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Frequently Asked Questions About Osteopathy

My name is Michael Brunozzi M.OMSc and I am an Manual Osteopathic Practitioner from Cambridge, Ontario.  In this section I have listed, and answered, some questions about Osteopathy and Osteopathic Treatment.  Do you still have more questions about Osteopathy? You are invited to ask me by phone or email, and of through my Facebook page and can find the information below.  


What is the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

There are many differences between Chiropractic Treatment and Osteopathic treatment.  These differences are both in philosophy and application of treatment. 

Chiropractors believe that problems in the body are a result of dysfunction in the spine because nerves from the spine supply muscles, joints, organs, and even the skin. Osteopaths recognize the importance of the spine and the nerves exiting it.  In addition they asses the body’s soft tissues (muscle, tendons, ligaments), and they consider how circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid may be compromised. 

Many Chiropractors use devices or machines for assessment and treatment. Manual treatment will often involve quickly forcing bones into alignment. Osteopaths assess and treat simultaneously through a gentle, rhythmic process.  No assistance is required from other devices.  Only hands on manipulation is performed.

Ultimately, you should discuss the benefits with your doctor to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.


What is the difference between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?

Osteopathy and physiotherapy are both recognized for there success in treatment for pain and musculoskeletal injuries.

Osteopaths will assess and apply treatment simultaneously.  We rely entirely on our hands for assessment and treatment.  A skill called palpation is used to fine tune each technique based upon the changes that occur during manipulation.  This allows the practitioner to continually reassess each patient so they receive the most benefit from each treatment session.  During this process, an emphasis is placed on restoring mobility and balance throughout the body.

Physiotherapist may use a form of manual treatment called joint mobilization.  They will often use physical exercise, ultrasound, electric stimulation, and applications of heat or ice as part of their treatment.  The treatment plan would be established during your initial evaluation and applied for multiple sessions before a reassessment occurs.

Ultimately, you should consult your doctor if you are unsure of which treatment is best for you.


Is an Osteopath a Medical Doctor in Canada?

Osteopaths, typically, are not medical doctors in Canada.  Medical Doctors that are trained in Osteopathic Medical Schools in the United States are allowed to practice in Canada as physicians.  These professionals are called Doctors of Osteopathy.  Their credentials will be displayed as D.O.  which differs from Medical Doctors identified as M.D.  There are very few Osteopathic Physicians practicing in Canada, today.  There are currently no Colleges of Osteopathy Medicine in Canada.  

Osteopaths that are trained in Canada, specifically in Ontario, are identified as Osteopathic Manual Practitioners.  They are not medical doctors, and should not be advertised as such.  Typically, they are represented by one of two designations: M.OMSc (Master of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences) or DOMP (Diploma of Osteopathic Manual Practice).  The credentials assigned are dependent upon the institution where each professional completed their education.  

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners are skilled in manipulation of the human body.  Their entire curriculum focused on manipulative treatment, anatomy, and physiology.  Osteopathic Physicians are trained in manipulation, referred to as Manual Medicine.  However, the majority of their education is focused on meeting requirements to become a licensed physician. 


What Does Osteopathy Treat?

Osteopathy treats the human body using rhythmic manipulation of the body’s soft tissue and bony framework.  As a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner, I search for the cause of the patients symptoms.  Symptoms may be of a known, or unknown cause, and due to trauma, injury, illness, or strain from repetitive activities.

By focusing on treating the body, not the symptoms, Osteopathy can help relieve a wide range of health concerns.  Joint pain, concussion recovery, vertigo, and acid reflux are all reasons for seeking treatment.  About 50% of patients identify back pain is a primary complaint.  Additionally, about 25% of patients list shoulder pain or neck pain as primary reasons for seeking treatment. 

Pain is certainly a driving factor for seeking Osteopathic care.  However, it can be effective in relieving physiologic symptoms, too.  The American Osteopathic Association recognizes Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for its effectiveness in treating:

  • Asthma or Respiratory Difficulties
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Nerve Entrapment 
  • Headaches
  • Menstrual Irregularities

If you have questions specific to your health concerns, please call or email me today.