Osteopaths diagnose, treat and provide preventative advice on disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the body, using manual techniques to alleviate stresses and dysfunction to improve the body's function.
Duties & Tasks
Osteopaths may perform the following tasks:
- diagnose patients' complaints using information from case histories, physical examinations, manual 'palpation' (the use of touch), observation of patients' body structure and mobility and clinical aids (such as X-rays, CT scans and laboratory tests)
- treat patients using a variety of manual techniques such as soft tissue stretching, muscle relaxation, gentle mobilisation or manipulation
- treat biomechanical complaints (including backache, general joint problems, sports injuries, arthritis, stress and repetitive strain injuries), some breathing problems (such as asthma) and a wide range of general medical complaints (headache, for example)
- treat children for the after-effects of birth trauma and childhood accidents
- devise exercise and nutritional programs.
Osteopaths work in combination with dietitians, dentists, medical practitioners, naturopaths and podiatrists, and may work from clinics or from their homes. They have a high level of contact with the public.
- an interest in health science and human anatomy
- good hand-eye coordination
- good communication skills
- interested in people and their health.