There is a lot of crossover in the services that these Allied Health professionals provide. Essentially we are all manual therapists with the aim to improve your pain and mobility! There is also quite a difference from practitioner to practitioner within a single profession also.
Very simply, Osteopathy is known for taking a holistic approach to health care. Osteopaths are looking for the cause of your pain and discomfort and are using hands on techniques to address any problems that they find. Osteopaths treat the local structures causing pain - including the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments while trying to reduce compression allowing the nerves and vessels to have a free pathway to pass messages and bring oxygen to the affected area. It is about the body working as a whole unit and how the structure of the body impacts its function.
Chiropractors treat the body by addressing the alignment of the spine. They often use spinal manipulation with the aim of producing a stimulus to the adjacent nerve. Some chiropractors will use blocks or an activator gun to perform an adjustment.
Physiotherapists provide some hands on treatment while also utilising modalities such as ultrasound. They will often do a strength and movement assessment and provide home exercises for you to follow.
You do not require a referral from a GP to attend an osteopath. You can claim as normal through your private health insurance if you have it. There is a special Medicare funded program for chronic pain and complex cases that does require a referral from a GP.
Yes it is. You will need to check with your insurer whether your specific policy covers you for osteopathic treatment. Most insurers have many standard policies which cover Osteopathy. You can claim part of your osteopathic treatment through Medicare if you have an eligible referral from your GP. This is called a Chronic Disease Management plan and entitles you to a rebate on 5 visits per calendar year. In both cases we can claim these for you on the spot.