Osteopathy is a gentle and holistic form of hands-on manual therapy that targets chronic pain. It addresses pain and discomfort by looking at the musculoskeletal system with its relationship to the different systems of the body. A key principle in osteopathy is to treat the body as a unit and following a holistic approach. The goal in osteopathy is for the fluids (in the arteries, joints, nerves and lymph nodes) to flow between the different systems of the body without restriction. The techniques involved in osteopathy include: Joint Mobilization, PNF and MET, Stretching, Lymphatic Drainage, Active Release, Tractioning, Soft Tissue, Cranial-Sacral, Visceral techniques and more. Osteopathy incorporates techniques from different modalities such as corrective exercises similar to Physiotherapy, joint mobilization similar to Chiropractic (no cracking) and soft-tissue work similar to Massage Therapy.
What it can treat? Osteopathy can provide relief and treatment for a wide range of conditions. These include:
- Arthritis and Joint pain
- Muscle soreness, Strain, Tightness and Fatigue
- Neuralgia, Referral pain, Tingling or Numbness
- Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow pain
- Migraines. Tension headaches and Concussions
- Tennis and Golfer's elbow
- Jaw and TMJ issues
- Back pain, Neck pain, and Sciatica
- Foot, Ankle, Hip, and Knee pain
- Postural problems due to Pregnancy, Sports injury, Driving, or Work strain
- Digestive, Bloating or Gas issues
What Should I Expect?
Osteopathy treatments may look similar to what you see in other therapies. During the initial session there will be an assessment and the majority of the time includes the hands-on treatment on the table. The observation assessment includes your posture, mis-alignment and range of motion. The hands-on assessment includes palpation to location inflamed, sore, trigger or restricted areas. A treatment plan will be proposed to meet your needs, which will include the number of sessions likely to be needed. Home exercise programs, and lifestyle adjustments may also be suggested. The manipulation and hands-on work are gentle, but due to the physical work being carried out, you may experience mild soreness for the first 24 to 48 hours following the treatment. The Manual Osteopath will deploy a variety of techniques that include stretching, strengthening, joint work, manipulation, and soft tissue massage as listed above. The techniques are carried out in a slow, deliberate and fluid fashion that follow the rhythm of the breath. Many people find osteopathy treatments deeply relaxing and nourishing.
Osteopathy services are covered by many extended health plans. Check with your insurance provider if you are covered for osteopathy treatments!