Research and osteopathy in Rennes, Brittany: osteopathy research centre

Etablissement privé d’enseignement supérieur : SSAH2122518S

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Research Department

The Rennes Institute of Osteopathy Research Unit was founded in October 2013 to promote research in the field of osteopathy by engaging the teaching faculty and introducing students to research, with the aim of enhancing the scientific recognition of the discipline. Ultimately, the aim is to see osteopaths recognised as statutory "healthcare professionals".



Research at IO-Rennes focuses primarily on two fields: the teaching of osteopathic practices and sports science. Under Decree 2014-1043 of September 12, 2014, setting up the Rennes Institute of Osteopathy Research Unit, the unit comprises three entities: the IO Rennes Clinical practice and Research Association, the Dissertation Validation Committee and the Research Committee.


Under the supervision of the IO Rennes Academic Council, the association is a not-for-profit body under France's 1901 Statute of Associations. It enables 4th and 5th year students to see patients and acquire the experience they need for their future practice, under the responsibility of qualified osteopaths. 



Working within the framework defined by the Scientific Council, the committee decides which research topics and issues are relevant for the Institute.  It processes information received from the Scientific Council and the teaching staff, and issues reports summarising its analyses and proposals.


Mathieu Ménard, Head of Research at IO Rennes

Mathieu Ménard joined our staff in 2016 as an assistant-professor. His remit involves both the application of research methodologies, in particular in the field of biomechanics, to further the study of the origin of MSD-related pain, and the assessment of the effect of osteopathic treatment.



Mathieu Ménard graduated from the Nantes Institute of Osteopathic Studies (IDHEO) in 2008 and obtained the University Diploma in Sport Osteopathy in 2012. He went on to gain a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation, Disability and Mobility Performance Engineering (IRHPM) from the Sports Sciences Department at Poitiers University (2013), then a PhD in Biomechanics and Bio-engineering at Poitiers University in 2016 (Fundamental and Applied Science Faculty - PPRIME Institute UPR 3346 - Robotics, Biomechanics, Sports & Health team - ROBIOSS).



Mathieu Ménard is now an Associate Research Fellow with the M2S (Movement, Sport and Health Science) Lab, where he spends two days a week on his research activities. His current research focuses on the contribution of musculoskeletal modelling to the prevention of injuries in cycling (see Publications). He teaches three days a week at the Rennes Institute of Osteopathy, where he lectures on biomechanics and supervises the students' research projects at the IO-Rennes clinic and the Rennes 2 University research lab. He has been instrumental in reinforcing cooperation between IO Rennes and Rennes 2's Movement, Sport and Health research lab.



As required by the Order of December 12, 2014 relating to osteopathy studies (Official Journal of the French Republic n°0289 of December 14, 2014), the final dissertation is supervised by Mathieu Ménard, a Qualified Osteopath with over five years of practice. He acts as individual tutor for each student, assessing the professional and scientific relevance of their research project, making sure it identifies particularly important or unexplored issues in defining the problem to be addressed, supervising data collection, the drafting of the dissertation and coaching the students for the defence.

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