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Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic Medicine

A.T. Still-Founder of Osteopathy

Osteopathy or Osteopathic Medicine is the philosophy and approach to the human body which recognizes the integration of mind, body and soul.  You are more than the sum of your body parts, so why shouldn’t you be seen by a Physician who understands this?  Osteopathic Physicians understand how the body systems are interconnected and how they affect one another.  Paying particular attention to the musculoskeletal system, which reflects and influences the condition of all other body systems, the Osteopathic Physician uses Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) to relieve pain, discomfort, and help your body heal more efficiently.

What does an Osteopathic Treatment consists of? Does it hurt?

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment consists of two parts; the structural exam and Osteopathic treatment.  Typically, your first visit is a review of your medical history, medications, allergies, etc. after which your Osteopathic Physician will perform a structural exam, which is an assessment of your posture, balance, spine, muscles, joints, and ligaments.  Through extensive training in manipulative medicine, your Osteopathic Physician can detect changes in the way your body feels; the bones, muscles, ligaments, etc. Once the structural exam is complete, a collaborative treatment plan is established.  Using a variety of techniques, your Osteopathic Physician will address the changes found on physical exam and apply specific corrective measures to relieve the areas of joint restriction and tension.  Osteopathic techniques are a gentle adjustment, however some patients experience a clicking sensation which is rarely painful.

What is the difference between Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy?

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF) is an expansion of the traditional Osteopathy philosophy and approach founded by Dr. Andrew Still.  It arose out of the clinical research by Dr. William Sutherland.  This form of Osteopathic Manipulation utilizes the inherent motion and mobility of the cranial (head) bones and sacrum (tailbone).

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field or Cranial Osteopathy is the application of the Osteopathic approach to the structures of the head.  It is an expanded portion of traditional Osteopathy and is only practiced by an Osteopathic Physician, trained in all aspects of Medicine and Surgery.  Craniosacral Therapy describes the philosophy and approach of Dr. John Upledger, who teaches this modality to many non-physicians.

What is the difference between Osteopathic Medicine and Chiropractic?

Although many Chiropractors relieve such ailments as low back pain and headaches, there are distinct differences between the two professions.  To begin, Osteopathic Physicians (DOs) are fully licensed Physicians having graduated from an accredited Osteopathic Medical College and fulfilling all requirements for unrestricted medical practice and licensure.  Osteopathic Physicians are found within all specialty fields of Medicine and Surgery.

Although the majority of Osteopathic Physicians are Family Doctors, many are Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Emergency Department Doctors, Cardiologists, or other medical specialists.  Osteopathic Physicians are required to complete an internship and residency which varies between 3-8 years depending upon the area of specialization.  Osteopathic Physicians perform surgery, prescribe medication, and order diagnostic testing when necessary and appropriate.  Speaking specifically of the manipulative component, unlike Chiropractic which focuses mainly on spinal manipulation, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine includes all parts of the body; spine, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, from head to toe.

Osteopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, and Insurance

Typically, there are no insurance reimbursement issues with Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment as it is one of the many procedures provided by physicians. As with all procedures, please review your individual policy for the details of your coverage.

Learn more

For additional resources on Osteopathic Medicine, please visit:

Village Osteopath
15510 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 491-5272
(317) 324-3183 (fax)