“The medical profession today only deals with disease and not with health. Instead, osteopaths are trained to treat the entire patient and not just a disease or symptom.”
Viola Frymann, DO. (My greatest teacher & mentor)
I was fortunate to work with Viola Frymann, DO as her medical assistant for one year prior to starting medical school. She set the bar high for osteopathic excellence and dedication to patient care. I am was transformed and forever grateful for this experience.
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).
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. Dr Kyle sees babies and children of all ages as well as adults most commonly for conditions below.
Commonly Treated Conditions
Most people first seek osteopathic care for pain-related complaints. These problems can be recent or long-term. They may be related to sports injuries, car accidents, falls, surgeries, birth or other traumas. Others seek osteopathic care as an alternative to surgery or medication. Common conditions treated include:
- Head disorders, including migraines, TMJ dysfunction, trigeminal neuralgia, vertigo and tinnitus
- Traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome
- Neck and back pain, including scoliosis, pinched nerves and sciatica
- Joint pain, including tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff strains/partial tears, rib strains, and hip pain
- Chronic issues such as fatigue, and rheumatological conditions including fibromyalgia
- Pectus carinatum
Many patients find osteopathic treatment improves function, making it helpful for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children. Osteopathy is particularly useful for babies with:
- Latching/sucking problems
- Torticollis and plagiocephaly
- Reflux and colic
- Ear infections
- Difficult or traumatic births
Osteopathic care can also improve the function of many autonomic core body functions, alleviating symptoms that come from impediments to optimal physiology.
- Breathing (including asthma )
- Digestive disorders (including reflux and irritable bowel syndrome)
- Poor sleep
As osteopathy involves a truly holistic approach, it supports the body’s ability to self-regulate by restoring its normal structure and function. Therefore, osteopathic manipulation can be beneficial in helping to restore health in many situations, regardless of the underlying complaint.
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
Strain/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)
“My personal experience with OMT is that it has relieved pain and discomfort from decades-old injuries and helped me reach levels of activity I had thought were “past” for me. I routinely walk 8-12 miles, can hike like I did when I was a teenager, and have regained amazing flexibility (in way more than the physical sense… 🙂 ). Thank you Dr. Kyle, for providing a level of care that goes so far beyond “healthcare” that it can much more accurately be called “life care”—and for extending that care to all life. As I said in my letter: “My doctor is not only an excellent, intuitive physician; he is a very important teacher, mentor, and friend.”
“Osteopathy is a science with possibilities as great as the magnitude of the heavens. It is a science dealing with the natural forces of the body. We work as osteopaths with the traditional principle in mind that the tendency in the patient’s body is always toward the normal. There is much to discover in the science of osteopathy by working with the forces within that manifest the healing processes. These forces within the patient are greater than any blind force that can safely be brought to bear from without.”
William Garner Sutherland, D.O., D.Sc.(hon.)