What Is Osteopathy & How Can It Help?

Osteopathy is a holistic therapy that can help realign the body, reduce pain and tension and improve wellness. Learn more about Osteopathy and who it can help.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a holistic therapy based on the philosophy that everything is connected. Osteopathy aims to improve health across all systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopathy takes a holistic, whole-body approach to healthcare. It uses manual ‘hands-on’ techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs.

Osteopathy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, restore movement and range of motion, and improve the function of the body’s nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems.

How does it work?

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners focus on how your skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use various techniques to evaluate, diagnose and treat pain, dysfunctions and restrictions in the body.

Depending on the patient and the condition presented, these techniques may include:

  • Stretching (passive and functional stretching)
  • Joint manipulation
  • Soft tissue manipulation
  • Fascial release
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Visceral manipulation

Conditions Treated By Osteopathy

People of all ages can benefit from Osteopathy. Osteopathic Manual Therapy is a non-invasive and painless alternative medicine that can be used in tandem with other treatments. It may help to manage musculoskeletal and other conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Postural problems, pain and tensions
  • Sports injuries such as strains and tears
  • Pregnancy-related pain and discomfort
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ
  • Sinus pain

In addition to treating existing conditions, Osteopathy is a preventative treatment, that can help address minor issues in the body before symptoms present. Learn more about what can be treated with osteopathy.

What can I expect during my appointment?

Osteopathy is patient-centered. An initial consultation, which will include a physical examination, will take place before treatment can begin. You will likely be asked to demonstrate simple stretches and movements to help the osteopath make an accurate analysis of your posture and mobility.

Each patient is unique and each treatment is therefore tailored to the patient and their needs. Osteopathic diagnosis and evaluation will be made based on your symptoms and any past and present medical conditions. From here, a personalized and holistic treatment plan will be drawn up by your practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you wondering about using your extended health benefits at Collingwood Osteopathy? Or are you curious about what to expect from an osteopathic treatment? Read through our frequently asked questions.

What should I wear for my appointment?

You may wear any form of clothing to the appointment, but comfortable, loose-fitting clothing is recommended.

Do I need to bring anything to my first appointment?

No, you do not need to bring anything to your first appointment at Collingwood Osteopathy. However, you may bring any relevant imaging or medical records (X-rays, scans, lab results, etc.) to help your Osteopathic Manual Practitioner make a more accurate health assessment.

Do I need a referral to see an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner??

No, you do not need a referral to see an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner

How long are the appointments?

Your initial appointment is between 45mins to 1hr. During this session, we will go through a full medical history, examination, and treatment. Follow up appointments are approximately 45 minutes.

What payments do you accept?

Collingwood Osteopathy accepts Visa, Mastercard, debit, e-transfer, and cash payments.

Am I covered by my health benefits?

As a member in good standing with the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO), osteopathic treatment with our Manual Osteopathic Practitioner is covered under most major health insurers.

Our Manual Osteopathic Practitioner is also a member in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO), and offers coverage as a Registered Massage Therapist.

Rebate amounts vary for both manual osteopathy and massage therapy depending on your health insurer, so be sure to check the details of your policy.

Can I see an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner if I am pregnant?

Osteopathic treatment is extremely beneficial for women through all stages during their pregnancy, and can help with pain, tension and imbalances caused by the major physical changes that occur during pregnancy.

During osteopathic treatment for pregnancy, your Osteopathic Manual Practitioner will perform gentle physical manipulations and stretches, answer your questions and offer exercise advice and lifestyle tips. We also provide you with a pregnancy pillow to ensure you can lie comfortably on your tummy during treatment.

How does Osteopathy differ from Chiropractic and Physiotherapy

Osteopathy has many similarities to chiropractic and physiotherapy especially because all these disciplines offer manual therapy and exercise. Osteopathy differs from physiotherapy and chiropractic therapy in terms of philosophy and the range of techniques used.

Osteopathy focuses on the health and function of the whole body as opposed to a single area of injury. This means that we conduct a very thorough investigation of your medical history and lifestyle habits in order to identify all the factors that could be contributing to your pain. We then address all these factors by using a variety of osteopathic techniques, prescribing rehabilitation exercises, and providing lifestyle advice that is tailored towards your needs and goals.

What is the history of Osteopathy?

Osteopathy was developed by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, a medical practitioner from Virginia, U.S., in the late 1800s. Still dedicated his life to deepening his understanding of human anatomy in new and different ways. A pioneer of his time, he believed that the human body had to be treated as a whole rather than individual parts.

Recognizing that the structure of the body greatly affects a person’s overall health, his practice focused on finding and treating imbalances and dysfunctions in the body to help cure it of disease. He also took into account his patients’ lifestyles, sleep and diet before treating them. His mantra: “Find it, fix it, leave it alone.”

What do we mean by “holistic approach”?

In osteopathy, “holistic approach” refers to the philosophy that everything in the body is connected. This is why Osteopathic Manual Practitioners take into consideration the patient’s lifestyle, medical history and every possible thing that could be affecting their health. This includes a thorough examination of musculoskeletal health, vascular health and nerve health, as well as an assessment of their external environment (workplace activity, lifestyle, diet, hobbies, etc.).

Is osteopathic treatment safe?

The risks associated with osteopathic treatment are very low. At Collingwood Osteopathy, your safety and security is of utmost importance. During your initial consultation, a full case history will be taken to ensure that we are informed of any health conditions present, and the osteopathic techniques used will be tailored to your personal profile and preferences.

Is osteopathic treatment painful?

Osteopathic treatment is designed to provide as much pain relief as possible and to help relax any tight or spasmed muscles. Some techniques may feel slightly tender, but any discomfort felt during treatment is usually short-term, and most osteopathic treatment techniques are very gentle.

Your Osteopathic Manual Practitioner will ensure that the techniques used are safe and well-tolerated, and will not perform any form of therapy that you do not consent to. Mild soreness or discomfort for 24-48 hours after the treatment is normal. During this time, your nervous system is re-calibrating itself, and your body is regaining its natural balance.

How many times do I have to see my Osteopathic Manual Practitioner?

The number of osteopathic treatments required depends on your condition and health goals. Mild conditions like sprains or strains may take as little as 3-4 sessions. More serious or chronic health conditions may require a longer treatment period or ongoing treatment. The time frame of treatment is different for every person—details regarding treatment duration and frequency will be discussed with you during your first session.