How is osteopathy regulated?
Are all osteopathic manual practitioners the same?
NEW: Saturday osteopathy

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathic manual practice is a holistic approach to treating one or more problems. Based on anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the human body, these treatments address the patient as a whole unit.

Using specific manual therapy (hands-on) techniques, treatments may focus on different areas such as the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints), the cranium (head, face and jaw) and the visceral system (internal organs). 

These systems are evaluated for restrictions in mobility or vitality and treated according to a specific methodology called traditional osteopathic manual practice. As restrictions in the body are treated, normal function returns to the area and symptoms resolve allowing for a fast and safe return to sport or active living.

Some commonly treated problems:

  • Acute & chronic injuries
  • Digestive disorders (IBS, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Pre- & post-operative conditions
  • Excessive scarring post-surgery
  • Asthma
  • Heartburn, reflux
  • Bloating
  • Disc herniations
  • Nerve root impingements - (e.g. sciatica)
  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Ligament sprains (tears)
  • Muscular strains
  • Tendonitis, ruptured tendons
  • Joint instabilities
  • Medial & lateral epicondylitis
  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Facet irritations
  • Headaches and concussions
  • Pelvic pain
  • Menstrual pain, endometriosis
  • Sinusitis
  • Sports injuries, pain during running
  • Joint dislocations /subluxations
  • Restrictions in joint range of motion
  • Muscular weakness/atrophy
  • Core weakness or loss of flexbility
  • Central and lateral stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tension headaches
  • TMJ (jaw) pain
  • Abnormal gait pattern
  • Nerve entrapments
  • Torticollis
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Fractures
  • Meniscal tears
  • Pregnancy-related back pain
  • Overuse injuries
  • General deconditioning

How is Osteopathy regulated in Ontario? Do all osteopathic manual practitioners follow the same educational training?

Osteopathy is not regulated in the province of Ontario, so it is important to verify the professional training of the practitioner you are seeing. The Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners, (OAO), promotes the highest standard of osteopathic education and training, as well as the highest, safest standard of ethical, osteopathic practice in the province.

The OAO adheres to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) established minimum criteria for professional training to safely and effectively deliver osteopathic services. They are as follows:

• 4200 hours of professional training/education

• 1000 hours of supervised practice (included in 4200 hours)

At Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy, all of our osteopathic manual practitioners are members in good standing with the OAO and follow the WHO criteria.

Are all osteopathic manual practitioners the same?

No. Some osteopathic educational programs graduate their students with significantly less training than recommended by the WHO. As a result, they have a smaller set of treatment protocols and techniques but may still use the term osteopathy.

A prerequisite for entry into the osteopathy program recognized by the OAO is a degree in science (physiotherapy, athletic therapy, massage therapy, etc) or equivalent. The combined education of the degree in science and the professional diploma in osteopathy allows for a deeper understanding of pathophysiology (injury causes) and a larger number of manual therapy skills & treatment techniques.

All of our osteopathic manual practitioners possess both a prerequisite degree in science (physiotherapy, athletic therapy, etc.) and have completed the OAO-required osteopathic education, giving them the highest educational standards in the province of Ontario.


 Note: Osteopathic manual practitioners are not medical doctors. For any medical emergency please consult your physician or visit your nearest emergency room.


NEW for 2016: Saturday Osteopathy

Exciting news: we now offer osteopathy on Saturdays! Pauline Costa, D.O.M.P., will be available for appointments every other Saturday, beginning Saturday June 25, 2016.  To learn more about Pauline, click here.

Appointment times: 7:30-8:30am  |  8:45-9:45am  |  10:15-11:15am  |  11:30am-12:30pm

Book now! These spots will fill up quickly!