Osteopathic medicine takes a whole-person approach to comprehensive and hands-on care. Osteopathic manipulation is part of that approach, and requires the doctor using their hands to manipulate your body. The healing power of touch is involved.
A doctor of osteopathy (DO) has similar training to a medical doctor (MD) except with an extra emphasis on the musculoskeletal system.
At the Osteopathic Center for Healing, our founder, Dr. Neil Spiegel, is a DO and offers patients osteopathic manipulation when it is an appropriate approach for treating their health issues. Another one of our providers, Jennifer Gularson, PA-C, has expertise in functional medicine, which is closely related to osteopathic medicine.
Is osteopathic manipulation related to chiropractic care?
Chiropractic manipulation seems similar to osteopathic manipulation on the surface, but there are some important differences.
One key difference is that osteopathic manipulation is part of a holistic approach, rather than focused on easing pain in a specific area. Osteopathy stresses the interconnectedness of your entire being, including your physical, mental, and emotional health.
When osteopathic manipulation is used
Osteopathic manipulation focuses on keeping your body functioning optimally, which means promoting blood flow, helping you to relax your muscles to prevent restriction, using pressure to release tension in your soft tissue, and joint mobility, among other things.
Some of the conditions that respond well to osteopathic manipulation include:
- Chronic pain
- Lower back and pelvic discomfort during pregnancy
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Joint pain, including arthritis or injury
- Headaches and migraine
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Osteopathic manipulation isn’t a cure for these conditions. Rather, it promotes healing and helps your body function better overall.
Some of the conditions for which osteopathic manipulation tends to be a successful treatment approach are those that conventional medicine struggles to effectively treat.
For example, people with chronic lower back pain often try many different therapies and treatments without finding the relief they need to function well. Chronic pain tends to respond well to osteopathic manipulation.
One part of a larger plan
Osteopathic manipulation is most often one prong of a multi-pronged approach to treating a given issue.
Since Dr. Spiegel has full authority and training to order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and perform other medical services, he may suggest other elements of treatment for you, along with offering osteopathic manipulation.
For example, a patient with arthritis may benefit from osteopathic manipulation and regenerative therapies. Patients who are interested in anti-aging therapies may also benefit from osteopathic manipulation.
When your care provider views your health as the optimal function of many overlapping systems, the goal is less about treating your symptoms and more about making sure your body is working as well as possible.
When you come to the Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland, that’s the goal of our entire team. If you’d like to learn more about functional medicine and the role of osteopathy, schedule your appointment with us today.