Osteopathic medicine is a specialised approach to clinically diagnose and treat the musculoskeletal system, which examines the whole of the person, not just the symptoms, in searching for the cause of the problem. Osteopathic medicine encourages the body to move as freely and as pain-free as possible by helping to restore normal function to affected structures.
Osteopathic practitioners are the primary health care practitioners who recognise the important link between the structure of the body and the way it works. Osteopathic practitioners treat and help strengthen the musculoskeletal framework, aiming to establish positive treatment effectiveness of the joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organ function as a holistic unit.
Osteopathic practitioners in New Zealand are trained for 5 years with the Bachelor and the Master course. A 5 year-training covers all the medical sciences (anatomy, microbiology, physiology, pain science, neuroscience, pharmacology, pathology, clinical diagnosis and kinetics/rehabilitation and etc) and osteopathic principles and practices. Osteopathic practitioners are trained to recognise conditions which require further medical referral. Osteopathic practitioners may also refer for ultrasound or X-rays to confirm findings, or review existing diagnostic results where available.
Find out more on osteopathic medicine at http://www.osteopathiccouncil.org.nz/what-is-osteopathic-medicine