Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) and Osteopathy
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or pain in the musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back.
MSDs can arise from a sudden exertion (e.g., lifting a heavy object), or they can arise from making the same motions repeatedly repetitive strain, or from repeated exposure to force, vibration, or awkward posture.
Here is what the scientific literature has to say.
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders: the epidemiologic evidence and the debate. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology – Punnett L & Wegman DH
“Thus there is an international near-consensus that musculoskeletal disorders are causally related to occupational ergonomic stressors, such as repetitive and stereotyped motions, forceful exertions, non-neutral postures, vibration, and combinations of these exposures.”
MSDs can affect many different parts of the body including upper and lower back, neck, shoulders and extremities (arms, legs, feet, and hands).
Common MusculoSkeletal Disorders include:
- Numbness / Tingling
- Digital Neuritis
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
- Trigger Finger
Osteopathy and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Osteopathy was established by Dr. A.T. Still in the late 1800s in the USA, based on drugless, manual techniques applied to the whole body to treat pain, injury and disease. It is a natural, safe, gentle approach to health care. The frequency of recommended treatments is based on your assesment.
SOFT TISSUE MANIPULATION
Soft tissue manipulation can be used in many different ways. This method is used to evaluate the condition of tissues, ease restrictions, help the body’s fluids (blood, lymph, etc.) flow smoothly and restore function. Optimal neuro-vascular flow helps to reduce harmful fluid retention and allows the body’s immune system to work more effectively. Throughout the treatment, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will continuously check on the state of the body’s tissues. The goal is to gently guide the tissue back to health without over-treating.
As the gentlest osteopathic technique, Cranial Osteopathy is also one of the most significant. It is used to assess and treat the mobility of the skull and its contents. It may also be used to assess and treat the spine, sacrum and other parts of the body. The goal of this technique is to adjust the body’s physiology by restoring balance and optimal neuro-vascular flow surrounding the Central Nervous System and all of its autonomic centers. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners achieve this by treating the body’s inherent biorhythm. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners trained in this technique can feel this rhythm in the patient’s head, spinal cord, and in the sacrum and the rest of the body.
OSTEOPATHIC ARTICULAR TECHNIQUE
The osteopathic articular technique, involving gently moving two joint surfaces, is used to reduce muscle spasms, ease neurological irritations, assist in joint mobility and help reduce pain and discomfort. It is a less forceful technique than joint manipulation. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will carefully prepare the soft tissues around the treatment area, positioning the patient so that there is minimal (if any) force needed to perform the maneuver.
Visceral Manipulation is used to effectively treat organs and viscera of the body, including the lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, pancreas, intestines, the bladder and the uterus. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners will gently move the structures themselves and the fascia that surrounds them to restore full movement. Applied with gentle pressure, visceral manipulation corrections can improve the mobility of an organ, improve neuro-vascular flow surrounding the organ and ultimately help maximize organ function.