Osteopathy is a powerful, gentle, safe, and effective long-term solution for acute/chronic pain, injuries, and illness. Abnormal body patterns, chronic postural/functional strains, disordered joint motion, traumatic forces, and compression/restrictions in body tissues are addressed. Treatment is appropriate for anyone of any age and condition, including infants and children, pregnant women, those in a fragile condition, and elite athletes.
Osteopathy (also known as osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), or osteopathic manual medicine) is common sense medicine based on the philosophy that:
1) The body has the capacity for self-healing and regulation
2) The physician must treat the whole system to bring about effective, long lasting change because the body is one unit
3) Body structure (anatomy) and body function (physiology) are interrelated. Body structure refers to all tissues in the body: muscles, bones, fascia, fluids, membranes and more
4) Once the root cause of the problem is addressed, the symptoms will disappear
The emphasis in osteopathy is on addressing core issues that are the root cause of pain and disease, not simply surface compensations or symptoms. Treating surface issues is a “quick fix” approach and will just mean the pattern/symptoms will return.
Physicians specializing in osteopathy believe this approach to medical problems greatly minimizes the need for medication and invasive procedures such as surgery because the actual cause of the problem is treated.
An example is a relationship between the diaphragm and the ribs. These structures have their specific shape and location in the body because of the functions they serve. Due to their anatomic relationships and physiologic functions, strains in the diaphragm muscle and dysfunctional motion of the ribs can make it more difficult to breathe deeply and easily.
Deep, effective breathing is a cornerstone of good health for everyone, but especially for those with any respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Osteopathic treatment can help these patients reduce their medication use and breathe more easily every day.
Osteopathy is sometimes confused with chiropractic, physical therapy, craniosacral therapy, or massage, but it is very different from these modalities in several key ways. The most significant differences are the level of training of the practitioner, scope of practice, and treatment approach and philosophy.
Osteopathy is part of the practice of medicine and is based on anatomy, physiology, embryology, and diagnosis and treatment by palpation. All of these components require a formal medical education, residency training, and continued post-graduate training in osteopathy.
OMM is helpful for everyone from elite athletes and other highly functioning performers to the most inactive couch potato. For many, osteopathy is a catalyst for profound therapeutic change because it removes the obstacles to healthy, balanced function in all body tissues.
While many patients seek consultation with an OMM physician for musculoskeletal problems such as neck, back, or other joint pain, OMM can also be beneficial for many other health problems, including sinus problems, pain in pregnancy, fibromyalgia, neurological problems, digestive problems, and ear infections and colic in children. Osteopathic treatment is reimbursable by insurance carriers.