensive explanation and educate you about your condition and provide you with an individual treatment plan which may include exercise rehabilitation and self-help strategies.