Frequently asked questions
Do I need a referral to see an osteopath ?
Although many clients are referred by their doctor, or another health care professional, this is not required, and you can make an appointment directly with your osteopath. This even applies if you have had an accident and wish to submit an ACC claim.
Can an osteopath lodge my ACC claim ?
Yes, your osteopath can help you with all the paperwork, and lodge the claim for you. Let your osteopath know if you have had an accident and wish to lodge a claim.
What do I need to bring to my appointment ?
If you have any x-rays, test results or relevant medical notes bring these with you. For babies it may also be useful to bring their Plunket Book.
What should I wear ?
As osteopathy is a manual medicine, treatment is hand on, and usually involves moving various parts of your body. Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing. Depending on the area being looked at, it may be necessary to undress down to your underwear. Please speak to your osteopath if you feel uncomfortable in any way.
Will osteopathic treatment hurt ?
Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause high levels of discomfort. At times, hands on treatment of painful or tender areas will be necessary, and in these cases your osteopath will take care to make you as comfortable as possible. Some people experience some soreness for a day or two after a treatment as their body reacts and adjusts to the treatment. If this persists or increases, contact your osteopath to discuss it.
How long will the treatment take ?
Appointments last around 60 minutes - initial or follow up.
How much will an osteopathic treatment cost ?
The costs of treatment is $120 private or $60 for ACC. When you book your appointment notify your therapist if you are under an ACC or not. Some private health insurances will reimburse your fees, and treatment for an ACC covered injury will be less than a full fee, as you are only required to make a co-payment.
What training do osteopaths undertake ?
In New Zealand osteopathic training consists of a 5 year university program. Any osteopath who trained overseas has had their training assessed and approved to be of the same standard. These standards are set by our regulating authority, the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand. Each year, practicing osteopaths are required to complete a set amount of continuing professional development.
What is osteopathy exactly ?
Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths assist healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function together as a holistic unit.
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation and manipulation of specific joints and soft tissues using direct or indirect techniques.
What to expect ?
During your first consultation your osteopath will ask questions about your problem and symptoms. They may also ask questions about previous injuries, your medical history, any medications you are taking, or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem.
Next, your osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests. This may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition.
As osteopathy takes a holistic approach to treatment, your practitioner may look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, your osteopath may also look at your ankle, pelvis and back.
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, so hands-on treatment may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation, or other gentle techniques. Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, your osteopath will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.
Your osteopath may also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
After treatment you may feel tired and need to rest. It is best to avoid strenuous exercise or work. Some people experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.
Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; however, some long-term or chronic conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.
What osteopaths treat ?
Osteopathy is most commonly associated with musculoskeletal medicine - biomechanical back and neck pain, sport or work injuries, or other joint or muscle disorders. However, as osteopathy is a holistic form of healthcare which helps individuals improve or restore health and well being, there are many other reasons someone may visit an osteopath.
Some may come for rehabilitation, or injury management, assistance with general health problems or medical conditions, or wellness more generally.
Osteopaths treat people of any age, from children through to the elderly. Osteopathic treatment can be helpful for people in any situation - student, office worker, manual labourer, pregnant woman, stay at home parent, retiree and anything in between.
Some of the conditions osteopaths assist their clients with include:
- Back pain, pelvic pain, or sciatica
- Neck pain, headaches or migraines
- Hip, knee or ankle pain
- Shoulder, elbow or wrist pain
- Sports injuries
- OOS or RSI
- Pregnancy and post-pregnancy related pain
- Sleeping, feeding or digestive problems in babies
Asthma or other breathing related disorders
Recurrent ear infections in children
Digestive or gynaecological complaints