What is Osteopathic medicine?

WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY? 

Osteopathic medicine is a patient-focused approach to health care that takes into account every aspect of the patient, including his or her physical, personal, and spiritual well-being. Developed more than 130 years ago by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, osteopathic medicine brings a unique philosophy to traditional patient care. Understanding that the body is more than just a sum of its parts, osteopathic physicians (DOs) assist the patient’s innate capacity to heal by addressing the interrelationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and organs. Osteopathic physicians are licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.

Although osteopathic medicine is preferred over osteopathy to refer to the complete system of medical care practiced by DOs in the United States, the American Academy of Osteopathy retains the older nomenclature to remain connected to its history and to connect with clinicians around the world who practice osteopathic manipulation.

What is osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)?

For any medical condition, osteopathic physicians understand that each individual expresses health and disease differently and that the absence of disease does not imply the presence of health. Therefore, osteopathic physicians are trained to recognize changes in body structure that alter function which may contribute to “dis-ease.” In addition to managing medical conditions with pills or surgery, DOs are trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT is the therapeutic application of manual techniques by an osteopathic physician to address the changes in body structure to improve physiologic function.

OMT techniques range from gentle palpation to high-pressure or rapid, forceful manipulation.

Who can benefit from OMT?

People of all ages, from newborns to senior adults, can benefit from osteopathic manipulative treatment. Applying OMT to muscles, joints and other tissues allows the body to achieve a state of health more quickly and easily. OMT can be helpful in a wide range of clinical conditions, from alleviating pain to shortening hospital recovery time, improving childhood asthma and infant colic.

OMT also can help patients with a vast number of other health problems such as:

  • ear and sinus disorders
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • migraines
  • menstrual pain
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • low back pain
     

News

Abstracts for 2017 poster presentation due Jan. 30

The Louisa Burns Osteopathic Research Committee (LBORC) and the National Undergraduate Fellows Association (NUFA) are calling for submissions to their annual Research Poster Presentation. Posters will be displayed in the exhibit hall on Thursday, March 23, and Friday, March 24, during the 2017 Convocation at The Broadmoor.

VA Grants Full Practice Rights to APRNs

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a final rule this week that will provide certain advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with full practice authority within VA facilities. The rule pre-empts state scope of practice laws regulating medical care for services provided as part of an individual’s scope of employment within the VA system. The proposed rule would have allowed full independent practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists; they were removed from the final rule and their practice will remain under physician oversight.

Donate to the PAAO Raffle

The Postgraduate American Academy of Osteopathy (PAAO) needs your help! At the AAO's annual Convocation, the PAAO hosts a mixer for residents. This is an excellent opportunity for residents to network with each other and with potential employers. The raffle that is held during the mixer encourages attendance, helps break the ice and generally keeps things hopping.