What should I tell my Osteopath?

I’ve noticed over the years that many patients have layers of information they will share with me as their treating osteopath.  These layers come in many different forms.  Sometimes I get told the basics but nothing more due to a lack of trust, or a feeling that it may be boring, or that it is unrelated to my patients current problem.  Sometimes they don’t mention it because they’ve asked their General Practitioner (GP) and not gotten an answer so have just given up on getting it fixed.

I personally believe that more information is better.  The more I get told, the more likely I am to be able to help with any given problem.

For example:

Recently I’ve had a patient with ongoing back pain which had been helped with previous treatment but never 100% fixed.  I admit that I had seen her a few times myself with similar results.  One treatment It was revealed that this patient had a bloating sensation for as long as the back pain had lasted.  Using that information I was able to ease the tension through the abdomen with visceral techniques and now this patient is better.  No more back pain, no more bloating.

I admit it doesn’t always work out that way, bloating and most abdominal symptoms can be as a result of allergies, intolerances and conditions that aren’t fixable by hands-on work.  But sometimes they are caused by tightness in the structures of the stomach and are relieved with treatment.  This is just an example, there are many things i see on a weekly basis that patients are suprised I can assist with.

Osteopaths are put through 5 years of university training which includes a great deal of anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical diagnosis and much more.  You are often able to spend more time with your osteopath than you are with your General Practitioner.  Please feel free to mention any concerns you may have even if you don’t feel it relates to your headache/back pain/knee pain.  You might not get the answer you need every time but I have found in the past I can often explain and help patients better understand what is going on in their bodies.

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329 – 347 Diamond Creek Road

Diamond Creek


Osteopathic Maintenance treatment in Greensborough, Eltham and surrounds

I often tell patients that the human body is an amazing machine.  It really is when you start to consider how we manage to co-ordinate all of our muscles together to be able to get out of bed in the morning (most days), how we extract energy from the food we eat, how we can usually convince our bodies with determination, training and perseverance to do almost anything we need it to do.  No one is bulletproof though, and no machine can do everything without fail.

If you treat your body like a machine, you begin to realise that all machines will need a service from time to time.  Take your car for example.  Theoretically we all service our cars about twice a year.  It needs to have the oil changed, and to have everything checked over to try and prevent any serious mechanical malfunction.  A maintenance treatment is much the same- a general check up before you get seriously injured.  Much like a car service, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll never have a problem.  But in my opinion, it does reduce the risk.

If you are anything like me, sometimes that car doesn’t get serviced exactly every six months.  What happens if you are overdue for your maintenance service.  Typically nothing, but if you keep missing them, you increase the risk of a major problem.  Our bodies even have warning lights, much like our cars.  Pain.  When you start to feel pain, its your bodies way of telling you that there is a problem that needs to be resolved.  Sometimes you can resolve it yourself, with stretching and exercises.  But sometimes it needs the help of a therapist, such as an osteopath to help keep things moving well.

To keep flogging the car analogy, if you were to decide to take your typical commuter car that you drive from St. Helena, Eltham, Diamond Creek etc to the city each day and take it out to race on a track on weekends, you would need to service your car more frequently.   Much the same with your body, if you decide to start running, going to the gym or generally increasing the physical demands on your body – there is going to be a higher demand for maintenance treatment to minimise the risk of injury.

Every body is different, so there is not set period of time for maintenance treatment.  Some people come in every six months, while others have a history of past injuries and might need some work every six weeks or so.  It comes down to the individual.

If you want to discuss anything written feel free to contact Good Health Osteopathy Diamond Creek

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Road,

Diamond Creek

Good Health Osteopathy – Quality health care commonly servicing patients from Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Eltham, St. Helena, Yarrambat.


Travelling and stretching

As an Osteopath, I am quite fond of giving my patients stretches and exercises to do in order to better manage their back/neck/knee/relevant region of the body.

I sometimes find I have patients returning after an absence of treatment (anywhere between weeks and years) saying that their problem has ‘returned’.  Sometimes I get told it just came back, or sometimes it can be because of a trip away or ‘sleeping funny’.

At this time I tend to ask, “have you been doing your stretches?” to which the typical response is I did them for a few weeks and then I forgot.  From my patients my own personal experience, I can understand it is difficult to continue doing any form of stretches or exercises on an ongoing basis.

Life gets busy, Routines change, people forget.

My personal belief is to do the best that you can.  Now for some people, people more motivated to me who get more relief from their stretching – the best they can is stretching daily.  I applaud them and encourage as many people as possible to stretch daily.  For me and many other people, its about stretching when you can and using whatever memory aid you can to remind yourself.  For some its every time they sit at a computer, or every time they watch TV, or wash the dishes.  For me its lying in bed at night, if I move and I feel stiff – I stretch as much as I can manage.  Its usually about twice a week.

The other thing I see frequently is that patients sometimes believe if they’ve stopped stretching for a few weeks there is ‘no point’ to starting again and things have gotten tight already.  My number one tip about stretching is that

If you know you are going to be stressed, travelling or loading up an injured area – stretch daily for 3 days before and 2-3 days afterwards.


My logic is that this will help relax the muscles so that when you inevitably ‘sleep funny’ or overload your body the nice stretches you’ve been doing to lead up to the trauma will minimise your chances of injury!

Recently I had a trip to Tasmania  – slept on a very uncomfortable pillow and bed, and woke up with a pinch in my neck.  I truly believe that my stretching before and after this is what caused this pinch to be a minor discomfort and not a big injury.  That and keeping fit and healthy which is a topic for another day.

If you don’t know any stretches for your injury, perhaps its time for a treatment to manage your pain better and get some stretches while your at it

Dr. Luke Richter (osteopath)

Good Health Osteopathy

5B 329-347 Diamond Creek Road,

Diamond Creek


Starting a Blog!

So I’ve decided to start a blog for my Osteopathic Clinic Good Health Osteopathy in Diamond Creek Melbourne, to help add content to my website and information that I feel might be useful.  At this stage it may included stretching and exercise information.  Perhaps some video blogs on changes at the clinic may be coming through the pipeline

Dr. Luke Richter (Osteopath)