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What does an osteopath treat?

What is an osteopath? What does an osteopathic therapist do?


These are the questions that arise among people who are learning about osteopathy as a field of medicine. Osteopathy has been practised since 1874, and still until this time, many patients and even doctors are still unfamiliar with the limitless capabilities osteopathy has. This is largely due to the relatively low numbers of certified osteopaths worldwide, despite the high efficacy of osteopathy. However, the situation is gradually changing for the better. More and more doctors want to master osteopathy and provide qualified assistance to people of different ages.

In Russia these doctors are fully licensed physicians whose official title is: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).


What does a DO treat in adults?

The list of diseases that a DO treats in adults is exceedingly long, including various disorders in almost all human body systems, chronic diseases, and the consequences of various injuries.

Examples include the musculoskeletal system problems, postural disorders, scoliosis, injuries, arthroses, foot deformities, joints’ dysfunctions, and many other cases. The competence of these specialists also includes the corrective treatment of cases like osteochondrosis of the spine due to cartilage damage, herniated intervertebral discs (slipped disc), and peripheral neuropathies like pinched nerves.

The second important group of diseases that are effectively amenable to osteopathic correction are the various neurological disorders. These include carpal tunnel syndrome, piriformis syndrome, intercostal neuralgia, headache, dizziness, sensory disturbance (numbness), torticollis and others.

In addition, an osteopath specialises in the treatment of:

 Moreover, a doctor of osteopathic medicine can speed up the rehabilitation process after surgery, burns, serious inflammation (peritonitis, appendicitis, osteomyelitis) and physical traumas.

One of the main indication for osteopathic treatment is pregnancy. After osteopathic sessions breathing and walking of the pregnant women are being facilitated, legs swelling and constipation are being decreased. The most important result of the osteopathy is reducing the frequency of urgent delivery by caesarean section by 3 times even after just one osteopathic session. It has been proven by scientific research.

Some people wonder if an DO can treat malignant tumours. This disease is not eliminated by an DO, but osteopathy can be useful for reducing pain and treating concomitant diseases, for example, back pain.


What does an OD treat in children?

Even young patients can be treated by an DO. In such cases, the specialist applies soft methods that are aimed at solving certain problems. Among the common diseases osteopathy treats in children, the most common are:

Upon designing a programme for osteopathic treatment, the doctor sets himself the task of restoring blood circulation, improving the mobility of joints and vertebrae, normalising the work of internal organs, and eliminating organ dysfunction. At the same time, after completing the course, other positive changes are noted - the child's posture improves, sleep and even the emotional state normalise.

In conclusion, an DO treats many diseases in patients of different ages, but not all diseases can be completely eliminated. In some cases, the goal will be to completely restore health, and in others, the specialist will help relieve the main symptoms of the disease, achieve long-term remission, and improve the overall quality of human life.


Does an DO only rely on osteopathy methodologies without using other medical approaches?

Most often, it is optimal to use an integrated approach. It depends on each case, so we give detailed recommendations to everyone who seeks an DO in our clinic. The preparation of the treatment programme and the determination of the prognosis are carried out after consulting a specialist.

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