Osteopath treating female patient's shoulder

What is osteopathy/osteopathic treatment?

Osteopathic treatment is a type of manual therapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The goal of osteopathic treatment is to restore balance and function to the body by identifying and addressing structural issues that may be contributing to pain or dysfunction.

One of the main techniques used in osteopathic treatment is gentle articular manipulation, which involves the use of gentle pressure and stretching to release tension and improve mobility in the joints and surrounding tissues. This can help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve blood flow and the overall function of the affected area.

Another important aspect of osteopathic treatment is the use of soft tissue techniques, such as myofascial release, which can help to alleviate muscle tension and promote healing by addressing the fascial tissues (the most superficial layer of soft tissues). These techniques can also be used in combination with joint manipulation to provide a more comprehensive and effective treatment.

What conditions osteopathic treatment can help?

Osteopathic treatment can be effective for a wide range of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, rotator cuff/shoulder injuries, knee pain, and much more. It can also be used as a preventative measure against injuries and to improve overall function and performance.

When it comes to acute injuries, osteopathic treatment can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation and speed up the healing process. Acute injuries are sudden and often caused by a traumatic event such as a fall, a vehicle crash, a sports injury, or something as simple as bending down to grab something on the floor. Common acute injuries include sprains, strains, nerve impingements and sudden loss of range of motion.

What techniques are used to treat the injury?

Osteopaths use techniques like soft tissue and gentle joint articulation to help realign and support the injured area, which can help to reduce pain and swelling. They also use techniques to improve circulation, which can help to speed up the healing process. This can be done by using manual techniques to improve the lymphatic and venous return from the affected area, which will ultimately decrease any chances of chronic inflammation and promote faster healing to occur as a result.

In addition to treating the injury itself, osteopathic treatment can also address any underlying structural imbalances that may be contributing to the injury or slowing down the healing process. This holistic approach can help to not only reduce pain and inflammation, but also improve overall function and prevent future injuries.


In conclusion, osteopathic treatment is a holistic and manual approach to treating musculoskeletal issues. It can be highly effective in treating acute injuries by reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation and speed up the healing process. Osteopathic manual practitioners use techniques that aid with areas such as gentle joint articulation, soft tissue techniques, and lymphatic and venous drainage to help support the healing process. They also address any underlying structural imbalances that may have caused or contributed to the injury. It is important to note that in case of severe acute injuries, it is important to get a proper diagnosis and osteopaths will recommend patients to go see their primary health care physicians if thought necessary.

Meet our Osteopathic Practitioner

Patrick Suwala graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2015 and then committed to an additional four years of osteopathic education at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton and graduated with a Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences designation (M. OMSc.) from the school at the end of 2020. 

Throughout his undergrad at the University of Waterloo, Patrick found his passion in learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and for four years he was a volunteer teaching assistant in the human cadaver labs on campus, teaching first year students and many external visitors, including graduate-level manual therapy students about the musculoskeletal structures of the human body. 

Patrick quickly grew an appreciation for the art and science of the field of manual therapy through extracurriculars like swimming and playing waterpolo competitively, and decided that this was the right avenue for him to pursue.

Patrick also helps supervise student clinic and teach at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton. 

Patrick belongs to the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA/OSTCAN) and is therefore recognized across all insurance providers in Ontario because of the association’s high standards.

Book a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your condition and how Osteopathy may be able to help