Osteopathy is a discrete medical specialty which concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to mechanics, function and posture. A detailed knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human musculoskeletal system enables the Osteopath to identify faults that occur because of injury or mechanical stress and to treat not just the symptoms, but the underlying causes of the problem. This allows the body to restore itself to normal function.
The term Osteopath is legally protected, like doctor and dentist, and registration by the New Zealand Osteopathic Council (NZOC) is awarded only to those Osteopaths who meet strict guidelines and standards. NZOC registered Osteopaths have completed a three year Bachelor of Health Science Degree and a two year Master of Osteopathy Degree at a recognized College of Osteopathy.
An accurate diagnosis is the prerequisite of successful treatment. A diagnosis is reached by taking a detailed medial history, followed by a thorough physical examination. The patients posture, the way in which they move and any restriction or exaggeration of movement are observed and assessed. If necessary, tests such as Xrays or other pathological investigations may be recommended. Treatment is based on the individual needs of each patient.