What is Osteopathy?

The Rise and Fall of Osteopathic Medicine in Ontario, 1900-1930s    

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Osteopathy is an established recognized system of healthcare which relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. It respects the relationship of body, mind and spirit in health and disease; it lays emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body and the body’s intrinsic tendency for self-healing.

A knowledge of anatomy is only a dead weight if we do not know how to apply that knowledge with successful skill.

– Dr Andrew Taylor Still – Founder of Osteopathy

Osteopathic treatment is viewed as a facilitative influence to encourage this self regulatory process. Pain and disability experienced by patients are viewed as resulting from a reciprocal relationship between the musculoskeletal and visceral components of a disease or strain.

What types of conditions can osteopathic treatment help?

While often identified with the treatment of back pain, osteopathic treatment is useful in a wide variety of health complaints. The application of osteopathic principles in clinical practice varies with the training, interest and license of the individual practitioner. A partial list of complaints in which osteopathic treatment would commonly be applied would include:

  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Non anginal chest pain
  • Athletic or overuse strain injuries

Depending on individual practitioner expertise, osteopathic manipulative treatment may make a significant contribution to the health care management in the following diagnoses:

  • Muscle or ligament strains, ankle, elbow, knee
  • Traumatic injuries without laceration or fracture
  • Pregnancy and childbirth, gestation, labor and post-partum
  • Muscle tension headache independent or associated with migraine
  • Sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, Otitis media
  • Infant colic, plagiocephaly
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pneumonia, bronchitis, congestive heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Gastric reflux, non acute cholecystitis
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Vertigo