What is Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic medicine is a distinct medical practice and philosophy, focused on encouraging whole-body health while retaining access to the benefits of modern medicine including diagnostic technologies, drugs, and surgery.  Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s) are board-certified professionals capable of diagnosis and prescription (like any MD) and are fully licensed in each state to practice medicine as physicians. 

Osteopathic medicine helps optimize the patient's daily, optimal functionality by examining mechanics, posture, nutrition, medicines, and emotional wellness. A special form of medicine, called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (O.M.M.) utilizes hands-on-diagnosis of the musculoskeletal system.  This structural examination informs precise and gentle manual manipulation for each patient. Unique consideration is given to each patient's medical, surgical, and trauma history.


How does Osteopathic Manual Medicine (O.M.M.) Affect The Body?

Osteopathic Medicine gently optimizes structure and function of the bones, muscles, and ligaments.  Muscles are influenced by the firing of the nervous system and by the length and tension along the muscle's pathway, starting, and ending points (origins and insertions).  When the bones are aligned, the muscles can preform ideally.  When the tone of the nervous system is balanced, the muscles can function with minimal effect and maximal efficiency.


What are some commonly treated conditions?

In Conjunction with Allopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine Addresses Pain and Misalignment of the Musculoskeletal System Including:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain

  • Muscle Spasm, Muscle Soreness, Muscle Pain

  • Sports injuries

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Lower extremity pain-including hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain

  • Plantar Fascitis

  • Upper extremity pain, including elbow pain (golfer's elbow, tennis elbow), Wrist pain (including carpal tunnel), finger Pain (especially from BJJ!)

  • Headaches

  • Migraines

  • Post Surgical Pain

  • Post Traumatic Pain

  • Pain from Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Asthma

  • Allergies

  • Eczema

  • COPD

  • Pain from Autoimmune Diseases

  • Pain from Lyme Disease

  • Fatigue

  • Autism

  • Vision Difficulties

  • Tinnitus

  • Stress and Anxiety


What structures does Osteopathic Manual Medicine (O.M.M.) affect?

After many years of study and knowledge, this is a powerful medicine with the ability to affect many different structures.


OMM affects the body's:

  • Nervous system

  • Bone alignment

  • Muscle alignment/contractility

  • Lymphatic drainage

  • Fluid circulation in the body


What are the four tenets of osteopathic medicine?

The American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates approved the Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine as policy which follows the underlying philosophy of osteopathic medicine.

  1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.

  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.

  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.



How does OMM differ from other practitioners who put their hands on the body?

There are many skilled practitioners who work on the body with their hands.  Osteopathic Physicians are doctors first, who have additional training with manual manipulation.  D.O.s  study many years of anatomy and physiology; this informs the diagnosis and treatment of a patient.  

***Osteopathic medicine differs from other modalities as the body remembers or learns the "math" of the alignments and retains the structure and function over time.  


What can I expect from my first visit with an Osteopathic Physician?

First, the osteopathic physician will do a thorough history.  Then, the structural exam performed by your osteopathic physician will determine the regions and tissue to focus on.  The osteopathic physician has an arsenal of techniques that are very gentle and precise to align the body.


What is the trajectory of a patient's treatment plan?

OMM specialists spend time analyzing and diagnosing the patient's body.  Then, the D.O. devises a picture of how the patient's muscles, bones, nervous system, circulatory system, and lymphatic drainage are functioning together.  


What can I expect after a session of OMM?

This session is gentle and effective.  Side-effects could include muscle soreness and a different sensation in the body.  It is imperative to drink plenty of water after an osteopathic treatment.  Even for athletic patients, it is important to give your body 24 hours without strenuous exercise thereby allowing your neurology to process where your muscles now are in space.  


How long does the treatment last?

After, leaving the office, osteopathic treatments typically continue over three days. During this time, expect subtle changes in your body.  You may feel great and not sore at all initially, perhaps you feel amazing all of the days; maybe in subsequent days there is a soreness akin to working out in the gym. This is completely natural as muscle length and tone changes.    


How many sessions and how often will I need OMM?

The answer to this is very individual dependent.  Some musculoskeletal imbalances correct quickly, and others require more time.  Please be patient and allow your body the time it requires to realign.  The goal is for you to need less and less treatment, then come to the office once in a while for a "tune up" as needed after so many miles.


Will my Osteopathic Physician Refer Me to Other Health Professionals?

Yes, this is very likely.  We work in a community of many skilled individuals.  To maintain the treatments and help patient's posture between treatments, exercise prescriptions, yoga, physical therapy, weight training, and other modalities will be recommended on an individual basis.  


Which exercises should I be doing?

The osteopathic physician will teach you specific and appropriate exercises at the right time.  Please endeavor to do these exercises at the prescribed frequency with proper form!  Injury prevention using proper bio mechanics at work and during sports is also of paramount importance.  

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions


Where can I learn more about becoming an Osteopathic Physician?