We will try here to show the basic principles of a great therapeutic methodology, as is Osteopathy. We’ll start by saying that this is not an alternative medicine, or a series of disconnected techniques from a set idea, that can be applied outside an osteopathic overall treatment plan, conceived from a “clinical-functional-osteopathic”.
Therefore, it is a therapeutic discipline and a body of knowledge based on:
- the anatomy and physiology of the human body,
- in the knowledge of how the different tissues involved in the production of the disease and
- the application of normalization techniques altered functions,techniques developed over more than a century of evolution of the discipline (the first school of Osteopathy in 1892 in the U.S.) through the School of Osteopathy or Osteopathic medical schools, depending on the development of discipline in each country.
How does it work?
Self-regulatory mechanisms in the body are insured by the nervous system, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Loss or reduction of these intrinsic mechanisms can lead to disease states. The osteopathic intervention could influence especially in pre-pathological states, in functional disorders phases of initial symptomatic manifestations, but for lack of information or health culture, most of the time patients go to osteopathic treatment in advanced phases of impaired health. In these cases, osteopathy also facilitates self- inherent mechanisms, allowing the body to recover and obtain the normalization of the altered functions, which results in decreased symptoms and reunion with the health condition.
Osteopathy works thus facilitating compliance and self-regulation of any disease organism and do not therefore dependent on external or purely passive solutions, as is the use, sometimes excessive drug. Osteopathy, in a context of holistic approach through global models bio-psycho-social medical, retrieves or promotes homeostasis and mechanical balance of all body tissues musculoskeletal, nervous, visceral, circulatory etc, and does so with applying manual techniques directed to identify the pathological tissues in the osteopathic functional diagnosis.
The osteopathic intervention
takes a functional diagnosis from which uses a set of methods and techniques for therapeutic and / or preventive manually applied on tissues, muscle, connective, nervous etc, obtained directly or reflects physiological reactions balance and normalize the different muscle disorders, musculoskeletal, organic and functional, improve or resolve the clinical state and with special emphasis on its manifestations painful.This is a manual therapy that helps relieve, correct and restore musculoskeletal injuries and organic pathologies. Although osteopathy is related to problems affecting the musculoskeletal system, the fact is that treats the patient globally, as a whole, by restoring the balance disturbed by manual aimed at any of the affected tissues, whether the musculoskeletal, visceral, nervous etc.
Classification of osteopathy
Manual technological development of the osteopathy, when affecting all the tissues, has led to the classification of techniques in several groups depending on which tissues act. So, we talked about:
directed to the musculoskeletal system, where we apply several techniques adapted to each dysfunction, every tissue, every patient, occurring during the treatment session, a steady and continuous analysis by the Osteopath deciding on which technique to apply
designed to act upon the tissues involved in the functions of the viscera, in relation with fibrous membranes, muscles, sliding planes between different organs, blood vessels, nerves, all tissues which ensure the organic operation must be free in its anatomical passageway, which is not always the case and it may be due to adhesions, myofascial contractions hampering the normal mobility of the viscera. Manual techniques help to release visceral interruptions in the flow of motion, giving the body a functional basis more useful, productive and healthy
CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY & CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY
that also act by manual therapy, release and facilitate the micro-mobility of the skull and the entire craniosacral relationship through meningeal membranes and the role of cerebrospinal fluid. Some consequences of postural abnormalities, trauma, muscle imbalances etc, may affect to the cranial nerves, arteries, glands and other tissues, as it passes through cranial or holes inside it, which can cause nerve pain, impaired vision, hearing, alterations of some glandular functions, dizziness, migraines, and even through the autonomic nervous system, digestive, respiratory, vascular etc
During the osteopathic physical examination of the patient, the osteopath assesses the anatomical and functional condition to finding malfunctions in the different tissues, in different systems related to the symptomatology, establishing and correlating potential psycho somatic reflexes, viscera-somatic, etc. For example, a wide dorsal somatic pain or in the arm, may be reflective of a visceral gastrointestinal or cardiac condition, what we try to highlight for the osteopathic diagnosis and thus treat the actual cause of the problem rather both the symptom. As an example, we will tell you, the primary dysfunction or because of all the subsequent mechanical derangement that leads to certain segment to be symptomatic, painful, often placed at this distance and, for this reason, in Osteopathy we treat the painful area and other segments remote chaining causing tensions, joint dysfunction, muscle etc. which that end up overloading the tissue finally presents the painful symptom. Back pain is very common to find that answer a primary cause of a history of ankle injuries poorly resolved. This generates an altered gait biomechanics that ends up overloading the lumbar vertebral level or other, causing pain and functional deficits. An important aspect of the osteopath´s competence, is to establish an osteopathic diagnosis, and a differential diagnosis or assessment of medical competence problems, so that any patient suspected pathology in which osteopathy is not indicated or requires allopathic medical intervention, the patient is oriented to the medical professional to perform the diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This means that complementarity and the interrelationship doctor and osteopath, must be complete to ensure a multidisciplinary approach to the patient.
As indications of Osteopathy and due to little space available, we will focus on the problems mentioned most frequently discussed and expressed generically:
The field of action is geared to all structures of the human body and, in regard to musculoskeletal disorders has important indications that present with pain at the spine (cervical pain, headache, stiff neck, back pain, back pain, sciatica and, in general, home neuralgias vertebral compressive syndromes or peripheral) or costal region and pain in the upper or lower limb (consequence of trauma, sprains, tendinopathies etc).
They also have special indication in syndromes and migraine headaches, dizziness, functional digestive disorders, and equally cardiorespiratory systems, circulatory, gynecological etc. Multitude of disorders related to the temporal-mandibular joint, has an osteopathic treatment indication, so the relationship between the dentist and the osteopath amplifies the results in the treatment of occlusive and dental disorders in general.
In short, any functional problem that affects the muscular or osteo-articular system leads sooner or later, an organic problem, because all organic functions are interrelated. For example, vertebral mechanical dysfunction is an injury with a micromechanical nature that it is self-sustaining, by reflecting, with deep muscle spasms (defense mechanism that triggers the nervous system), often reversible either spontaneously or with an osteopathic manipulation during a treatment session.
The so-called “manual medicine”, Osteopathy and Chiropractic, emerged in the late nineteenth century in the U.S., particularly the American School of Osteopathy was founded in 1892 by the forerunner of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, granting the title of DO ( Doctor of Osteopathy).
In 1962, it was decreed in U.S. equivalence between DO and MD (Doctor of Medicine). In Canada, Japan, Australia, England and countries influenced by Anglo, co-exist Osteopathy officially with other health professions, doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors etc. In Europe, several countries such as France, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, have adopted the independent study format of 4 to 5 years, but coexist with complementary models for doctors and physiotherapists, who perform approximately 1500 h. further training.
The Spanish special circumstance is that in the last twenty years, osteopathy has had great development through curriculum high schools (about 1500 h. System), recognized internationally for its contribution to knowledge and osteopathic science, that support Physiotherapists exclusively, accessing, after five years of training, DO, Osteopathic International Diploma for which should also make a research on high-level scientific methodology.