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Osteopathic Medicine

Physician treating woman with osteopathy

The philosophy of Osteopathy is that the neuromusculoskeletal system is not independent from the visceral organs of the body (ie: lungs, liver, and heart) or with any functions of life that the body provides (ie. respiration, circulation, and digestion). The neuro-musculoskeletal system is composed of the nerves, muscles, and skeleton of the human body, and the interaction of these components that allow us to function on a daily basis. There is a relationship between the neuro-musculoskeletal system and the rest of the body through the vast network of neurovascular pathways.

Dr. Dave looks at patients in a truly “whole-person” fashion. He uses a combination of hands on musculoskeletal manipulation, conventional and integrative medicine, acupuncture and other proven modalities that aid in patient healing. Many non-musculoskeletal problems may be part of the same condition, exacerbate the condition, or have caused the condition to which the patient seeks treatment, and the opposite applies.

Some of the precepts of osteopathy are:

  • The body is a unit

  • Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated

  • The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms

  • The body has the inherent capacity to defend itself and repair itself

  • When normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self-maintenance, disease may ensue

  • Movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health

  • The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body

  • There are somatic (musculoskeletal) components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease but also are factor that contribute to the maintenance of the diseased state

Osteopathy was started by Andrew Taylor Still an allopathic physician (M.D.) that learned through musculoskeletal manipulation he could cure his headaches and help his patients in ways that conventional medicine could not. On June 22, 1874, osteopathic medicine was born.

During the initial Osteopathic evaluation, Dr. Dave spends a great deal of time looking at the entire patient doing a complete general medical history, and a detailed exam that looks at overall posture, body symmetry, tissue texture, range of motion, muscle tone, quality of strength, spinal and joint alignment. Neurological testing, and a specific survey of any pertinent organ systems are used to make the proper diagnosis.


As an Osteopathic physician, Dr. Dave realizes that the source of pain may not be the initial source of the problem. For example, upper back or neck pain may be related by a misalignment in the pelvic or lumbar region, etc. Osteopathic physicians define a dysfunction as an impaired or altered region of the body and the related components to that region. A dysfunction can affect a region of the body above or below that dysfunction. What may be thought to be a chronic lower “bad back” may actually be a symptom of another musculoskeletal dysfunction or a visceral dysfunction.

Based on the findings of the exam, Dr. Dave may order additional testing including blood work, x-rays, MRIs, Cat Scans, etc. He uses a referral network of specialists to work concurrently on certain cases; neurologists, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists and podiatrists. Dr. Dave works with the patient’s primary physicians striving to keep the line of communication open.

Dr. Dave uses “hands-on medicine” to treat the body helping the patient to recover from the problem causing the pain and dysfunction. His treatment modalities include soft tissues treatments known as muscle energy, counter strain, myofascial release, facilitated positional release, and cranial osteopathy, as well as articulatory techniques. All these techniques restore bone alignment, attain proper joint positioning and posture, and relieve musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Through an ongoing process of exploration and utilization of osteopathic treatment, customized treatment modalities have been created. Dr. Dave use other modalities when necessary including, trigger point injections, medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers.

Dr. Dave addresses nutritional, occupational, ergonomic and lifestyle issues with patients that contribute to their conditions or limit recovery, and discusses measures to prevent future problems. Through evaluation, consultation and education, he empowers patients to accelerate recovery on their own by supplying stretches, strengthening and postural retraining exercises. Dr. Dave uses a referral network of physical therapists when necessary, working together to construct a tailored treatment plan. When indicated, orthotic devices are recommended to patients.

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