Chronic pain, and especially back pain, is the number one complaint that leads patients to the offices of osteopathic physicians. Unlike medical doctors who focus predominantly on the symptoms and treatment thereof, the doctor of osteopathy is likely to dig deeper to see if the root cause of the back pain can be discovered and treated. The treatment options do not usually depend heavily on pain medication but instead focus primarily on musculoskeletal manipulation of the patients body, thus seeking to induce self healing.
The ultimate goal is the eradication of the pain itself, but in so doing the recurrence of the pain is also stymied. Patients must understand that this form of treatment likely requires a number of treatments that translate into office visits, and therefore the patient must be willing to bear the financial burden of the copayments most likely associated with these doctors visits. Additionally, patients must be weaned away from the philosophy of doctor healings and instead recognize that they play a vital art in the healing of their own bodies.
To this end, doctors of osteopathy prescribe exercise regimens, breathing exercises, and also nutritional supplementation as well as adaptation, especially if the patient is obese and the added weight factors into the back pain. This holistic approach is a far cry from the pharmaceutically driven approach that most patients are accustomed to, and those who have a hard time letting go of this philosophy will find it hard to continue on with the treatments when the osteopathic approach fails you yield measurable results virtually immediately.
Patients who are still not entirely certain that overcoming back pain with osteopathy is the best idea possible will be wise to remember that the root cause of such pain is usually found in an inappropriate compression of the spine in an area that directly affects the nerves. As the nerves are signaling to the brain that there is a compression taking place, the spinal cord will transmit these impulses and will continue to do so until the compression is relieved or the spinal cord is temporarily numbed. The former is accomplished with musculoskeletal manipulation while the latter of course points to medication.
The compression is eased not only by the manipulation of the spine, but also but also by freeing the facet joints which thus far have lacked the mobility inherent to them. This is done over the course of several treatment sessions as each appointment offers just a small increase in the range of motion. It is unreasonable to expect a significant easing of the vertebrae pain immediately since the applied pressure would soon turn into pain itself.
Instead, the goal of the osteopathic treatment must rest in the gradual achieving of the pain relief and the decompression of the spine in the process. The patients will help the D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) to accomplish the final goal of being pain free by adhering meticulously to the exercise regimen and also nutritional changes drafted and adjusted during office visits.
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