1. What does assessment
During the appointment the practitioner will take your detailed medical
history, give you a thorough physical examination, examining your posture,
gait, motion of your joints and other body functions. The practitioner
will also do an examination to determine if there is any tension in
your tissue. Referral to other medical professionals will be made if
required. Following that, a treatment plan is developed and proposed
to you. In most cases treatments are given once a week or every other
week, allowing the body enough time to adapt.
2. What do I have to wear for treatment?
It is a good idea to wear comfortable loose clothing, such as shorts
and a T-shirt, so that the practitioner can better analyze your posture,
gait, etc and be able to observe any tension within your body.
3. How long is one treatment session?
Treatment sessions usually last for about an hour, but half an hour
treatments are also available on request. The length of the recommended
treatment session will vary depending upon a number of factors including
your general health, the nature of your problem, and how long have you
been experiencing the problem.
4. How many treatment sessions are
necessary to get better?
It is very difficult to estimate the exact number of treatment sessions
needed to obtain expected results. Sometimes, dramatic improvements
are seen with just couple of treatments. Most often, if the problem
is long standing, it may require more than several visits. In general,
the number of treatments needed varies on many factors including the
nature of the injury or problem, any associated conditions and the general
state of your body.
5. Is the treatment painful?
Osteopathy is extremely gentle and strictly respects the response from
the body during the treatment. Nothing is ever moved, stretched or forced
beyond the comfort level.
6. What is the difference between
Osteopaths, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors?
is based on the holistic approach to treating the body as a whole,
rather than the individual parts, and that all parts of the body are
interconnected and inseparable. The dysfunction of one part of the
body may frequently lead to discomfort in another part.
was one of the first professions to incorporate biomechanical analysis
of how injuries occur and what possible consequences of that injury
may be, by analyzing their anatomical connection. For example, if you
have a back problem, the Osteopath will do much more than only examine
your back. He/she will ask you how and when did your problem start,
and also examine other parts of your body that may have been affected
by your back problem, or that may have actually precipitated your back
Traditional osteopathy is a manual therapy that does not use other
forms of therapeutics such as medication, electrotherapy or other kinds
of modalities. Osteopathy
searches for and treats the cause of the problem, rather than treating
the pain as a symptom.
7. If I am already having physiotherapy
or massage therapy will Osteopathic treatments also help?
Each practitioner is trained in specific methods to improve well being
and the health of his/her patients. Osteopathic treatment is unique
in the way that it provides a holistic approach. It is based on treating
the whole body. All parts of the body are interconnected, including
all bodily structures: bones, muscles, ligaments, external and internal
organs and liquids. No organ can function independently from the others
and the dysfunction of one of the structures may provoke dysfunction
in another. The treatment of only one part of your body sometimes gives
you only temporary relief and your main problem keeps reoccurring. This
is because the treatment is focused on the symptom and not on the cause
of the problem. Once the cause of the problem has been removed the body
can start to heal itself.
There is no reason that Osteopathy should not also be included in the
treatment of your problem, as it can often be complementary to other
therapies. You should consult your therapist or your Osteopath for your
8. Is Osteopathy promoting long
term preventative care?
Osteopaths teach their patients how to take responsibility for their
own health. They show them how to make changes in their everyday life
and activities in order to prevent injury or problems from reoccurring.
By getting patients to take an active role in getting better they are
promoting long term preventative care.
Osteopathic preventative care is
done in a number of ways:
• By teaching patients how to become more aware of their posture
and how to correct it
• By teaching patients proper body mechanics, how to avoid injury
and efficiently use their body
• By teaching patients what is contributing to or aggravating
their problem, and how to avoid it, either by modifying their habits
or changing their surroundings (i.e. workplace modification, choosing
proper bed …)
9. Do I need to be referred by my
family physician or other health care practitioner?
No, just like a Dentist, Physiotherapist, Massage therapist or Optician
you do not need a referral from your doctor.
10. Is there any research on Osteopathy?
Does it work?
Similar to other allied health professionals there has been a lot of
research into the field of Osteopathy. Research has consistently shown
successful outcomes and high patient satisfaction following osteopathic
treatments. Research is continual and ongoing especially around standardized
The Canadian College of Osteopathy also promotes research. All students
of the Canadian College are required to work on a research project.
The project is expected to be completed according to the standards widely
accepted within the medical and scientific community, including a full
statistical analysis of results. The final thesis research is presented
to an International Jury which includes either world-renowned Osteopath
or osteopathic researchers. Further
11. Is Osteopathic treatment safe?
Osteopathy has one of the best safety records of any medically related
professions. It respects responses from the body during and after treatment,
and adjusts accordingly. Osteopaths are highly trained to recognize
any condition where treatments may not be recommended and referral to
other medical professional is made,whenever needed. Osteopaths will
choose techniques that are suitable of each individual patient, and
safety is always the prime consideration.
How can an Osteopath detect the problem area?
In the same way your medical doctor uses her/his palpatory skills to
examine various parts of your body, an Osteopath uses specialized, highly
trained palpatory skills to feel for the tensions, and possible restrictions
of the tissues. As your body is made up of a great amount of water,
your Osteopath, by applying various gentle pressures to different depths,
is able to recognize the feel of well functioning and malfunctioning
"Osteopathy is all in Anatomy
and its governing laws..." Andrew Taylor Still,
medical doctor and surgeon, the founder of the Osteopathy as a science,
at the end of the 19th century.