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Frequently asked questions
Why should you see an Osteopath?
Almost everyone can benefit from Osteopathic treatment as it is a natural and holistic form of intervention. We are striving to help the body function as optimally as possible by trying to remove obstructions and restore vitality to improve function, texture, tension and free movement of fluids/circulation.
What is involved in an osteopathic treatment?
An osteopathic treatment involves in an initial evaluation comprising of a review of your present and past medical history and a physical examination that will usually involve the assessment of mobility, position and vitality (texture) of almost all structures of your body, from head to toe.
Following the evaluation the osteopath, through manual pressure and techniques will try to improve areas where there is decreased mobility, where the texture of the tissues and the position of the structures does not appear to be ideal. The osteopath will usually treat you in the area where you have pain and are experiencing problems but may work in areas to you may appear to be far and unrelated. This is because osteopathy is patient centered and not injury centered and sees you as a functional, integrated whole. For example, you may have a problem in your foot which affects the mobility of your foot, subtly changing your gait. We walk on average 5000 steps a day. Over time we can compensate for problems but their may come a time when this is no longer possible and an injury may result. You may begin to feel pain in your knee, or hip, or back or possibly even in your neck. Local treatment may help you feel better but if we do not address other areas that have also contributed to the development of the injury, you are more prone to re-occurance or chronicity of the problem.
How long do sessions last?
Usually sessions last from anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
Are osteopathic treatments painful?
Osteopathic treatment is usually very gentle. There may be at times certain techniques that are uncomfortable and slightly painful. You may be sore for a few days after treatment but this should usually subside within 24-48 hours. You should always discuss any discomfort with the osteopath if techniques are painful and if you are sore after treatment. Should you be worried about what you feel after treatment you should call so that we may discuss what you are feeling and what should be done.
How long before I should see progress?
For the vast majority of conditions you should begin to notice improvement after only a few sessions. It is important that you follow the advice given to you and work on your problem even when you step out of the office. If you are not experiencing any improvement after 3 or 4 sessions, we will discuss this and try to help you ensure that you are getting the best possible care including referring you elsewhere if necessary (to your family physician or other physicians for further diagnostic testing, health care providers, or other forms of complementary medicine) and discussing lifestyle, ergonomic, and mental or emotional states and beliefs that may be contributing to your injury and impeding progress. The goal is truly to help you feel better as quickly as possible.
Can osteopathy be done in combination with other forms of treatment?
Osteopathy is a complementary medicine and can and often should be performed in association with other the care provided by other health care providers including your physician, specialists, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, naturopath .... It is often perferable that there is a few days between different treatments so that the changes can begin to be incorporated in your body and any positive or negative effects of treatment can be clearly understood. It is important that all the health care professionnals are working together.
Do all osteopaths treat the same?
If you have experienced osteopathic treatments before you are aware that there are differences in treatments. Although osteopaths are all guided by the same principles, treatment differences usually reflect the practitioner’s personality, training (prior training and osteopathic training) and experiences. Furthermore, osteopathy is patient centered and individualised. Therefore all treatments will be different.
Is osteopathy regulated in Québec?
Unfortunately osteopathy is not presented regulated in Quebec. L’Office des Profession du Québec does presently have a working committee looking into the regulation of the profession of osteopathy. As there is no present regulation, there are a large number of schools with varying standards in terms of both entrance requirements and in training. I am a member of Ostéopathie Quebec, the largest association of Osteopaths in Quebec. I was trained at the Collège d’études ostéopathiques de Montréal whose curriculum meets and exceeds those found within the Benchmarks for the Training in Osteopathy of the World Health Organization.
The manual practice of Osteopathy is regulated in many countries in the world including England, France, Belgium, New Zealand and Australia. In these countries University programs in Osteopathy are offered.
In some countries such as in the United States, osteopathy is practiced differently and have almost the exact same training as physicians with the same practice rights. In the United States the osteopathic physicians work much like the physicians here with a small number also performing manual therapy. The majority of the osteopathic physicians in the United States who also perform manual therapy as part of their treatments are members of the American Academy of Osteopathy an affiliate of the American Osteopathic Association
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