Open Mon-Sat · (03) 9859 5059 · BOOK online OR call Reception
Open Mon-Sat · (03) 9859 5059 · BOOK online OR call Reception

Balwyn Physio?

Maybe an Osteopath is more what you are after but didn't know enough about it?
READ on...
Osteopathy | Balwyn North | Low back pain

Many people seek physio treatment from a Balwyn Physio thinking they will get a lot of hands-on therapy mobilising, massaging, loosening their body. But often physios are not as experienced or as specifically trained as Osteopaths in this treatment approach.

If having someone work on your body physically is the treatment you are after, an Osteopath may be a better choice for you given the genuine hands-on manual therapy style to loosen up your body and reduce restriction & pain.

So what’s the differences and similarities’ between a physio and osteopathy?

Are Osteopaths also University trained?

Yes, and we are regulated under the same governing body called AHPRA.

Do Osteos study the same length of time at University as physios?

Osteos actually study longer (5 years) compared to 4 years for physiotherapy.

Do Physios & Osteos study the same things at university?


Physio study many different aspects of health which includes long-stints in rotations in hospital based setting for rehabilitation such as cardiac (heart), respiratory (lungs), orthopedic (musculoskeletal surgeries ie. joint replacement or reconstructions) and many other facets of health. They can choose to do a rotation in a private clinic at some stage in their training. This model of training means there is less emphasis on the hands-on therapy of massage, mobilising, stretching, manipulation, and more emphasis on exercise-rehab and strengthening. Physios also have a greater focus on using machines to do treatment


Osteopaths on the other hand spend their 5-years at uni training to be a manual therapy private practice professional. In terms of feeling tissue, freeing up restrictions and re-balancing joints and muscle tensions, Osteopaths are highly experienced in this model of care from a foundational understanding to the most experienced professional. This is what Osteopaths are trained to do from the word “go”. Osteopaths are renowned for using their hands to treat the body, and will often incorporate exercises into the treatment.

Why is Osteopathy such a great fit when you want hands-on work?

Osteopaths are dedicated to feeling tissue and treating it with their hands. We work to massage and mobilise the kinks out of your body, reducing painful symptoms and freeing up restricted areas. Often when someone sees an Osteopath for the first time they feel it’s what they’ve been looking for, for years.

Exercise based therapy (which forms many physios private consults) is a great option for treatment, but having someone actually work in to your tissues and then provide you with exercises to continue to help yourself, is definitely our method of choice for the best outcomes for pain & restricted movement.

But doesn't "Osteo" mean "bone"? I have a muscle problem.

Yes, it does. Osteo is latin for bone. But don’t be confused by the name. Osteopaths are trained in treating all tissues of the body including:

  • joints
  • ligaments
  • tendons
  • muscles
  • discs
  • connective tissue (fascia)

Where does Physio and Osteo sit in medical hierarchy?

On the same level actually, alongside chiropractic. All 3 due to their university qualifications and subject matter studied, are considered primary health care professionals. It’s just more people have known about Physio and so often think they are more trained but it’s not true.

My old physio used to do massage, how are Osteos different?

We actually say, to keep it simple, that Osteopaths are more like the “old-school” physio who would usually use a lot of manual therapy in their treatments. The modern physio typically doesn’t follow the same pattern (although some might), and often utilises non-manual techniques in their consults, exercise, machines etc…

What should I expect from an Osteopath consultation then?

As with any consult you should always start with the client history. In our clinic we do some of this by easy online forms and then also a discussion in the clinic rooms.

Next is the assessment where we check aspects of:

  • muscle tension
  • movement capacity
  • posture
  • asymmetries

Treating the identified problems is the next step to alleviating your current issue. This often includes:

  • massage at the appropriate pressure to relieve tension
  • loosening joints
  • stretching tight muscles

And then also combinations of:

  • retraining mobility patterns
  • strengthening appropriate muscle groups
  • teaching at-home exercises
  • ultrasound for acute pain issues ie. ankle sprain, disc injury

So if you are looking for a Balwyn Physio that his really hands-on based, our team are confident you will love our style of therapy. Find out more HERE.

Osteopath balwyn | Katie Willy

Contact our Clinic


Fill in the contact form below and we will reply ASAP.

Online Bookings

Want to know more...

Get your questions answered