Chronic pain is complicated. Sometimes there is no understandable cause of chronic pain, yet the pain and suffering are real. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners have a more holistic approach to pain relief that can provide relief when more traditional approaches do not.
Pain treatment in traditional western medicine is very mechanistic. It views the body as a machine. When there is pain, it is because there is an injury, so the injury and the nerves affected by the injury are the focus of treatment. When injuries heal but pain remains, the typical western medical approach is to provide anti-inflammatories and/or painkillers to provide relief. This approach does not necessarily impact the underlying issues and can lead to patients being reliant on pain management drugs for an extended period of time. This can take a physical and financial toll on patients.
Osteopathy views a person as a single unit comprised of body, mind, and spirit. In the osteopathic perspective, one needs to treat the whole person. Instead of viewing the body as a machine, osteopathy looks at pain as the result of complex interactions between physical factors as well as psychological and social factors, also referred to as the “biopsychosocial” approach. The perception of pain is not merely a response to physical injury, but is also related to the patient’s own emotional framework as well as their physical and social environments. An Osteopathic Manual Practitioner works to build a trusting relationship with their patient to help understand if there are other non-physical factors that could be contributing to their chronic pain condition. This allows the practitioner to develop a more comprehensive pain management and reduction plan to help their patient find relief.
You will find that a visit to an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner will include osteopathic manipulative treatments (OMT), the hands-on procedures a practitioner will use to manipulate muscles, joints, and other tissues. In addition, you’ll probably also be asked questions pertaining to topics such as your eating habits and diet, sleep habits, exercise routines, work culture, and your family life. This more holistic approach is designed to help discover issues that could be impeding your recovery. When there are non-physical issues that could be contributing to chronic pain, your Osteopathic Manual Practitioner will suggest alternate forms of treatment working with other healthcare professionals to come up with appropriate treatment strategies.
Reducing and eliminating chronic pain is possible. An Osteopathic Manual Practitioner takes a holistic view of you, your body, and your life to help your body heal and provide relief from your pain symptoms. While this approach differs from traditional western medical treatment, you may find it a better fit and more effective in helping you achieve a pain-free life.