Osteopathic treatment is used for the purpose of treating and preventing pain and injury in all areas of the skeletal system, which includes the spine, shoulders, elbows, hands, feet, and neck. The theory of osteopathy is that the body has natural systems of connective tissue that allow it to heal itself. Elementary Health has some nice tips on this. Treatments are primarily physical in nature. The pain may be treated with anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and analgesics such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and naproxen sodium, which can be obtained over the counter at most pharmacies. In more severe cases, narcotic pain relievers may be prescribed.
Treatment of fractures, injuries, and joint pain is commonly combined with manual therapy and massage. The use of osteopathic treatment is becoming more widespread as people seek methods of pain relief that do not require the use of prescription and over the counter medications and costly hospitalization. The healing process begins with the identification of an appropriate modality, which may include gentle stretching exercises, ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, light and heat therapy, or a combination of light, heat, and exercise. Specific goals of treatment may include increasing bone strength, increasing flexibility, and increasing joint mobility.
To obtain treatment, a patient must schedule an appointment with an osteopathic physician, who will examine him or her and discuss the symptoms and causes of his or her pain. The doctor will then propose a treatment plan, which will be individualized to meet the needs of each patient. Once treatment is started, the patient should continue to follow the health care plan recommended by his or her osteopathic physician. Patients should check with their health care providers to determine whether the osteopathic treatment they are receiving is keeping them healthy and pain-free.