picture of an osteopathic manual practitioner performing osteopathy

What is Osteopathy? What does an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner do?

An osteopathic manual practitioner, after making an osteopathic diagnosis, takes a systematic approach using manual mobilization and manipulation to correct osteopathic dysfunctions or imbalances in the human structure including organ systems and musculoskeletal systems.

These manipulations and mobilizations are intended to maintain or improve the health status of people suffering from many different conditions, excluding pathologies that require therapeutic, medical, surgical, drug or other physical treatment.

What conditions can an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner treat?

  • any kind of pain (from the back to the neck, and every joint)
  • headaches and migraines
  • jaw issues
  • digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation etc.)
  • gynecological problems (period pain, other reproductive disorders)
  • post-surgical pain, scar tissue and adhesions
  • post-traumatic pain (whiplash, car accident, post fracture)
  • sleeping problems, insomnia
  • chronic fatigue
  • stress
  • pregnancy care (low back pain, preparation for delivery)
  • newborns (feeding problems, sleeping problems, digestive problems, colic)
  • children (during different stages of life, like walking, talking, changing diet)

What is the difference between an Osteopath, a Doctor of Osteopathy and an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner?

Here in Ontario, the terms Osteopath & Doctor of Osteopathy are restricted titles that can only be used by medical doctors that are registered with the College of Physicians & Surgeons.  Osteopathic physicians, Osteopaths, or Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) are educated in schools of Osteopathic Medicine & are licensed & entitled to an unrestricted scope of medical practice in the United States.   This scope includes the ability to prescribe drugs & perform surgery. This is the only country in the world in which DO’s can function in the same capacity as medical doctors.  Countries like Canada and France (where Margot is from), restrict the use of the term osteopath, require practitioners to call themselves osteopathic manual practitioners and allow them to use manual therapies, not drugs or surgery.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopathic manual practitioner?

Both are licensed healthcare professionals who may be able to assist with musculoskeletal conditions and pain.  The biggest difference between the two may be that an OMP may also manipulate organs and other soft tissues, where a chiropractor specializes more in the spine, joints, connective tissue and muscles.  The nature of the actual manipulation is also different.