In the health and wellness, as well as the paramedical industries, there are many different specialties. This is why it is important to know which service you are receiving when booking your appointment. This article will help define manual osteopathy and give you an insight on the techniques used. This will help you make an informed decision about your treatment options.

Manual osteopathy is a highly effective therapy on a variety of disorders such as chronic pain and low back pain.

So, what is Manual Osteopathy?

Manual osteopathy is a holistic, drug-free manual therapy that examines the soft tissues, bones and organs of the body to restore normal function. This is done through a variety of manual techniques that assist the affected area in recovery.

The overall goal of manual osteopathy is to restore health across all of the bodies’ systems. This is accomplished in session by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal structures. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners focus mainly on the muscles, joints, the visceral system and range of motion to work through any physical dysfunction.

Techniques such as strain/counter-strain uses passive body motion to shorten the affected muscle. The purpose is to relax the affected tissue forcing a reduction in muscle tone. This allows the joint that is affected to function normally which also reduces pain. While others like Muscle Energy use your own muscles active contractions to reduce inflammation and lengthen the muscle. This is a very efficient technique as it combines both passive and active stretching for best results.

Practitioners may combine techniques with take home stretching and exercises to improve the outcome for you. These exercises are designed to speed up recovery, while adding the strength you need to prevent further injury.

When booking your initial visit, we recommend scheduling 4 appointments, spread out over four weeks. This will allow for ample time to review the intake form, assess the affected areas and execute on the treatment plan that the practitioner and you will develop in session.

Why is understanding Manual Osteopathy Important?

It is important to understand what Manual Osteopathy is so that you as the client can make an informed decision when booking appointments. There are a variety of manual therapies available, and when deciding what appointment type you would like to book, it is best to be as informed as possible.

Which service you choose will have a large impact on your recovery time, repetition of appointments, insurance reimbursement, and prevention of further injury.

Knowing what types of techniques are offered is important as well, so you are aware of exactly what you should expect, and the results you will achieve with your practitioner. Manual osteopathy has been proven to be an effective treatment option for patients suffering from chronic pain. In a study conducted with 455 patients, after 6 sessions the primary outcome was significant low back pain reduction (≥50% pain reduction). This, along with similar studies demonstrates the efficacy of manual osteopathy as a whole.

Tips and Reminders for Understanding Manual Osteopathy

  1. Manual: Relating to or done with the hands; Osteo: relating to the bones; Pathy: Denoting disorder in particular part of the body
  2. When booking your appointment, check if the practitioner has “DOMP” as their title, this will verify that you are booking with a manual osteopathic practitioner.
  3. Manual osteopathy is often covered by third party insurance providers. Check under the manual therapy section of your insurance policy to verify.


Understanding manual osteopathy can be beneficial to your health and save you time searching for other manual therapies. Manual osteopathy is a very effective treatment for dysfunction, and chronic pain. This is mainly due to the holistic stance that manual osteopathy takes, looking at the body as a whole and examining a dysfunction’s root cause as well the affects it has on the surrounding tissues.

We encourage you to take a look at our services and reach out with any questions you may have!

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