Q: What is osteopathic manipulation and how can it help my pet?
Osteopathy was developed in 1874 by Andrew Still MD, DO. He was one of the founders of Baker University and lived near Baldwin City, Kansas. Dr. Still founded the College of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri.
Osteopathy is a gentle hands-on technique in which the aim is to return the body to balance. If one area of the body is restricted, the rest of the body compensates and adapts, which can lead to inflammation, pain, and stiffness among other things. Therefore, a restriction in one area will lead to dysfunction in other areas. Returning the body to balance will allow it to heal itself. Osteopathic manipulations affect vessels, nerves, lymph, fascia, muscles, organs and bones.
When treating a pet, one looks for the area of greatest restriction and returns this area to function, then finds other areas of dysfunction to treat.
Dr. Ricki Brozman uses this therapeutic approach and has found it helpful in treating lameness, back pain, neck pain, body stiffness, and emotional problems, among many other conditions.