Frequently Asked Questions

Answering your common questions

Are osteopathic manual therapists qualified as physicians?

No, osteopathic manual therapists are not physicians. They are not members of the college of physicians and surgeons of Saskatchewan. To find an osteopathic physician that is a member of the college of physicians and surgeons visit

What is osteopathic manual therapy?

Osteopathic manual therapy focuses on the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients’ general health.

Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopathic manual therapists seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic manual therapy focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.

Osteopathic manual therapists have a patient-centred approach to health and well-being, which means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient’s full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

What do osteopathic manual therapists treat?

Osteopathic manual therapy focuses on the management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.

What level of training do members of the SAO have?

All members of the SAO meet or exceed the standards in osteopathic education as outlined by the World Health Organization in 2010. This means that they will either have completed a 4 year full time degree course, similar to physiotherapists, or a 5 year part time equivalent.

Do I need a prescription in order to be treated?

Not unless it is a requirement of your insurance company for reimbursement purposes

What age groups is osteopathy suitable for?

Osteopathic manual therapists are trained to help all age groups, from newborns to the elderly. To find out if treatment might help you contact your therapist directly.

What is the difference between osteopathic manual therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic?

There are many similarities between the three disciplines. For example all use their hands to help restore heath and all focus on musculoskeletal problems. However there are differences. For more information please look below.

How do I know if my therapist is a member of the SAO and has the relevant qualifications and insurance?

All our members are issued with a certificate and membership stamp.  If you are in doubt as to he authenticity of your therapists ask to see either the official SAO certificate or stamp.

Where can I find other osteopathic therapists of a similar standard in Canada?

This association is in the process of being approved as a member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths, or CFO  The CFO has multiple roles, including promoting Canadian Osteopathic therapy both at home and internationally,  harmonizing standards of education of osteopathic therapists across Canada and uniting the provinces towards common goals.  Currently the provincial associations that are represented on the board of the CFO are

British Columbia




Nova Scotia