Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 organized by your General Practitioner. The EPC plan is an addition to the Medicare scheme which allows eligible patients with chronic conditions up to five allied health services per year. At Whitehorse Osteopathic Clinic, full payment is required at the time of consultation; for ECP patients, an invoice is issued and rebate returned at any Medicare outlet, the closest being Eastland or Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre. Any more information, please feel free to call Sharon or Tony at the clinic

What happens during my first treatment?

Upon arrival you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire by one of the reception staff which details your past medical history and presenting complaint. Once meeting Dr Tony Miller (Tony), he will then take a detailed history of your condition as well as any other relevant medical history such as previous trauma, accidents or medications. A thorough physical examination will follow which includes analysing specific movements and hands on assessment of the problem region. An Osteopath looks at the body as a unit, which means that the examination of your body may include an assessment of adjoining regions in order to assess the overall effect of your complaint. During your initial consultation, Tony will use a variety of hands on techniques which may include soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, stretching and other osteopathic techniques aimed at restoring health to the affected area. Your treatment may also include advice on postural, exercise or dietary changes you can make to aid in your recovery. Your initial consultation will last up to an hour and any subsequent consultations, should they be required, are half an hour to 45 minutes, depending on the complexity of the condition/s

How many treatments will I need?

At Heathmont Osteopathy, we aim to fix your problem in the shortest and most effective manner possible. When you arrive, we will ask in the majority of cases for a maximum of 4 sessions to identify your problems, and again in the majority of cases, have you feeling much better. During this period, Tony will provide pragmatic and sensible advice in how to identify future problems, and importantly, how to prevent further eventualities. If further treatment is required, Tony can explain the need and time frame in great detail, and the decision is left up to decide whether osteopathic treatment can be of future benefit. You will have plenty of information at your disposal to make that decision

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.

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 Dept 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 obtain a referral from their General Practitioner made out to Dr Tony Miller prior to initial consultation.

Should I bring my X-rays with me?

Please bring any x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or any other test results that you feel are applicable to your first consultation. These will assist Tony in explaining your ailments, and other explanations for your pain that you might have heard in the past. Tony are also able to refer you for x-rays or further testing should they be required.

What is the difference between Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?

This is the most common question we are posed, and the most difficult one to answer. 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. Anecdotally, this is what appears to set Osteopathy apart from other professions, and why Osteopathy has gained a significant foot hold in the provision of musculoskeletal services over the last 10-15 years.

Is Osteopathy safe for older patients?

Yes. Osteopathy is very safe and effective for treating older patients. This usually requires using more gentle techniques, and all treatment is modified to suit the individual.

Can children be treated by an osteopath?

Children can respond very well and often very quickly to osteopathic treatment. Conditions in children that osteopaths may be able to help with include:

  • Sore backs and necks
  • Headaches, sore knees
  • Irritable babies
  • Babies that wont sleep
  • Babies that are colicky
  • Babies that are having trouble turning their head to one side
  • Babies that prefer to breast feed on one side
  • Babies that have had traumatic births

These babies often have untreated neck strains that are making them uncomfortable and irritating them. The bones that make up the skull are very soft in babies too and these can also get strained.

Is it safe to have osteopathic treatment when pregnant?

Osteopathic treatment is not only safe during pregnancy, but can give enormous relief for common pre- partum symptoms such as nausea, back pain, leg and hip pain and constipation. It is safe for both mother and child, and uses a wide scope of treatment modalities to ensure patient feels comfortable at all times. Highly recommended!!

What should I wear when I see an osteopath?

It is important for the osteopath to be accurately able to diagnose and treat your problem, and being able to palpate the body during a consultation is a very important part of the process. The osteopath will only ask you to remove clothing necessary for the consultation. For female client, wear clothing you are comfortable being examined with; a comfortable bra and bike shorts, or tracksuit pants are perfect for treatment.

How effective is osteopathic treatment?

The vast majority of patients who visit an osteopath, across the board and not just at Heathmont Osteopathy, attend on the back of word of mouth referral, and after visting other professions first, particularly their local GP. Along with exceptional anecdotal evidence, there is now a very large and broad band of empirical data which shows the clinical benefit of employing osteopathic philosophy, practice and technique. Medical studies over recent times have consistently shown osteopathy to be less expensive, use fewer drugs and have higher patient satisfaction than conventional medical care for back, neck and other musculo-skeletal pain.

Is spinal manipulation dangerous?

Unfortunately, these days most treatments carry some risk. Manipulations, especially those of neck, do have risk. These may vary between local soreness after the treatment to more serious damage to muscular and vascular structures. It is important to mention that the risk of more serious injury occurring after manipulation are very, very low. However, they do exists, and your practitioner will explain them to you, and give you an option of whether you wish to have these procedure performed or not. Alternative means of treatment are always available.