Osteopathy

What is Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. (AACOM.ORG)

What is a DO

Doctor’s of Osteopathy (DO) are fully trained physicians, capable of practicing the entire scope of medicine. In addition to conventional medical practice, DO’s are trained to use their hands to palpate (feel) tissue function and dysfunction. Gentle manipulative techniques are applied, restoring optimal function (motion).

4 Principles define Osteopathic Medicine
· The body is a fully integrated being of body, mind and spirit
· The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance
· Structure and function are interrelated
· Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the relationship of structure and function

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)

OMM encompasses a wide range of techniques addressing problems in joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and fascia (tissue surrounding muscles and other organs) that may cause pain or interfere with the body’s function. When there are restrictions within the structure of the body it does not function properly, often times causing pain. Using different techniques (listed below) the restrictions in the body are relieved so the body can function at optimal health. Patients often experience a sense of deep relaxation, tingling, fluid flows and relief of pain. These changes may be experienced immediately as they occur or later after the treatment. OMM may be referred to as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT).

Common Treatment Modalities

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field- a system of treatment that utilizes the intrinsic motion of the cranial and neurological system to treat the whole body

Myofascial Release – used to treat restrictions of muscle and fascia

Counterstrain – focused on specific tender points on the body that are held in a position of comfort for 90 seconds, after which the tenderness is relieved

Muscle Energy – uses the relaxation after a muscle is contracted to stretch muscles and increase range of motion

Balanced Ligamentous Tension – ligaments or joints are placed into a state of balanced until the tension is relieved

Facilitated Positional Release – patient’s spine is placed at neutral position while the isolated segment for treatment is placed at ease. Compression or traction is then added to release the tension in the muscle, fascia, and/or joints

High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA)- use of fast, short thrusts through restricted joints; a technique with which most people are familiar (also known as the “cracking” or “popping” technique)

Who would benefit

Osteopathy treats the patient, not the disease. Our intention is to find and restore health as well as structural integrity and fluid continuity.

Some of the problems that typically respond to osteopathic treatment:
· SOMATIC PAIN
· Back, neck, and joint pain
· Sciatica
· Headaches/Migraines
· Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

· TRAUMATIC INJURIES
· Head trauma
· Post Concussion Syndrome
· Overuse Syndromes
· Whiplash Syndromes

· CHRONIC CONDITIONS UNRESPONSIVE TO CONVENTIAL TREATMENT
· Neurologic disorders
· Gastrointestinal disorders
· Genitourinary disorders
· Respiratory Disorders

· WOMEN DURING PREGNANCY can be made more comfortable, their labor and delivery eased considerably by providing freedom to the ligamentous support of the uterus and pelvis.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
http://www.osteopathic.org
http://www.osteodoc.com
http://www.do-sf.com/aboutosteopathy/research/ (Research articles)
Book: Dr. Fulford’s Touch of Life by Robert Fulford, DO

Information gathered from osteodoc.com, aacom.org, A Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine.