Heroes of osteopathy: Hands

Last updated date: 09-Nov-2021

Acibadem Atasehir Outpatient Clinic

3 mins read


Osteopathy does not solely focus on the location of pain to investigate the cause of a problem. It strives to solve the problem by detecting the underlying cause.

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy attempts to activate self-healing potential of the body by stimulating proper functioning of locomotor, circulation and nervous systems as well as body organs. Thus, recovery can be ensured. This treatment was first developed by American doctor Andrew Taylor Still approximately 140 years ago. It is widely used in the U.S. and Europe.

Osteopathy is a discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, internal organs, the spine, body membranes, nervous system, and cardiovascular system by ensuring harmonized functioning thereof in order to maintain wellbeing.

Osteopathy is acknowledged as a diagnosis and treatment method by World Health Organization (WHO). Osteopathy is based on principles of anatomy and physiology. All body systems should function in harmony. A malfunction in one of these systems may affect the overall functioning of the body adversely. This causes dysfunctions in the body. Pain develops as a result of these dysfunctions. Attempts are made to detect and treat these dysfunctions.


Differences between osteopathy and physiotherapy

The holistic approach is the major feature of osteopathy that differs from other physiotherapy modalities. In other words, treatment is not solely focused on the location of the pain. For example, lumbar therapies are prioritized, if it is detected that a knee pain originates from the low back. Osteopathy may not be used as commonly as other treatments. Treatment can be planned as 2 to 3 sessions per week depending on complaints of the person, while the interval between sessions may be far longer. Osteopathy is mostly considered for spinal health problems and it does not require the use of a tool. This treatment is based on manipulation – touching with hands. Since hands touch the patient, osteopathy may also offer psychological relief. However, there is another difference: since osteopathic treatment covers holistic and cause-oriented approaches, the risk of relapse is lower.

Who is an osteopath?

An osteopath is a person who studies osteopathy education, which takes 5 years on average, where physiotherapists and medical doctors attend. Osteopathy education is based on principles of anatomy and physiology. An osteopath makes an osteopathic evaluation and treats the dysfunctions through osteopathic techniques. The person is cured by detecting increased tone and dysfunctions in all body tissues. Osteopaths have licensed specialists who use all means of medicine to improve and maintain the harmony between musculoskeletal and nervous systems and between body organs and brain and nervous system to correct the mechanical imbalances.


Which diseases can be treated?

Osteopathy, a holistic treatment modality that uses only hands, can be used for the treatment of many diseases. The treatment is not solely focused on the location of the pain. It is applied depending on the cause of pain. Osteopathy can be used for;

  • Movement, function, gait, posture and coordination disorders,
  • Emotional tension, stress, inability to relax, chronic tiredness and sleep problems,
  • Lumbalgia, dorsalgia, and cervicalgia; problems in muscles of the neck, back, and low back,
  • Migraine and tension-type headaches,
  • Posture disorders, such as scoliosis and kyphosis,
  • Postoperative pain and adhesions,
  • Sports injuries,
  • Supportive treatment for hormonal disorders,
  • Diseases of the circulatory system (blood and lymphatic system)
  • Myofascial pain, such as fibrosis, fibrositis, and fibromyalgia,
  • Supportive treatment for constipation, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, indigestion, flatulence, abdominal pain, and dysfunctions of digestive organs,
  • Swallowing disorders, vomiting, and skull deformities in babies
  • Supportive treatment for allergic and chronic diseases, acute pain syndromes, and rheumatoid diseases.


Other Articles