What Is Osteopathy?
- Your body is a dynamic functional unit in which all your systems (myofascial, skeletal, visceral, vascular, neural and lymphatic) are interconnected
- Your body possesses its own self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms
- Structure and function are interrelated at all levels of your human body
One of the essential components of osteopathy is that it relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment.
Osteopathic practitioners are extensively trained in medical science and most of the time another health care background. At Cedar, Damien is a registered physiotherapist. He completed his education (in physiotherapy and osteopathy) in France where he also worked as a massage therapist.
Education and experience of the medical pathology gives the therapist the ability to understand the your symptoms and therefore determine if you qualify for osteopathic treatment. This differential diagnosis is very important to rule out the possibility of another more severe condition before proceeding with some manual treatment.
What Techniques, Method Of Treatment Does An Osteopathic Practitioner Use?
Since 2010, the World Health Organization has recognized osteopathy as distinct from other healthcare occupations that uses manual techniques such as chiropractic and physiotherapy. Benchmarks for training in osteopathy have been published. This guarantees the level of training of the osteopathic practitioner worldwide and therefore ensures quality and safety to patients.
A skilled therapist uses a range of manual techniques including:
- Osteopathic diagnosis
- Direct and indirect articular techniques
- Muscle energy, myofascial / fascial release
- Reflex-based techniques such as trigger points, neuromuscular techniques, dermo-cutaneous reflex techniques
- Visceral and cranial techniques
- Lymphatic system pump techniques
Who Is It For And What Are The Indications For Osteopathy?
Osteopathic practitioners treat people of all ages from newborns to seniors and pregnant women. They can help address problems such as:
- Neck and back pain and tension
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Visceral issues (digestive, intestine and respiratory dysfunctions)
- Joint, muscle pain (post knee / ankle sprains symptoms, shoulder problems, epicondylalgia…)
- Sport injuries
- Pre- and post-natal support
- Issues newborns and babies can experience such as regurgitation, intestinal transit problems, torticollis…
Each osteopathic treatment provided is unique and adapted to your age, background and condition. Each patient comes with your own combination of symptoms, medical history, psychological or emotional challenges and health goals.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
Because every patient is different and the same condition does not necessarily have the same expression, it is difficult to answer this question. You usually start feeling some changes in your body after 2 to 3 sessions.
However, if after this time we do not notice any significant improvements regarding the pain level and the symptoms your therapist might suggest an alternative treatment or refer you to your family doctor for further investigations.
Does My Extended Health Cover It?
OsteopathyBC, the society for the promotion of manual practice osteopathy works to maintain high standards of practice in BC and aims to raise awareness about osteopathy since 2005.
Osteopathy is in the private sector and MSP does not cover osteopathy fees. However, as a member of the association, treatments may be covered by your extended health insurance. Consult your plan for details.
Osteopathy Treatment FAQ
Q: What is an osteopathy treatment?
A: The session starts with an interview where you can communicate your concerns and symptoms you are experiencing. Then follows an osteopathic evaluation and a tailored treatment to address your problem. The osteopathic practitioner will use an array of techniques to restore the function where restrictions are felt on the different systems of your body
Q: What to expect after an osteopathy session?
A: As the self-healing potential of your body is enhanced, it will take a few days for the changes to fully happen. Indeed, your body will need to integrate the information given to it. You can expect to be a little tired and sore the next day that is why we suggest to not do activity that is too vigorous during the following 24h. After 1-2 days this sensation should subside, and the benefit of the treatment will take place. It might take up to 10 days for your body to completely adjust with the work that has been done so you are usually recommended to schedule a follow-up session one to two weeks after your initial visit
Q: When shall I come for an Osteopathy treatment?
A: Your osteopathic practitioner works in conjunction with your medical practitioner and other health professionals (chiropractor, physiotherapist, RMT, acupuncturist…). However, you are recommended to space your therapy sessions a minimum of 2 days apart to avoid any interference between them
Q: What is the difference between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?
A: They are both mechanics for your body. Whereas physiotherapists focus more on the musculoskeletal system osteopathic practitioners will also work on the other systems of your body (visceral, fascial, cranial…)
Physiotherapy is usually more of a symptom-specific approach while osteopathic practitioners will try to look for the cause of the problem and therefore propose a less symptomatic treatment.
Both therapies are complementary, and physiotherapy will sometimes be necessary to enhance the body function after some osteopathic care.