Osteopathy is a hands-on health care discipline that is gentle and noninvasive. It has been proven to relieve pain, improve joint mobility and increase overall movement. In addition to alleviating chronic problems, osteopathic treatment can also help with acute conditions such as back pain and migraines.
Osteopathic manipulation, or OMT, is a system of manual techniques that osteopathic physicians (DOs) use to assess and treat illness or injury. These manual techniques involve stretching, resistance, and gentle pressure using fingers, arms and hands. They are used for musculoskeletal conditions, such as low back pain and neck pain; fibromyalgia; temporomandibular disorder (TMD), including jaw pain and headaches; arthritic joints; sinusitis; ear infections; infant colic; and a range of other illnesses and injuries.
Andrew Taylor Still believed that structural problems in the spine send abnormal signals to organs throughout the body, leading to disease and illness. He developed osteopathic manipulation techniques to correct these spinal problems and to return the proper messages to the organs.
During the rib raising technique, the osteopathic physician has the patient in a supine position and positions their hands at the rib angles to gain proximity to the thoracic chain ganglia. With the patient’s permission, the osteopathic physician gently lifts or pushes on the soft tissue to appreciate the motion of the ribs.
Research shows that cranial osteopathy, in particular, has helped patients with concussion symptoms. It has also been shown to improve the movement of the respiratory diaphragm in healthy subjects.