1. What does assessment involve?
During the initial 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 a 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?
Osteopathy 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.Osteopathy 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 problem.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 Osteopathic Manual Practitioner for your specific condition.
8. Is Osteopathy promoting long term preventative care?
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners 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. 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 treatment protocols.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.
10. 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. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners are highly trained to recognize any condition where treatments may not be recommended and referral to other medical professional is made,whenever needed. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will choose techniques that are suitable of each individual patient, and safety is always the prime consideration.
11. 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 Osteopathic Manual Practitioner 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 Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, by applying various gentle pressures to different depths, is able to recognize the feel of well functioning and malfunctioning organ.
12. Is Osteopathy covered by Insurance?
Yes, Osteopathy is covered by most extended health benefit plans