What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions.

Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.

Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues. Osteopaths may also give advice on nutrition and rehabilitation exercises where appropriate.

In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete minimum accredited university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general healthcare diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.

Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.

Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and by Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Plans. Osteopaths are registered providers for DVA patients, as well as by ReturnToWorkSA and motor accident insurers.

Who are our Osteopaths?

We have two highly experienced Osteopaths at Southside, with a combined total of over 22 years experience.

Click through for more information on:

Dr Andrea Robertson (Osteopath)

Dr Brendan Wood (Osteopath)

What to expect when you visit an Osteopath

During your first consultation, your Osteopath will ask questions and conduct a full osteopathic and orthopaedic examination. You will normally be asked to remove some of your outer layers of clothing, depending on the area of your body requiring treatment. Following osteopathic treatment, your Osteopath may need additional investigations such as x-ray, scans or blood tests. This will allow a full diagnosis and suitable treatment plan to be developed for you. If needed, your Osteopath may refer you on to another health professional.

Do you need a referral from your GP?

Many patients are referred to Osteopaths by their Doctor, other health practitioners or personal trainers. However, as Osteopaths are primary practitioners, you can make an appointment without a referral.

Under the Chronic Disease Management Program, many clients with chronic conditions can have up to 5 treatments per year part covered by Medicare. In these cases, you will need a referral from your GP.

How long will your treatment take?

Your initial consultation may last up to one hour because it includes a thorough case history and examination as well as treatment. Follow-up treatments are usually a little shorter. Depending on your condition, they can take up to 30 minutes.

How much does it cost to see an Osteopath at Southside?

Initial Visit: $125

Return Visits: $95

Dr Andrea Robertson’s rates are slightly higher at $155 for an Initial Visit, and $99 for Return Visits.

Concession rates (Pensioner and Health Care Care Holders): $10 off the rates above.

We have HICAPS facilities so, if you have private health insurance we can swipe your card on the spot, and you will only need to pay the gap. Osteopathy is covered by all private health funds, but the amount of cover will depend upon your fund and level of cover.

What do you need to bring?

Your osteopath will ask to see any X-rays, scans or test results that you may have. Your osteopath may ask you to undress to your underwear depending on the area of your body requiring treatment. Therefore you may want to wear loose pants or bring a pair of shorts if this would make you more comfortable. We do have shorts available onsite also if you require them.

Common Conditions people may see an Osteopath for

  • generalised aches and pain
  • joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise
  • arthritic pain
  • general, acute & chronic backache, back pain
  • uncomplicated mechanical neck pain
  • headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) / migraine prevention
  • frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck
  • circulatory problems
  • cramp
  • joint pains
  • lumbago
  • sciatica
  • muscle spasms
  • neuralgia
  • inability to relax
  • rheumatic pain
  • minor sports injuries and tensions

Treatment Techniques

Osteopaths use a variety of treatments within their consultation. At Southside we offer:

Articulation / Mobilisation

  • Moving a joint within it’s range of motion to remove restrictions.

Muscle Energy Technique

  • Using muscular contractions around a specific joint to remove restrictions in a joint or to stretch a muscle.


  • Using a small quick movement to increase range of motion at a joint.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

  • Using small acupuncture needles to release a trigger point in a muscle.

Fascial release / Myofascial release

  • Using small, gentle movements to release tension in the connective tissues of the body.

Cranial Osteopathy

  • Using small, gentle movements with the osteopaths hands on the head, trunk, pelvis or limbs to promote healing.
  • Click here for a snapshot summary statement on Cranial Osteopathy by the National Council For Osteopathic Research. (2013).

Visceral Osteopathy

  • With the hands on the abdomen, the osteopath aims to release connective tissue (fascia) tension around organs within the body.

If you have any questions about the Osteopathy service provided at Southside Clinic or if you would like to speak to an Osteopath at our clinic, please call us on 1300 10 11 22.