Osteopathy is a drug-free, hands-on form of manual medicine that is used to balance the musculoskeletal system and improve overall health and well-being. The osteopathic philosophy is that structure and function are interrelated, and that the body is capable of self-regulation and self-healing. The osteopathic physician uses a variety of gentle, yet precise hands-on techniques to evaluate and treat the whole patient. Osteopathy can be used to treat many conditions including back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, sinus and ear problems, neck and shoulder tension, infant colic, and digestive issues.
Osteopathic physicians are trained in traditional allopathic (allopathic) medicine and use a broad range of hands-on techniques to promote health, relieve illness, and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself. These techniques are called Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). Osteopaths use various OMT modalities including lymphatic manipulation, rib raising and diaphragmatic manipulation, high-velocity low-amplitude thrust-style maneuvers, myofascial release, balanced ligamentous tension, muscle energy technique and cranial osteopathy.
Osteopaths may also suggest dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and/or exercises to aid in the healing process. They are also trained to recognize when osteopathic manipulation is not appropriate and can refer patients for further evaluation and/or treatment by other specialists.