Lower Back Pain
The osteopathic physicians, using osteopathic manipulation, are especially well-equipped in diagnosing and treating problems of the low back because of their understanding of the intricate functional anatomy of the lumbar spine and its role and relations throughout the body.
Osteopaths have the advantage here as they combine knowing all that the MD knows plus osteopathic structural diagnosis and osteopathic manipulation. This additional knowledge entails an understanding of the intricacies of the spinal anatomy, particularly the inextricable awareness of the interrelations of the related structures. Our approach many times has prevented our patients from undergoing unnecessary aggressive treatments such as epidural steroid injections, decompressive surgery, and spinal fusion- not to mention the costs in terms of pain, lost time, dealing with insurance companies to get approval for coverage, and money.
As a transitional zone connecting the head to the thorax the neck plays a complex role. It must at once allow for dramatic and precise motion while also maintaining adequate protection for the spinal cord, nerves, vasculature, airway, and esophagus. Because of its unique approach to diagnosis and treatment of specific body components in the context of their anatomic and functional relationships, osteopathic manipulative medicine can offer pain relief where other treatment modalities fail.
Although these broad categories represent markedly different disease processes, from an osteopathic perspective they all, to varying degrees, involve the motion of the cranium (or its restriction) and fluid exchange (or its restriction). It is the osteopathic understanding of the motion of the cranial bones and membranous structures, as well as the postural dynamics that influence such motion, that inform the osteopath’s ability to influence this motion with precise, gentle manipulative techniques. Patients who come to us with headaches that have been unsuccessfully treated with medications, or with headaches that have been labeled as “idiopathic”, often find relief with osteopathic treatment. Such treatment is sometimes referred to as osteopathy in the cranial field or cranial osteopathy.