What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a non-invasive manual medical discipline that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, these include: the joints (tendons and ligaments), muscles and spine. An osteopaths goal is to positively affect the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Osteopathy is unique holistic (whole body) approach to health care. Similar to Physiotherapy, Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating a problem area, but rather use passive manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body (nervous, skeletal, muscular, circulatory and lymphatic systems) to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
Osteopathy is a system of health care that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of the physical body’s structure (musculoskeletal system) in order to enhance ones physiological functioning.
The practice of osteopathy combines current medical knowledge with the osteopathic philosophy. Scientific plausibility and evidence-based outcomes have a high priority in patient treatment and case management. Osteopathy is a patient centered approach to health care rather than disease centered.
The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If there is a restriction in one area of the body, the rest of the body must then adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to: inflammation, pain, limited range of motion and other health conditions like head aches and migraines.
When the body is free of restrictions in movement, pain is minimized, stress reduced and greater mobility the body as an opportunity to heal itself .
By using palpation a Osteopath can identify issues such as congestion, dehydration, scarring and stiffness, while restoring proper function to bones, muscles, fluids and organs.
Origin of Osteopathy
Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, Dr. Still was a medical physician who had become frustrated with what he saw as the ineffective nature of remedies at that time. Dr. Still watched helplessly as the best medications available failed to save his own three children from spinal meningitis. Frustrated by his inability to help his children he started his search for an alternative healing practice. He believed that the doctor’s role in fighting disease was to restore the body’s proper musculoskeletal function. He eventually based his new system on the idea that manipulation of the spine could improve blood flow and thus improve health by allowing the body to heal itself.
The World Health Organization recognizes the Osteopathic concept of somatic dysfunction as being scientifically proven.
What can Osteopathy help?
Osteopathy is best known for treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders such as:
- Back and neck pain
- Headaches, migraines,
- Tendonitis, bursitis,
- Hip, knee pain, foot pain,
- Tennis or golfer’s elbow
- Sprain and strain, Sport injuries
- Postural strain.
What does Osteopathic treatment involve?
The practice of osteopathy combines current medical knowledge with the osteopathic philosophy.Osteopathy is a patient centered approach to health care rather than disease centered.
Your initial assessment with an osteopath will be very similar to your experience with a physiotherapist. A complete health history is taken and questions about daily activities, lifestyle, diet and emotional status may be asked. The osteopath will inquire about all symptoms, as well as details of any past accidents or traumas.
Then a physical assessment is performed, the osteopath conducts a physical examination to rule out any major health concerns and ensuring a safe treatment can be provided. The osteopath assesses all systems and structures that may be related to the area of complaint.
After reviewing the examination findings with the patient and discussing the goals of treatment with the patient, a treatment plan is then created.
Note: An Osteopathy assessment is usually 75 minutes in length
Treatment could include such techniques as soft tissue stretching, to increase blood flow and improve flexibility of joints and muscles; articulation to mobilize joints by being passively taken through their range of motion; and muscle energy, to release tightness on the muscles by alternatively being stretched and made to work against resistance.
Because osteopathy emphasizes self-healing, an osteopath may also advise of dietary changes, home exercise programs and lifestyle adjustments. All treatment programs are highly individualised and depend on the patient’s current condition, past history, and ability to adapt to change. Most simple problems often require only 3-4 treatments. Generally, treatments are spaced once a week or once every two weeks. Sometimes as few as three treatments or as many as twelve or more treatments are required. Depending upon the severity, and length of symptoms, the patient usually begins to feel the results of osteopathic treatment immediately.
Extended health coverage
Most extended health plans have coverage for Osteopathy and as all services provided will be under the care of a Registered Osteopathic Manual Practitioners so you will be reimbursed by your plan. Please check with you carrier to see if you require a physician’s prescription for reimbursement, as well as to determine your coverage.
- Osteopathy – Burlington, ON
- Osteopathy – Hamilton, ON
- Osteopathy – Oakville, ON
- Osteopathy – Mississauga, ON
- Osteopathy – Brampton, ON
- Osteopathy – Toronto, ON