Osteopathic treatment, also called osteopathic neuromuscular therapy, is a form of alternative health care and pseudo-medicine that emphasizes the movement, structure, and dynamics of the skeletal system. Elementary Health offers excellent info on this. Practitioners of osteopathy are often referred to as osteopaths, because their training is based on the study of the skeletal system. The medical term for osteopathy is histology. Its origin stems from Ancient Greek words that meant “soft bone” and “receptive to heat”. Osteopathy has been used to treat low back pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), head aches, sports injuries, and many other conditions.
Osteopathic therapy provides a non-invasive, holistic approach to the management of pain, disease, and other biological conditions that are associated with aging. A wide range of modalities are used in the treatment of patients with varying complaints. One of the most common treatments is the adjustment and manipulation of the skeletal system. Specific areas of the face and neck can be treated using techniques such as radiography, Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. This process improves the quality and function of the soft tissues around the joints, increasing the range of motion of bones and joints and opening affected nerves to increased blood and nutrient flow. This leads to an increase in energy and vitality.
The benefits of osteopathic treatment for TMD include an increased ability to maintain mobility and reduce stiffness while reducing pain. There have been relatively few studies evaluating osteopathic treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). Three small trials have reported better outcomes for patients than have traditional care. Most of these trials involved using manual therapy. Three trials that reported outcomes showed a statistically significant difference between treatments, however.