& Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
is a specialty of medicine which is nationally accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. Doctors in this specialty are trained to diagnose and treat problems and dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal system. This is done through hands-on osteopathic diagnosis and treatment. This treatment is called Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment:
Doctors of Osteopathy, or D.O.s, are trained in OMT, or Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. OMT is a way of treating problems in the body by using the hands in a therapeutic way.
D.O.s find tension in the soft tissues, and bones and joints which are out of alignment. They then use OMT to correct the joint misalignments and reduce soft tissue tension. Removing these problems can relieve pain. It can also help the body maintain health, and prevent future problems.
Dr. Kirsch uses a variety of OMT techniques which are very comfortable for the patient. He gently corrects bone and joint misalignments wherever indicated. He also releases tension from the soft tissues of the body.
Dr. Kirsch believes that to treat the soft tissues, as well as the bones and joints of the skeletal system together, is the key to long lasting good results for the patient.
OMT Types Used by Dr. Kirsch:
Myofascial Release puts a joint into a position of ease, to relax the tissues around that joint. After a successful treatment, alignment and mobility are improved.
Soft Tissue includes stretching, kneading, and inhibition. These techniques use pressure over the soft tissues to encourage relaxation.
Muscle Energy uses the patient's muscle strength to release tension, and increase the range of motion of a joint.
Combined Technique invloves indirect positioning of a dysfunctional joint, followed by direct mobilization to improve the restriction of motion.
Jones Strain/Counterstrain positions the body in order to remove tender points. This causes tissues to relax, and can relieve pain and spasm.
Cranial Osteopathy involves light-touch manipulation, working to improve circulation and fluid balance to and from the cranium, as well as balance tension in the membranous structures of the cranium, called dura.
History of Osteopathic Medicine:
Osteopathic Medicine, or Osteopathy, was founded by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. over a century ago. Dr. Still was a medical doctor who served in the civil war for the North. He discovered that correcting problems in the musculoskeletal system greatly improved the health of his patients. He worked many years to develop his system of diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, and called it Osteopathy. Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892.
In the last century, Osteopathy has grown from an idea in the mind of one man, to become a nationwide system of medicine recognized internationally. Today osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice in all 50 states, Canada, and Great Britain. There are 21 accredited osteopathic medical schools in the United States, including one, and soon to be 2, in Arizona, and more schools are being planned.
D.O.s practice in all specialties of medicine and surgery, and work along side M.D.s, as family physicians, surgeons, or OBGYN doctors. D.O.s also serve as physicians in the armed forces. Many D.O.s use OMT in their practices, and some, like Dr. Kirsch, have made it their specialty.
1. The body is a unit, and all regions and systems of the body affect one another. One result of this is that structural or functional problems in one area can cause pain or restriction in another area.
2. Structure and function are interrelated. This means that misalignments in the body cause functional problems. For example, whiplash of the neck can cause decreased fluid drainage from the head, which could lead to sinus congestion.
3. The body has self-regulating, self-healing mechanisms. These mechanisms rely on well-functioning body systems, including the immune, circulatory, and nervous systems. And these systems are affected by the condition of the musculoskeletal system.
4. Any good osteopathic treatment plan must take into account these principles. It is the osteopath's job to remove restrictions to the functioning of the self-healing systems of the body, by correcting dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal system.