Mention spinal manipulations or adjustments and most people think of Chiropractic. Did you know that there is a more expansive alternative to Chiropractic? Osteopathic medicine began in 1874 (see History of Osteopathy) as a holistic and drug-less approach to health and disease. Since that time, it has matured into a profession with educational standards and licensure equivalent to MDs. Osteopathic physicians can prescribe medication and perform surgery, however, in addition to a conventional medical education and residency training, osteopaths or DOs are trained in the art of osteopathic manipulative treatment. DOs use their hands to diagnose illness and injury and to encourage the body’s own healing ability.
There are similarities between chiropractic manipulation and osteopathic manipulation but there are also significant differences. Osteopathy is not limited to spinal manipulation – all areas of the body and types of tissue can be treated, including the cranium. Treatment plans with weekly return visits are not used. Rather, the return visits are based on the individual’s response. Osteopathic doctors have a wide range of techniques available, from thrust technique similar to chiropractic to the most gentle and subtle forms of cranial manipulation. (see Manipulation Techniques) Since osteopaths have unrestricted licenses, they can augment their treatment by prescribing any type of medication necessary. The decision to use osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is based on a multi-system differential diagnosis; your DO participates in all aspects of patient care, not just manipulation.
Patients familiar with osteopathy rely on DOs to treat many types of pain such as neck pain, back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain and arthritis pain. However, they also come for treatment of their acute and chronic medical problems such as headaches, brain injury, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. with both manipulation and medication when necessary. Board certification in homeopathic medicine adds yet another dimension to Dr. Masiello’s holistic practice.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) is appropriate for patients of all ages including newborns and infants. Many women use osteopathy during pregnancy as an adjunct to their conventional obstetrical care. For more information, click here: What is a DO?