What Is Osteopathic Medicine?
Osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States. 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. Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri, by a medical doctor who recognized that the medical practices of the day often caused more harm than good. He focused on developing a system of medical care that would promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself and called this system of medicine osteopathy, now known as osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic physicians, also known as DOs, work in partnership with their patients. They consider the impact that lifestyle and community have on the health of each individual, and they work to break down barriers to good health. DOs are licensed to practice the full scope of medicine in all 50 states. They practice in all types of environments, including the military, and in all types of specialties, from family medicine to obstetrics, surgery, and aerospace medicine. Tenants of Osteopathic Medicine:***
- The person is a unit, all organ systems connected together
- The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.
- Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
- Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.
For more information about what being treated by a D.O is like, this article “The Best Doctors You’ve Never Heard Of” does a great job explaining Osteopathic Medicine.
Nearly every day, medical science unveils new discoveries from brain scans to anti-cancer drugs. In the midst of these wonders, it’s easy to forget that sometimes what patients really need is a healing touch. Osteopathic physicians haven’t forgotten. Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility. OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems. When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.*** OMT can be especially helpful with infants and children. Common issues OMT can be useful for are: poor sucking in the newborn, newborn fussiness, newborn colic, plagiocephaly, torticollis, asthma, ADD, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, constipation, trauma, and autism to name a few.
(***This information comes from the American Osteopathic Association)