Follow us


How osteopathy can help reduce chronic pain


Osteopathy is a therapeutic approach that has proven effective in the treatment of chronic pain. With a holistic approach and a variety of techniques, osteopaths focus on the underlying cause of suffering to reduce it and improve patients' quality of life.

Through this excursus we will explore the fundamental principles of osteopathy, the different techniques used and the scientific evidence that demonstrates its effectiveness in the treatment of chronically ill patients. We will also discover the additional benefits that osteopathy can offer for the general well-being of patients suffering from this debilitating condition.

Osteopathy as a therapeutic approach for chronic pain

Osteopathy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the connection between structure and function of the human body. Osteopaths believe that the body has an innate ability to heal itself and that chronic pain can be the result of a disturbance in the natural balance within the musculoskeletal system. The main objective of this discipline is to restore balance and promote optimal flow of blood, lymph and cerebrospinal fluid through the body.

One of the fundamental principles of this discipline is the holistic approach. Osteopaths don't just treat the symptom of distress, but instead try to identify the underlying causes that bring about it. For example, if a patient suffers from ongoing back pain, the osteopath might evaluate the posture, biomechanics and mobility of different body structures, such as the spine, joints and surrounding muscles. This comprehensive approach allows osteopaths to identify dysfunctions and apply the most appropriate treatment techniques to alleviate persistent suffering.


The fundamental principles of osteopathy and its holistic approach to pain management

Osteopathy is based on four fundamental principles: the body is a dynamic unit, structure influences function, self-healing is possible, and treatment focuses on the patient as a whole. These principles guide osteopathy's holistic approach to the treatment of chronic pain.

The first principle, which states that our organism is a dynamic unit, emphasizes the importance of considering the body as a whole rather than focusing only on the site of suffering. For example, if a patient is experiencing twinges in the knee, the osteopath might evaluate the entire lower limb, including the foot, ankle, lower leg, and thigh, as dysfunction in any of these areas could be affecting the knee.

The second principle highlights the importance of structure in determining function. Dysfunctions of body structures, such as poor posture or limited joint mobility, can lead to muscle imbalances and chronic tension, contributing to persistent spasms. Osteopaths use their hands to identify these dysfunctions and apply targeted treatment techniques to restore normal body function.

The third principle emphasizes the ability to self-heal. Osteopaths believe that the body has innate resources to heal if given the right environment. Osteopaths work to remove obstacles that prevent the body from healing itself and support the self-healing process.

Finally, the fourth principle emphasizes the importance of focusing treatment on the patient as a whole. Osteopaths take into account multiple factors, such as lifestyle, emotional stress and nutrition, as these can affect patients' overall health and irreversible disease.

The different techniques used in osteopathy to reduce chronic pain

Osteopaths use a variety of techniques to treat lifelong physical afflictions. Some of the more common techniques include:

  • Osteopathic manipulation: This technique involves the application of precise and controlled force to restore joint mobility and relieve muscle tension.
  • Myofascial release techniques: These techniques involve manipulating the fasciae, the connective tissues that wrap around muscles, to release tension and improve flexibility.
  • Craniosacral Technique: This technique focuses on the craniosacral system, which includes the skull, spine, and sacrum. Through gentle pressure and manipulation, osteopaths seek to restore balance and improve CSF flow.
  • Visceral therapy: This technique focuses on treating the bowels and related connective tissues to improve their function and relieve persistent spasms related to gastrointestinal, endocrine, or urinary problems.
  • Stretching techniques and therapeutic exercises: Osteopaths can recommend specific exercises and stretching programs to improve muscle strength, flexibility and balance.

Studies and research demonstrating the effectiveness of osteopathy in the treatment of chronic pain

Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of osteopathic treatments in the treatment of persistent pain. For example, a study published in the Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy analyzed the outcomes of 455 patients with chronic neck pain and showed that specific osteopathic treatment led to significant pain reduction and improvements in function and quality of life.

Another study conducted at the University of Turin examined the effectiveness of osteopathy in the treatment of chronic low back pain. The results demonstrated that osteopathic treatment led to a significant reduction in spasms and improvements in the patients' physical function, psychological well-being and sleep quality.

The results of these and other researches support the effectiveness of osteopathy in the treatment of chronic pain, providing a viable treatment option for patients seeking lasting relief.

The additional benefits in improving the quality of life of patients

In addition to pain relief, osteopathy offers a number of additional benefits for patients suffering from chronic pain. Patient counseling and education are essential components of osteopathic treatment. Osteopaths explain to patients the potential causes of their pain, help them understand their bodies, and provide advice and strategies to prevent future recurrences.

Furthermore, osteopathy aims to improve the quality of life as a whole. Osteopaths work to improve patients' general mobility, psychological well-being, sleep, energy balance, and functional capacity. By applying specific techniques and identifying dysfunctions in the body, osteopathic practitioners help restore balance and promote a better quality of life for patients with chronic pain.

Osteopathy as a therapeutic option for the incurably ill

This practice has proven to be an effective therapeutic option for the treatment of persistent suffering. Thanks to its holistic approach and the various techniques used, it aims to identify and treat the underlying causes of the disease to reduce it and improve the quality of life of patients. Numerous scientific studies confirm the effectiveness of osteopathy in the treatment of persistent pain, providing a valid alternative to traditional pharmacological approaches.

Article written with the collaboration of the osteopath Francesco Conton

Riproduzione riservata © - WT