Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a referral to see an Osteopath?
No, an Osteopath is a primary health care practitioner, which means there is no need for a referral. All you need to do is call and make an appointment.
2. Can I claim my Osteopathic treatment on Private Health Insurance or Medicare?
Most Private Health Plans with “extras” cover a portion of the treatment cost. Our clinic also has the HICAPS facility which allows you to claim this portion on-the-spot by scanning your Private Health Insurance card.
Osteopathic treatment is not covered by Medicare unless you are under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan organised by your General Practitioner (GP).
3. Claiming Osteopathic treatment through Medicare
There is a Medicare scheme that allows eligible patients with chronic conditions up to five allied health services per year. At the time of your Osteopathic treatment, a standard consultation rate applies. Out of this you will then be able to claim a rebate of approximately $52.95 back from Medicare. A gap fee is therefore paid for as an out of pocket expense by the patient.
4. Who is eligible for the Medicare Scheme?
Patients who may be eligible for the EPC, are people who suffer from a chronic (long standing) condition. This may include conditions / symptoms such as arthritis, repetitive strain injuries (eg tennis elbow), neck related headaches, chronic low back pain, muscular pain etc. It is up to your GP’s discretion as to whether you are eligible to participate in the program.
5. What you need to do for the Medicare Scheme?
An EPC plan must be prepared by your GP before consulting with your Osteopath. If you are experiencing musculoskeletal or related symptoms ask your GP if you are eligible to go on the EPC Plan. If so, your GP will write you out a referral form including a brief overview of your case. Then all you have to do is give this form to your Osteopath. Your Osteopath will then report back to your GP if necessary.
6. Is Osteopathic treatment claimable under WorkCover, TAC or Veterans Affairs?
Yes, Osteopaths are able to treat patients supported by third-party insurers such as WorkCover, the TAC or Department of Veterans Affairs. TAC and WorkCover patients are required to provide details of the claim number for their case and the name of the contact they are giving from the insurer. Patients who are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs must first obtain a referral from their GP made out to the Osteopath they are booked in to see.
7. Should I bring my X-rays or Scans / Tests with me to the appointment?
Please bring any x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or any other test results that you feel are applicable to your presenting complaint.
Your Osteopath is also able to refer you for x-rays or further testing should they be required.
8. What happens during my first treatment?
When initially arriving at the clinic you will be asked to complete a simple personal information form. In the consultation that follows a full case history will be taken by your Osteopath.
During the appointment your Osteopath will perform a comprehensive examination using a standard medical approach and orthopaedic testing to diagnose your condition.
Osteopaths utilise hands on techniques as the basis of treatment, including soft tissue techniques, stretching, articulation of joints, joint manipulations, trigger point treatment and myofascial treatment.
Advice will also be provided to assist the ongoing management of your condition. This may include stretching and strengthening exercises, ergonomic advice, and suggestions for better management for your personal, individual lifestyle.
At NWOC you will never feel rushed. We ensure ample time is provided to assess and treat all areas which may be contributing to your condition
9. How long will I need treatment for?
Osteopathic treatment is solely based on each patient’s individual needs. In general, acute conditions may require 2-4 treatments. Chronic or long term conditions may require more treatments initially and then maintenance treatment every couple of months. This is determined by your body’s individual response to treatment and ongoing needs. The Osteopath will give you a clear idea as to your prognosis and any changes to it as your treatment progresses.
10. What is the difference between Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked. There are some similarities between the three modalities in both conditions treated and in some of the techniques used. The main differences are found in the philosophies behind each modality and how the principles of treatment are applied.
It is not for us to explain the theories behind Physiotherapy or Chiropractic, but the main principles of Osteopathy are that the body is a unit and that the structure and function of the body are interrelated. This means that dysfunction, or damage, to one area of the body can have drastic effects on other regions of the body. As Osteopaths, we aim not only to treat the symptoms of the problem, but the cause behind them. In doing so, all of our techniques are hands-on and are specific to your condition and your medical history. Incorporating a truly holistic approach we are also trained to assess diet, nutrition, ergonomics and lifestyle factors to attain a true sense of wellbeing.
11. Is Manipulation a necessary part of treatment?
It is not uncommon for people to be wary of spinal manipulation, despite the evidence of it’s safety. Manipulation is only one of the tools available to our Osteopaths and if you feel uncomfortable with this technique there are other approaches available to us. Prior to commencing any treatment we discuss with you the treatment plan and the choices available. Your comfort and trust is important to us and we would never apply a technique against your wishes.