Osteopathic Manipulation: Drug-Free Relief for Joint and Muscle Pain

At Santa Cruz Osteopathic in Capitola, California, osteopathic physician Richard Bernstein, DO, specializes in providing the kind of integrative, whole-person care for joint and muscle pain that delivers real and lasting relief. 

As an osteopathic manual medicine practitioner, Dr. Bernstein considers osteopathic manipulation to be an invaluable component of his holistic care approach. Here’s how it can help you attain sustainable, drug-free relief from chronic joint and muscle pain. 

The osteopathic approach to pain

Whether it’s a symptom of osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disorder, or an overuse injury like tendonitis, chronic joint and muscle pain is a common complaint, especially among aging adults. 

Even if it’s relatively mild, persistent joint and muscle pain can be exhausting to live with every day, particularly if it limits your range of motion or interferes with your mobility. 

Pain medication can be helpful sometimes, but it isn’t a safe or viable long-term solution, and it certainly won’t provide the kind of lasting relief you really want. For that, you have to get to the underlying cause of your pain and address it head on. 

The osteopathic approach to pain views the basic principles of modern medicine through a “whole-person” lens. This wider view of your health recognizes that your body is made up of many interrelated systems, and that those systems have a natural tendency toward health and self-healing. 

The osteopathic care approach can be understood through its basic tenets, which state that: 

Backed by the latest health information as well as the most recent medical advancements, the osteopathic approach aims to help your body heal itself and reach its maximum potential to keep you as healthy as possible. 

Osteopathic manipulation explained

On top of their conventional medical training, osteopathic physicians also go through intensive training on the musculoskeletal system, which is the interconnected system of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves that makes up two-thirds of your body mass.

This extensive knowledge of human anatomy gives osteopathic physicians exacting insight into how an injury or illness in one part of your body can affect another area of your body. 

It’s also what allows them to apply their holistic care approach through osteopathic manipulation, sometimes called osteopathic manual treatment or manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT is the hands-on therapeutic application of manual pressure or force to address structural problems that lead to dysfunction and pain. 

Dr. Bernstein uses hands-on OMT techniques to assess the impact that an injury or illness may have on the rest of your body. He also uses OMT to help correct any problems or structural restrictions in your bones, joints, muscles, and other soft tissues that are contributing to your pain problem.   

To address joint and muscle pain, Dr. Bernstein may apply light pressure, gentle resistance, or passive stretching; whatever the combination of techniques he uses happens to be, he aims to decrease tightness, reduce restriction, restore structural balance, and alleviate discomfort. 

Much like chiropractic care and therapeutic massage, OMT uses a vast range of manipulative methods to encourage your body’s natural tendency toward self-healing. OMT may be used to complement conventional care solutions like medication or surgery, or it may replace them all together.

Your osteopathic treatment plan

By embracing your body’s innate ability to heal itself with gentle care and the right support, OMT can help you heal a painful sports injury, put an end to chronic lower back pain, prolong the need for joint replacement surgery, or even get lasting, drug-free relief from debilitating arthritis pain.

As a physical medicine and pain rehabilitation expert, Dr. Bernstein partners with his patients to develop an individualized treatment approach that’s holistic and effective.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits of osteopathic care and OMT, our team at Santa Cruz Osteopathic can help. Call 831-316-1493 to reach our office today, or click the online tool to book an appointment with Dr. Bernstein any time.

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