What is Osteopath?

Osteopath is a natural health care therapy and treatment, additional to other medical practices. It is favorable for almost everyone and could contribute to the treatment and assessment of a variety of conditions. Osteopaths mainly work through the musculoskeletal system, mostly on muscles and joints, using holistic medicine techniques and patient centred approaches.

The main methods for osteopathic diagnosis include investigating to the patient’s medical history, assessing muscles and joints and observing movements. X – Rays, ultrasound and MRI reports are also used if needed. A wide range of gentle, non-invasive manual therapy such as deep tissue massage, joint stabilization and manipulation are usually practiced in the treatment.

What techniques/skills may be offered in your Osteopathic treatment?

Osteopaths use a gentle, hands-on approach called palpation, which employs a sensitive style of touch to assess and treat numerous structures of the body through four major treatment techniques:

1. Soft Tissue Manipulation to assess the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymph) flow smoothly. This improves the body’s immune system and minimizes harmful fluid retention. Osteopaths also evaluate the connective tissues, called fascia, to find areas of restriction, then use soft tissue manipulation to make sure the length and tension of the fascia are properly balanced.
2. Osteopathic articular technique to reduce muscle spasms, irritation, and pain around a joint while keeping it mobile. Joints are gently moved with the patient in an adjusted position to minimize the energy and force needed to perform the exercise. Many patients find this technique less forceful than standard joint manipulations.
3. Cranial osteopathy works on the mobility of the skull, the spine, and related structures by using biorhythms to adjust the body’s physiology by restoring balance to the circulation of the bodily fluids.
4. Visceral manipulation to treat organs and viscera of the body, including:

  • lungs
  • heart
  • liver
  • spleen
  • kidneys
  • stomach
  • pancreas
  • intestines
  • bladder
  • uterus
    Patients may feel pain in one or more of these organs, or the abdominal cavity may be less pliable than it should be. Osteopaths gently move these structures and the surrounding connective tissue to fully restore movement and alleviate some of the symptoms that may have spread from the origin source. Though the procedure itself is gentle, the resulting corrections are potent enough to benefit the organ’s mobility, function, and blood flow.

What medical conditions can benefit from osteopath?

Osteopathy is a natural treatment that improves the body’s physiology and encourages the body to heal itself. The use of mobilization techniques and gentle massage is an effective option for clients experiencing the following conditions:

  • soft tissue pain and injury
  • joint pain
  • arthritic pain
  • acute and chronic back pain
  • relaxation and trouble sleeping
  • headache arising from the neck
  • sciatica
  • sports injuries and tensions
  • posture modification
  • pregnancy—both prenatal and post partum
  • whiplash caused by car accident
  • digestive conditions

Is Osteopathy covered by my extended health benefit?

Currently, there is no federal or provincial regulation for the education or professional registration of any osteopathy college, therefore osteopathic practitioners may hold a variety of similar titles. Most often, you will encounter DO’s and DOMP’s. DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathy, DO receives a Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the osteopathic medical school or college from abroad, majorly from US. As there are no medical schools or colleges provide osteopathic doctor degree in Canada; DOMP stands for Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, DOMPs assess and treat patients by providing manual therapy. They are not allowed to prescribe medication or perform surgery as they are not doctors. But the main difference is a DO’s license to diagnose and prescribe medication and they are regulated by College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. At Profusion Rehab, we only have DOMPs.

Osteopathy is covered under private extended health benefits, similar to other paramedical expenses, and is not covered under a government health plan. Insurance companies acknowledge that not all osteopathy institutions are equal and recognize individually for their qualities. When selecting an osteopathic organization, it is imperative to do your research. Look for schools that meet international education standards.

Insurance companies MAY NOT recognize the DOMP:

  • Great West Life
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Equitable Life
  • Standard Life

Pro Fusion Rehab will gladly call your insurance company for your coverage inquiries. You may also find the coverage information from your benefit booklet.

Reference links:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario


Sun Life Financial

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