In 1874, Andrew Taylor Still MD DO (1828-1917) founded osteopathic medicine. Dr. Still realized that optimal health requires all the tissues and cells of the body to function together in harmonious motion. He reasoned that disease could have its origins in anatomical deviations from normal no matter how slight they may be. He understood the relationship of the body’s many parts as one functional unit. Keeping this in mind, he then would work to find health by restoring the anatomical deviations back to normal with his hands. Thus Osteopathy was born from the Greek roots ‘osteon’ meaning bone and ‘pathos’ meaning suffering. This was meant to communicate his theory that disease and physiologic dysfunction originated with disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Still used this style of medicine to treat many infectious diseases including meningitis, dysentery, whooping cough, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella as well as many other disease processes. Since then, many osteopathic physicians have worked to fully understand and advance the concepts first taught by Andrew Taylor Still.
An osteopathic physician works with four principles when treating a patient. Those principles are:
- There is a relationship between the body’s structure and function
- The body is a unit with the health of the patient being a combination of mind, body and spirit
- The body has an innate ability to self-regulate and self-heal
- Rational treatment is based on the above three principles
In the United States, osteopathic physicians are fully licensed doctors that can practice all scopes of medicine and have full prescribing rights. In addition, osteopathic physicians can incorporate hands-on manipulative treatment called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT uses a full evaluation of the patient’s structural anatomy in order to come up with a proper treatment plan. OMT is a natural, gentle, painless and non-invasive way of treating many pain conditions as well as other problems. The osteopathic approach offers a different way of looking at the body and what is causing the problems that traditional medicine does not look at. Therefore, an osteopathic physician can work in conjunction to complement your current therapy and when appropriate, replace the use of medications or surgery. At times, osteopathic physicians can have success when traditional treatments have failed. Osteopathic physicians have treated many prominent figures in history including Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, former presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.
Perhaps you are happy treating your pain with whatever treatment method you are doing now. You may be completely happy with your chiropractor, massage therapist, or other bodyworker for your pain relief. Regardless of what you are doing, you should feel like you are improving. Are you getting the same exact treatment each and every time you go to your practitioner with nothing changing overall? Are you waiting for something to change suddenly from getting the same exact treatment? Is this not the definition of “insanity”? Maybe you feel that is the best that can be done for you. Maybe you feel temporary relief is the best there is, but there is more.With osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), each treatment is customized not just from person to person but also from visit to visit. If a treatment is not working, then this means the underlying cause is not being addressed. Osteopathic manipulative treatment should involve evaluating and treating structures that others do not consider or even sometimes know exist to get to the underlying cause. Osteopathic physicians study living dynamic anatomy with their hands every day. They should understand the body better than any other type of practitioner there is. Appropriately performed osteopathic manipulative treatment is used to treat all the tissues of the body from muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons, nerves, joints, bones and more. If you want to experience long lasting pain relief and improved health, then you should try OMT. You would be insane not to.
…I have tried massage and chiropractors – both work well, but nothing, I mean nothing compared to what Dr. Lopez can do. Its different than anything else. I have never felt so good! No pain, no tightness, no pinching. In fact, the next day I didn’t want to move because I feared I might screw things up again for myself…
Anyone can benefit from Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). Osteopathic physicians providing OMT can complement your current therapies and when appropriate, reduce or replace drugs or surgery. Most patients come in for treatment of pain, however, OMT is great for athletes looking to improve athletic performance and stamina by helping their bodies function more efficiently. OMT can also be used to treat a wide spectrum of problems. A small list of things that can be treated:
- Neck and Back Pain
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Traumatic Injury
- Stress related tension and pain
- Chronic Digestive Disorders such as IBS
- Overuse Injuries
- Poor Digestion
- TMJ Disorders
- Chronic Digestive disorders
- Gastric Reflux
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Menstrual Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
Many patients are often having other forms of therapy either for different problems or for the same problem. Sometimes patients simultaneously see a pain specialist, physiatrist, acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapists, etc. Sometimes patients come to osteopathic manipulation specialists as an alternative to the previously mentioned practitioners. In appropriate situations, OMT can stand alone as its own therapy. In other situations, OMT can complement your current therapy and can help make it more effective.
Dr. Lopez can provide an invoice with billing codes for patients to submit to their insurance carriers for reimbursement if they wish. Dr. Lopez is not in-network for any insurances and has no control or involvement over reimbursement by your insurance company.
At this time, we do not bill insurance companies directly nor are we responsible for how much, if any, is reimbursed by your insurance carrier. Each patient is responsible for all charges incurred during each visit. Other arrangements for payment need to be made with the office prior to the first visit.
Each problem and each individual is different so really it is difficult and often impossible to say how many appointments will be needed. Generally the patient will know after four visits (or commonly much sooner) if this is an approach that they will benefit from. If there has been no benefit at all at this time, then Dr. Lopez will discuss other options to pursue and not recommend further treatments.
Many patients want to know how they should expect to feel after they have had osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). This is a difficult question to answer because everyone comes in with different problems and different body types. In this article I will describe the most common ways people feel immediately after and a day or two after OMT from Dr. Lopez. Every osteopathic practitioner has different styles so responses vary. Immediately after a treatment, there is also a wide range of ways people can feel from “no change” to “completely better.”The most common responses that patients describe after OMT is feeling “light,” “floating,” “relaxed,” “limber,” “open,” and other similar feelings. This is a result of a powerful endorphin release that has taken place when the appropriate pains and tensions have been released. Patients should not drive immediately after feeling like this. Other times, patients feel a significant improvement in their pain if they did not get full resolution immediately after OMT. Rarely, patients will not feel different or only a small change. The reasons for this can vary but if a patient does not have any response after a few visits, then it may warrant further workup. It is a normal response for patients to experience things still “shifting and changing” for several days after osteopathic manipulative treatment. Generally, the OMT works by starting the healing process in the body and then the treatment may continue to work for several days or even weeks after the visit. Therefore, sometimes those who did not experience a significant change immediately after the OMT, experience a delayed response. In addition, it can also be a normal response to experience soreness ranging from mild to intense for a day or two after the visit. Although most patients do not describe it, soreness is common as the body adapts and adjusts to the changes that have taken place. Even a “flare up” of symptoms can be a normal experience although this is not very common, it does happen after OMT. I believe this type of response is more common with aggressive treatments involving thrusting, which I generally do not use. I generally advise my patients to drink a lot of water for the next 24 hours after OMT to ensure that the body is properly hydrated. This may enhance the body’s ability to “flush out” any toxins released and may help prevent the soreness experienced after OMT. It is important to allow your body to fully assimilate the changes that have taken place after OMT. Your osteopathic practitioner may recommend returning in a week or two, on average, to give your body enough time for the OMT to finish doing its work. If you experience any adverse effects from the treatment, please let your osteopathic practitioner. They can help determine what the next course of action should be.
Dr Lopez relieved the pain and tension in my neck with just a couple treatments. I had been experiencing tightness in my upper shoulders for years and after just a couple treatments with him that tension had reduced drastically. He also showed me techniques I could do myself to help if I was unable to see him. I highly recommend him to anyone suffering from any types of chronic pain. Ugochi A.