Many people think that Osteopathy is all about treating back pain; however, Osteopaths are also able to help treat and manage a wide variety of sporting injuries. They can treat anyone from the weekend warrior to elite athletes, young growing children to the active elderly.

Figures show that almost two thirds (59%[1]) of Aussies participate in sports, and alarmingly 1 in 3 (37%[2]) of those will struggle with a sport-related injury each year. Injuries can occur due to any type of sport, whether it be football, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, calisthenics, lacrosse or even lawn bowls.

Common injuries that osteopaths treat include; ankle sprains, jarred fingers, strained hamstrings, shin splints, shoulder instability and tennis elbow just to name a few! Osteopaths are trained to examine and treat the entire body, so don’t think any injury is too small or large for them to assess.

Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners, so they are qualified to perform any necessary physical, orthopaedic or postural examinations and tests in order to formulate a diagnosis. If needed they can also refer for imaging such as x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds to further confirm their diagnosis.

Seeking treatment promptly after an injury will often allow a quicker return to physical activity and prevent any compensations from occurring. If an injury is left for too long untreated it can often lead to further injury and therefore longer time needed to recover and more time spent on the sidelines.

The initial goal of osteopathic treatment for an injury is to decrease pain, inflammation and swelling of the affected area. This may involve the use of soft tissue massage, gentle mobilisation, articulation, stretching and manipulation. As well as providing hands on treatment, osteopaths are also able to prescribe and recommend different stretches and exercises to further aid in recovery which allows the patient to be an active participant in their recovery.

Osteopathic treatment will look not only at relieving the symptoms of an injury but will also identify factors as to why the injury occurred in the first place. Osteopaths are focused on enhancing the structure and function of the body which can then aid in preventing a similar injury from occurring again and/or improve future performance.

Even if you don’t currently have any injury, but are physically active and play any sport, treatment from an osteopath can often help in preventing future injuries from occurring. Treatment is focused on enhancing the biomechanics of the joints and muscles required for different sports. By improving the structure and function of your body it will allow it to perform at an optimal level and decrease the chances of an injury occurring.  An example of this would be treating a cricketer to improve the range of movement of their shoulder. This will then allow them to use their shoulder without any restriction which will then hopefully improve their bowling. 

If any of this sounds like you, why not give osteopathy a try? Give us a call on 03 9431 6604 or book online at

Written by Dr Emma Cronin (Osteopath)


[1] (59% or 14.23M people)

[2] (5.2M people)

Sports Injury