What is Manual Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a holistic manual therapy aimed at treating musculoskeletal problems by promoting the body’s own self-healing, self-regulating and adaptation mechanisms. Osteopathic treatment can include gentle soft tissue techniques (similar to massage), gentle joint articulation (movements), muscle stretching, exercise and lifestyle advice. Osteopathic manual practitioners may also choose to use other visceral and/or cranial techniques. These techniques aim to restore balance between the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Manual osteopathy is based on 4 basic principles:

  1. Each structure in the body supports the body’s functions. If a structure is damaged, out of place, or otherwise not working properly, the body will not function at its best.
  2. The natural flow of the body’s fluids ” lymphatic, vascular, and neurological,” must be preserved and maintained.
  3. The human body is the sum of its parts. Its physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems do not work independently, they work in harmony.
  4. When the body has no restrictions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners recognize that a patient is an integrated whole. When all of the body components are in balance, a person is complete and in total health.

Osteopathy can help relieve the symptoms of a range of conditions, including:

  • Generalized muscle/joint aches and pains
  • General, acute and chronic back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms and tensions
  • Sports injuries
  • Postural aches and pains
  • Arthritic pain
  • Neck pain
  • Circulatory problems
  • Neuralgia
  • Hip, knee, ankle and shoulder injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries (e.g. tennis elbow)
  • Pregnancy related muscle and joint aches and pains

Click here to learn more about what Osteopathy can do for children and babies. *link to pediatric osteopathy page*

Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800s by physician and surgeon Andrew Taylor Still in Kirksville, Missouri (USA). He was influenced in part by the realization that medical treatments of that time were largely ineffective and in some cases even harmful. He started the first osteopathic training school when the demand for treatment grew. The profession continues to grow today.

A detailed account of your symptoms and a full medical history will be taken and your practitioner will spend time listening to your concerns. A thorough assessment will then be carried out. This includes postural, joint and muscle assessment. Closer examination of relevant areas (joints/muscles/movements) and any relevant special tests (e.g., neurological or orthopaedic) will then follow where necessary.

Your practitioner will then explain your symptoms according to their findings and will discuss how Osteopathy may help. This is followed by giving individualized hands-on treatment, education and preventative advice.

If your practitioner feels osteopathic care is not appropriate for you (e.g. there are signs of a medical issue requiring immediate referral or if any contraindication to treatment exists), they will advise toward suitable care.

No. We want you to be comfortable, you never have to undress if you don’t want to. It is sometimes very useful for assessment or treatment to be able to see the relevant joints clearly (e.g., the spine). Undressing is kept to a minimum and you will not be requested to do anything you are uncomfortable with.

If you prefer not to undress, for your comfort and ease of examination, we advise you to wear/bring with you appropriate clothing (e.g., sports tops and gym shorts). This is because the material is thin enough and flexible enough to benefit fully from osteopathic techniques. Examples of restrictive clothing which are unsuitable are thick winter shirts/sweaters and jeans. Please note there are changing and shower facilities for your convenience.

Call now to book your appointment today: 905-825-9996

What can osteopathy do for HIV positive patients? 

Osteopathy does not treat or cure HIV. However, osteopathic treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS can bring improvements to quality of life by addressing the particular musculoskeletal dysfunctions they often experience. It also complements the drug therapies used to manage HIV/AIDS (but does not replace them).

Understanding underlying conditions helps significantly in designing effective osteopathic management plans for treating and preventing musculoskeletal problems. This is particularly important for HIV, as it is a complex and quickly advancing area of medicine.

What can osteopathy do for HIV positive patients? 

Do I need a doctor referral?

No, it is not necessary to have a doctor’s referral.

What is the difference between an osteopathic manual practitioner (OMP) and an osteopath?

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OMP) have extensive training in manual osteopathic practice. They assess and treat patients using an osteopathic philosophy and manual techniques only. Our OMPs are members of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO).

Osteopaths are osteopathic physicians, which is a medical profession regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

What is the difference between an osteopathic manual practitioner (OMP) and a chiropractor or physiotherapist?

Osteopathy has its own philosophy and the treatment style is different. It is mostly centred on gentle but effective manual therapy and education about how to manage any issues you may have. Learn more about manual Osteopathy *link to about osteo*.

Is Osteopathic treatment covered by private health insurance?

Group health insurance (extended health) benefits, which are paid by private health insurance companies, often include the services provided by Osteopathic Manual Practitioners who are OAO members. Please contact your benefits administrator for information about your group plan, benefits and limitations with respect to coverage for the services of an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner. If coverage is important to you, we strongly recommend you check this BEFORE booking your consultation.

I’ve looked at your website and I’m still not sure if Osteopathy is appropriate for me – what shall I do?

Get in touch! Our team will happily advise you on whether Osteopathy is appropriate and if it isn’t then we’ll try our best to point you in the right direction.

Do I have to undress / What should I wear?

No. We want you to be comfortable, you never have to undress if you don’t want to. It is sometimes very useful for assessment or treatment to be able to see the relevant joints clearly (e.g., the spine). Undressing is kept to a minimum and you will not be requested to do anything you are uncomfortable with.

If you prefer not to undress, for your comfort and ease of examination we advise you to wear/bring with you appropriate clothing (e.g., sports tops and gym shorts). This is because the material is thin enough and flexible enough to benefit fully from osteopathic techniques. Examples of restrictive clothing which are unsuitable are thick winter shirts/sweaters and jeans. Please note there are changing and shower facilities at the centre for your convenience.

How many treatments will I need?

Osteopathic manual practitioners do not tend to ‘prescribe’ a set number of treatments, but will assess at each appointment the impact that has been made and adjust accordingly. In most cases, your practitioner will be able to give you an estimate of how long you might expect symptoms to last or how long you may need treatment for. This may be possible at the first appointment, but often the second appointment is better as there is some gauge of how your body responds to the treatment.

In general, we aim to make a significant difference within 6 treatments. We are always aiming to get you back to a point where no treatment/intervention (other than looking after yourself!) is required. In very different situations we have patients who receive regular treatment for long-term pain or chronic conditions.

Can someone come with me?

It is always fine to bring a friend or family member with you to chaperone. This can be particularly useful if you need someone to help you communicate clearly (e.g. due to English being a second language).

How do osteopathic manual practitioners maintain a good standard of practice?

Osteopathic manual practitioners continue to update and expand their knowledge by completing continuing professional development every year.