Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that aims to alleviate chronic pain, acute pain and everything in between, but ultimately the goal is to improve overall health and well-being. This holistic approach to healthcare focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system and the interconnectedness of all body systems through soft tissue connection. Osteopathic manual practitioners believe that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself and that proper alignment and function of the musculoskeletal system is essential for improving overall health and well-being.
What are the goals?
One of the main goals of osteopathic treatment is to restore proper function to the musculoskeletal system, especially the pelvis, the spine and all of its adjacent soft tissues (in the case of most chronic conditions). Osteopathic manual practitioners use a variety of techniques, including manipulation, mobilization and articulation through soft tissue techniques to help release tension and restore proper movement to the joints and muscles. The treatments are considered a very gentle approach to manual therapy because of these attributes. Osteopathic manual practitioners prefer providing a gentle approach to treatment because this aids in calming down the nervous system, and as a result, the body seems to accept changes to the soft tissues much easier than when the nervous system is in its “fight or flight” mode.
Although osteopathic manual practitioners are not in a position to officially diagnose conditions like a physician may, they can incorporate their understanding of these ailments in addition to treatment, in order to provide a holistic approach to chronic pain management. They consider the whole person, including their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, in order to create a personalized plan. This may include addressing underlying conditions that could contribute to musculoskeletal dysfunction, such as stress and anxiety.
What chronic conditions can osteopathic treatment help with?
Osteopathy has been found to be effective in managing a variety of chronic pain conditions, including lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica/sciatic nerve pain, knee pain, fibromyalgia and much more. Studies have shown that osteopathy can reduce pain, improve function, and increase quality of life for those suffering from chronic conditions.
One of the biggest underlying factors to consider when seeing an osteopathic manual practitioner for chronic pain management is patience for the process. The longer a chronic condition has been present, the longer it may take to successfully manage through treatment (and this is not unique to osteopathic treatment, but can be said for every other manual therapy modality out there). Some people see a large impact after just the first treatment, but for others, this process may take longer to be able to notice changes. It is all based on your unique situation.
One of the main advantages of osteopathy is that it is a non-invasive, drug-free and gentle approach to chronic pain management. This means that patients can avoid the risks and side effects associated with medications and surgery. Additionally, osteopathic manual practitioners can work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists, to provide a comprehensive approach to chronic pain management.
In conclusion, osteopathy is a holistic approach to chronic pain management that focuses on restoring proper function to the musculoskeletal system and addressing underlying imbalances in the body. It can be effective in managing a variety of conditions. Consult with our qualified osteopathic manual practitioner to determine if osteopathic treatment is right for you.
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.