Fibromyalgia syndrome can be a very difficult illness to manage and treat. Accompanied by numerous symptoms, ranging from fatigue to debilitating muscle pain, fibromyalgia sufferers often have to look for a number of different treatments before they experience any relief.
If you are currently suffering from the syndrome, you may want to look into finding an osteopath to help treat your symptoms. Osteopaths provide unique and effective treatments that are associated with few side effects. They may be able to relieve your fibromyalgia pain quickly and effectively.
What is an Osteopath?
Is osteopathic medicine also osteopathy? The terms can be a bit confusing.
In Europe, an osteopath is trained in the field of osteopathic medicine, receiving a bachelor or masters degree known as a Diploma of Osteopathy. Often known as a D.O. (doctor of osteopathy), osteopaths follow a different approach to general medicine. They believe in the body’s ability to heal itself.
Through manipulations, these practitioners can help to relieve unpleasant symptoms and stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. Osteopaths see the body as being interconnected; the organs, muscles, nerves, and bones all connect to make a system, known as the musculoskeletal system. By making adjustments in the musculoskeletal system, osteopaths can encourage overall healing and treatment.
What is an Osteopathic Physician?
Now let’s look at the United States. Like family physicians and surgeons, osteopathic physicians are qualified medical doctors. They are licensed by state and specialist boards and must complete rigorous exams before they can practice. Doctors of osteopathic medicine have completed years of education and training, including:
- a four-year undergraduate degree in science
- four years of medical school
- 300-500 extra hours of training in the musculoskeletal system known as OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment)
Osteopathic physicians are certified to write prescriptions and perform minor surgeries.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopaths and osteopathic physicians engage in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of different medical conditions. Their primary method of practice is known as Osteopathic Manual Manipulation (OMM). OMM works to remove obstructions in the musculoskeletal system, allowing the body to heal itself of disease and illness. It involves manual palpation of the body’s muscles, nerves, bones, and tissues and may include practices such as:
- joint manipulation
- craniosacral therapy
- soft tissue manipulation
- trigger point release
- spinal manipulation
What conditions can they treat?
They can treat a variety of medical conditions, including:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- back pain
- neck pain
- temporomandibular joint disorder
- sinus problems
Can they help your fibromyalgia?
They can help to ease many of your fibromyalgia symptoms, particularly fatigue, muscle pain, and chronic headaches. They can also help to:
- increase flexibility
- improve range of motion
- relieve joint pain
They are also very helpful when it comes to diagnosing fibromyalgia syndrome. Because of the hands on treatment techniques, they can easily identify tender points around the body, and other fibromyalgia signs.
What To Expect
On your first visit, you can expect her to take your full medical history. This will include details of past illnesses as well current physical and psychological symptoms. You can also expect her to perform a complete physical exam that will probably focus on your musculoskeletal system. You may be asked to sit down, lie down, stand up, or walk across the room while your osteopath assesses your flexibility, reflexes, and posture.
Treatment will probably involve physical manipulation of some type. You will be asked to lie down on a examination table and your osteopath will palpate your legs, arms, and back. He may rotate your limbs or stretch your muscles. During treatment, you may feel deeply relaxed or experience tingling sensations.
Finding an Osteopath
You can find a licensed osteopath in your area by contacting the American Osteopathic Association. Alternatively, you can contact a local hospital for a recommended osteopathic physician.