Osteopathic treatment what is it

Osteopathy is an effective medical field in the treatment of the spine, musculoskeletal system, nervous system and internal organs. Today, Osteopathy is a medical specialty approved by order of the Ministry of Health, which requires a compulsory license.

The most understandable definition of Osteopathy was given more than a century ago by the founder of this medical specialty Dr. surgeon Andrew Taylor Still

“Osteopathy is the scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a rational and trained doctor who can apply this knowledge to the benefit of a person who is sick or injured.”

“If all parts of the body are correctly oriented, we can boast of excellent health. If not, this leads to the development of the disease. If the structures are returned to the correct orientation, the disease will recede. ”

Current Definition of Osteopathy:

OSTEOPATHY is a field of clinical medicine, including the provision of medical care to patients with somatic dysfunctions at the stage of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, based on the anatomical and functional unity of the body and using manual methods that restore the body’s ability to self-correct.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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What does osteopathy treat?

To begin, let’s answer the question: What and how does MEDICINE treat in our usual classical sense.

Medicine heals – DISEASES. And what is a disease? To which it can be said that the Disease is certain changes in human health, which are manifested by characteristic signs, symptoms and complaints and have the name – “DIAGNOSIS”.

Thus, with some reservations, it can be argued that MEDICINE is primarily aimed at the treatment of “DIAGNOSIS” and there are two main methods of treatment: PHARMACOLOGY and SURGERY, that is, exposure to the body either through its biochemical nature or “outside” through surgical intervention.

In pursuit of the “Diagnosis” treatment, medicine was divided into a huge number of specialist doctors who see the whole area of ​​their application, which, of course, is necessary in urgent and dangerous conditions for human health, but they don’t try to combine different a view of Health disorder into one logical physiological sequence.

Osteopathy is an applied physiology, and there is such a definition of our specialty. The main and essential difference of Osteopathy lies in its holistic character – the osteopath evaluates the human body and body as a single biomechanical system, where everything affects everything. To do this, for 4 years during initial training, doctors have been studying in detail the anatomical, biomechanical and neural relationships of the body.

An example of an osteopathic approach

The patient is periodically disturbed at first glance by completely unrelated symptoms:

  • neck and neck pains
  • lightheadedness
  • manifestations of lumbosacral radiculitis
  • knee discomfort
  • irregular bowel movements.

The patient underwent a full examination:

  • MRI of the head and spine – without pronounced pathology: vascular changes and small hernias of the intervertebral discs are determined
  • Analyzes and ultrasound of the abdominal cavity – within the age norm;
  • X-ray of the knee are the initial signs of arthrosis.

He consulted with all the necessary specialists, each of whom diagnosed:

  • Surgeon – Arthritis Arthrosis
  • ENT – without obvious pathology
  • Neurologist – dorsopathy, tension headache and vertebrogenic dizziness
  • Gastroenterologist – colitis, irritable bowel syndrome

The results of therapy, despite the course of taking drugs and conducting physical procedures had an unexpressed or short-term effect.

This situation is familiar to many and is common. And the problem here is not that the diagnoses and the prescribed therapy were not correct, but that, with all its scientific and technical development and vast clinical experience, classical medicine does not regard a person as a single, interconnected structure.

The difference between the osteopathic approach

An osteopathic doctor sees the body as one, where the presence of a problem in one area can adversely affect the function of another.

So, during an osteopathic examination in this patient, the following disorders (somatic dysfunctions) were identified that caused the patient to form the above symptom complex:

  • Asymmetric position of the body during standing, with pronounced support on one leg due to the functional diversity of the legs and distortion of the pelvic bones with “subluxation” of the sacrum and spasm of the iliopsoas muscle accompanied by tension of the distal intestines. These dysfunctions caused the patient: constipation, chronic recurrent pain in the lumbar region, overload of the bone-ligamentous structures of the knee joint.
  • According to the law of conjugation of the structures of the spinal column, the oblique pelvis led to S-shaped scoliosis and adaptive subluxation of the first cervical vertebra (atlas) with compensatory retraction of the ligaments and muscles in the upper cervical spine. As a result, the patient developed: discomfort in the neck, a feeling of heaviness and a headache in the occipital region, vertebrogenic dizziness.

Thus, all complaints and manifestations of Health disorders in this person are links in one chain of biomechanical disorders of the body. During the appointment, the osteopath’s doctor will correct the diagnosed disorders (dysfunctions) taking into account the primacy of their occurrence relative to each other, restore the position and physiological mobility of body structures and create a functional balance.

This will lead to an early recovery of the patient or a significant reduction in symptoms and complaints. It will give the patient a physiological Health resource, which will slow down the development of chronic and age-related diseases, increase the level of vitality (vitality), as well as resistance to various stresses and stresses.

The main directions of osteopathy

Structural osteopathy – the osteopathic effect is aimed at correcting the support and movement system, which includes: muscles, fascia, ligaments, bones and joints of the spine, chest, pelvis, upper and lower extremities. Outwardly, it resembles a classic manual therapy. The difference lies in the fact that osteopathic techniques are much softer, more precisely, safer, more diverse, “smarter”.

Visceral osteopathy – the effect is aimed at restoring the normal mobility of organs, their ligaments and neurovascular bundles, this is often necessary after abdominal operations, injuries, childbirth, excessive physical exertion. Also, organs fixed in the wrong position often have a negative effect on the supporting system.

Cranial osteopathy – aimed at the correction of sutures, membranes and bones of the skull. The human skull is not a monolithic structure and consists of a large number of bones, interconnected in a strictly defined way. These joints – seams normally have plasticity and a tendency to micromotion relative to each other, due to the presence of cartilage and connective tissue in them.

A block of sutures with a concomitant change in micromotion and the position of the skull bones relative to each other leads to compression of the brain structures, impairing its blood supply and cerebrospinal fluid dynamics. This negatively affects the functioning of the central nervous system, can lead to increased intracranial pressure and a violation of the innervation of body structures (the main nerve trunks exit the skull). Cranial (cranial) dysfunctions are often the cause of the development of pathology of the ENT sphere and the visual analyzer (hearing and vision organs with nerve centers are located in the skull). Skull dysfunctions are directly related to disorders of the temporomandibular joint region and the entire dentofacial system and in most cases create conditions for the formation of adaptive scoliosis. Therefore, almost always, treatment by an orthodontist’s doctor should be combined with a periodic examination and correction of cranial structures by an osteopathic doctor.

Contraindications to osteopathy

There are practically no contraindications and age restrictions for osteopathic effects. Moreover, in some cases (severe osteoporosis, fever, early stroke, hypertensive crisis, acute first-time headache and others), it is better to consult a doctor in advance.

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an independent direction in medicine, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. The basic principles of osteopathy are the ability of the human body to heal itself, as well as the recognition of the interconnections of all body structures. This direction arose in the United States about 150 years ago and has since been actively developing on the basis of understanding the human body as an integral and self-regulating system.

The founder of osteopathy is considered the American doctor Andrew Taylor Still, who was the first to turn to the hidden reserves of the human body. It is believed that he began his research after his wife and children died from a serious illness, which was incurably available at that time. Andrew Still possessed not only medical education and extensive clinical experience, but also extensive knowledge in the field of anatomy and mechanics, which allowed him to create a medical system based on mechanical effects on various organs and muscles.

Still came up with the idea of ​​self-healing through his deep faith. He believed that God would not put the disease inside the body, and the medicine outside. This is how the concept of osteopathy appeared, presented to the public in 1874 after twenty years of research and the application of Dr. Still in practice. The consequence of his ideas was the idea of ​​the interdependence of structure (anatomy of the body) and function (physiology), that is, the incorrect position and functioning of organs and the disease. Further research and practice proved the correctness of this idea.

The art of osteopathy is based on the sensitivity of the hands of an osteopath and a thorough knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. This is achieved by numerous training and lengthy training. Now osteopathy is used as an independent method of treatment, as well as an additional method of therapy as prescribed by a doctor.

What diseases does osteopathy treat?

Osteopathy is rarely focused on the treatment of a particular disease. The doctor of osteopathy treats the patient completely, aligning certain muscles and organs. At the same time, osteopathic treatment allows you to work with various tissues, regardless of how deep they are. At the moment, osteopathic medicine is used in neurology, traumatology, sports medicine, neoanatology, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics and many other branches of medicine.

The main goal of an osteopath is not only the restoration of impaired body functions in any particular area, but the creation of optimal conditions for self-healing of the body. Of course, this is possible if there are certain resources in the body, so osteopathic treatment is most effective in the early stages of the disease. Each osteopath has certain diagnostic methods that can recognize body dysfunctions, which makes osteopathy very important in the field of disease prevention. And if the process is chronic, then the effect is also effective, but requires a longer treatment.

Who can be treated by an osteopath?

Osteopathic techniques are exclusively manual, and very soft, in contrast to, say, manual therapy. That is why osteopathy is widely used to treat children from the first days of life, pregnant women, adolescents and so on. Osteopathy can also be used for severe pain.

Osteopathy in the world

For 150 years, osteopathy has gained a strong position in the medical world. In the United States, there are about 45 thousand osteopathic doctors, in the UK alone – 23 thousand, in the rest of Europe they are also quite a lot. Osteopathy has existed in Russia for about twenty years, that is, the history of osteopathy is not long at all, but professional osteopathic clinics and experienced doctors have already appeared during this time. Currently, all osteopathic doctors are trained for four years or more. Directions about osteopathy are very diverse.

Contraindications for osteopathic treatment

There is a certain list of general contraindications for osteopathic treatment, however, the variety of modern methods of osteopathic treatment allows us to minimize this list. Experienced specialists in some cases can find methods of osteopathic work even against the background of contraindications. The main contraindications for osteopathy are:

1. Thrombosis
2. Tumors and malignant neoplasms of any localization
3. Severe infections
4. Acute Mental Disorders
5. Tuberculosis in active form
6. Acute cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
7. Syndrome of spinal cord compression
8. Diseases of the brain and spinal cord
9. Bacterial infections in the acute phase
10. Severe osteoporosis
11. Occlusion and thrombosis of the vertebral artery
12. Acute cerebral disciplinary disorders
13. Bleeding and systemic blood diseases
14. Osteomyelitis
15. Acute and subacute inflammatory diseases of the spinal cord and brain, as well as its membranes (myelitis, meningitis)
16. Acute injuries of the skull, spine, bones
17.Cysts of the spine

It is worth noting that the decision on the possibility and advisability of an osteopathic decision must be made by the doctor individually! In each case, these contraindications may be reviewed.

Osteopathy, what is it?

Unlike other methods of physical impact on the human body, osteopathy is one of the mildest and most natural ways to restore health.

It is difficult in a few words to define this area of ​​medicine, since it offers more than five thousand methods.

Generally speaking, when treating osteopathy, work is carried out not only with disorders of the internal organs, but also with the whole body. Such an integrated approach can eliminate both the visible symptoms of the disease and the underlying causes of the disease.

What does an osteopath cure?

Unlike manual therapy, osteopathy is aimed not only at eliminating diseases of the musculoskeletal system, but also at restoring the entire body.

Treatment by an osteopathic doctor is absolutely painless.

Why is osteopathy one of the most effective treatments?

First of all, it is absolutely safe for health, and also does not cause side effects and can also be used to treat people who are contraindicated in other methods. It can help restore the health of pregnant women and women in the postpartum period, newborns, the elderly.

In osteopathy, medication is not used. The effectiveness of the method depends only on the qualifications of the specialist. The European Osteopathic Center employs the best osteopathic doctors in Russia.

The specialist considers the body as a single system, which allows achieving positive results even in cases when it seems that recovery is impossible.

Benefits of Osteopathy

Osteopathy is one of the safest methods of treatment, since there is no intervention in the body through tablets;

Only gentle and soft techniques are used; the ability to avoid surgery. Osteopathy can help with the treatment of varicose veins, spinal diseases, flat feet, and without surgery;

Due to the high level of safety of such a procedure, it is suitable for any age: starting with newborn children and ending with older people;

Solving problems in a short time. The course of osteopathic treatment is only 4 – 8 sessions

  • Headache
  • Pain in the joints
  • Postural disorders
  • Radiculitis
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Cervical pain
  • Intervertebral hernia
  • Spinal injury
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Impaired posture
  • Adhesive process
  • Infertility
  • Hypertonus of the uterus
  • Preparation for childbirth
  • Birth injury in children
  • Insufficient lactation
  • Perinatal Encephalopathy (PEP)
  • Cerebral Palsy (Cerebral Palsy)
  • Unstable psycho-emotional state
  • Biliary Dyskinesia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Enuresis
  • Acute heart failure
  • Chronic cardiovascular failure in the stage of severe decompensation
  • Severe decompensation of chronic diseases of other organs and systems
  • Bleeding, hemophilia, vascular thrombosis
  • Acute infectious diseases, including open tuberculosis
  • Acute cerebrospinal and cerebrospinal circulatory disorders
  • Systemic blood diseases and malignant neoplasms
  • Pathological brittle bones, pronounced osteoporosis
  • Acute and subacute inflammatory and infectious diseases of the brain and spinal cord and its membranes
  • Fresh traumatic injuries of bones and joints, spine and skull, internal organs
  • Severe intracranial hypertension (decompensation stage)
  • Acute mental disorders

Osteopathy, what is it?

Osteopathy, what is it? – This is a modern drug-free, non-traumatic method for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the mobility of organs and tissues. This branch of medicine has long been considered an alternative to the classical methods of treating diseases, but having proved its effectiveness, it has taken a worthy place among innovative methods of treatment. Osteopathy considers the disease as a consequence of impaired mobility in the musculoskeletal system, visceral organs or craniosacral system. Restriction of mobility in osteopathy is called restriction or somatic dysfunction. Their reasons may be the following factors:

  • physical (various injuries),
  • psychosomatic
  • chemical (intoxication, improper medication, malnutrition).

Osteopathy: what is it that heals, benefits

  • osteopathic treatment is amenable not only to diseases of the joints, nervous system and spine, but also chronic pathologies of the visceral system;
  • the highest accuracy of osteopathic diagnosis, which is based on the determination of displacements of muscle and bone tension, disturbance of the rhythm of movements of visceral organs, tension of tendons and fascial membranes;
  • doctors primarily use mild and safe methods of exposure, which allows such treatment to be prescribed to a wide range of patients;
  • an experienced osteopath will be able to establish the root cause of the disease, which will allow you to choose the most effective treatment regimen;
  • osteopathic treatment as a whole favorably affects the whole body;
  • the result of treatment can be felt after the first procedure;
  • In osteopathy, a huge range of techniques has been developed, which allows you to choose an individual treatment regimen.

Osteopathy: differences from other methods of manual exposure

Osteopathy should not be confused with other methods of manual exposure such as manual therapy, massage, bone marrow and others. As for bone marrow, then it means a folk technique for straightening bones. It is usually carried out by people without an appropriate medical education, whose ideas about human anatomy are very conditional, and the methods are unsafe and traumatic.

Manual therapy uses a lot of techniques similar to osteopathic techniques. The main difference between these sections of medicine is that manual therapy pays more attention to joints and the spine, ignores the work with internal organs. Manual treatment is usually aimed at eliminating the manifestations of the disease, and not at identifying and eliminating the cause of the disease, so it gives a temporary effect. In addition, manual therapy is usually very painful and traumatic.

The principles of osteopathy that heals

The body is a single system. In osteopathy, humans are considered in the context of the unity of three systems: musculoskeletal (limbs, spine, muscles, ligaments, fascia, joints), neurovegetative (central and peripheral nervous systems, hormones, internal glands) and neuropsychic (reflexes and body reactions to mental and social irritants, as well as emotional stress). The slightest disruption of one system entails a failure in the rest. In this regard, in osteopathy, the disease is considered as a lesion of the whole organism, and not one or more organs.

A structure can control a function and vice versa. This rule in osteopathy is interpreted as follows: if the relative position of body tissues is not disturbed in the human body, there is no displacement of organs or vertebrae, then it will fully function. Any changes like circulatory disorders or movement restrictions lead to illness. Timely and adequate osteopathic treatment will restore the normal structure of organs and tissues.

Life is motion. The proper functioning of human tissues, cells and organs is possible only in the case of free movement of blood and lymph. Impaired mobility leads to problems with the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Therefore, the main task of osteopathy is to restore the mobility of organs and tissues of the body.

Osteopathy: what is it, indications and contraindications

Osteopathic treatment can be effective in eliminating a huge number of diseases. Such treatment is indicated in the presence of pain in the back and joints of various etiologies: neuralgia, radiculitis, osteochondrosis, problems with the cervical spine, hernia. Osteopathy is also indicated for disorders of posture, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, hypertension, epilepsy, headache, dizziness, respiratory system diseases, birth injuries, the consequences of surgical interventions, and frequent ENT diseases. Osteopathic treatment has also shown its effectiveness in preparing for childbirth (eliminating pain in the back and legs).

There are a number of contraindications in which osteopathic treatment is not recommended. These include bleeding, acute mental disorders, tuberculosis, blood diseases, spinal injuries and head injuries (especially in the acute period), circulatory disorders in the brain and spinal strokes. There are also a number of relative contraindications in which osteopathic therapy may be possible: acute renal failure, diabetes mellitus, gallstone and urolithiasis.

Diagnosis in osteopathy

An osteopathic session begins with the diagnosis of the patient, which involves the collection of complaints and medical history, familiarization with the data of instrumental studies (x-rays, brain MRI) and laboratory tests. The doctor also performs an osteopathic examination. Based on the data obtained, it can be concluded with respect to the cause that caused the disease, the most significant functional impairment, the general level of the organism’s reactivity and its ability to self-repair.

General osteopathic examination involves a thorough examination of the patient in a standing position, sitting and lying down. In addition, palpation of muscle tone, global active tests (flexion, extensia, lateroflexion), osteopathic listening, three-volume test (lower abdominal, subphrenic, thoracic), cervical translation of the cervical spine, assessment of visceral mass mobility, respiratory impulse and cardiac impulse are also performed.

What can osteopathy treat?

Based on the patient’s complaints, medical history, results of somatic and osteopathic examination and other diagnostic data, the doctor draws up an individual treatment plan for the patient. In osteopathy, it is customary to distinguish three areas that specialize in the treatment of various diseases:

  • structural osteopathy addresses the problems of the musculoskeletal system,
  • visceral is aimed at treating disorders of the internal organs,
  • cranio-sacral solves the problems of correlation of bone structures of the skull, spine and pelvis, normalizes the functioning of the central and autonomic nervous system.

Depending on the specifics of the disease, the osteopath uses the following techniques in his work:

  • Mobilization and articulation techniques. During their conduct, the doctor makes rhythmic movements in the area of ​​physiological mobility of the joints. Using these techniques, it is possible to relax the periarticular muscles, open the joint capsule, remove tension, put the joint in a normal position.
  • Muscle energy techniques. They provide an alternate combination of tension and relaxation of the muscles surrounding the blocked joint. Thus, the doctor acts on the internal and sigmental systems of muscle regulation, due to which their relaxation is achieved. Also, through tendon tension, it is possible to pull the joints into a normal position.
  • General osteopathic techniques. The osteopath performs circular movements in the peripheral joints of the body, which contribute to the relaxation of periarticular transverse fascial attachments. Osteopathic techniques also include traction, vibration, stretching.
  • Muscle-fascial techniques. When performing these techniques, osteopaths remove tissue tension, restore mobility and tone to organs, and normalize anatomical relationships in joints. When an osteopath performs muscular-fascial techniques, no pronounced movements and clicks occur. However, there are a lot of positive effects inside the body – as the body relaxes, severe pain passes, and the movements gradually become unlimited and light. Gradually, warmth appears under the doctor’s hands as tissue blood flow is restored. After the procedure, the work of the stomach, gall bladder, intestines is activated.
Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.