What is an Osteopath?

A fully licensed and trained Osteopath is a valuable member of the medical community that specializes in manipulating and stretching the musculoskeletal system of the human body. It’s an amazing practice that does not involve the use of pharmaceutical drugs or other potentially harmful treatments but instead focuses more on incorporating massages and stretching into a holistic practice to achieve results for their patients.

There are more than 140,000 registered Osteopaths in the United States and according to the American Association of Osteopaths of Osteopathic Medicine almost a quarter of all graduates from medical school are trained in osteopathic techniques. (1)

Osteopathy is a patient focused medical practice that treats the patient in a holistic manner that incorporates all medical knowledge in order to accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments.


They are qualified to administer drugs when needed and may even be trained to conduct surgeries although in their osteopathic capacities they primarily use massage, exercise and the whole range of less invasive medical knowledge to treat their patients. One of the essential elements of osteopathic therapy is that the doctor will always seek to work in conjunction with their patient to get the best outcomes.

It is a holistic form of medicine that sees the human body as one connected whole which can benefit the most by being treated as a single harmonious entity. The osteopathic doctor is highly trained in communication skills that allows them to work well with their patient so that together they can handle many conditions with as few unwanted side effects as is safely possible.

The Origins of Osteopathy

Osteopathy was first founded in the later part of the 1800s by Andrew Taylor Swift, a medical doctor in Kirksville, Missouri, who became aware that the healing practices of the day were often more harmful than they were beneficial to his patients. To counteract this, he began to create a complete system of medical care that would help the body to heal by using its own functions and mechanisms instead of relying solely on surgery or drug interventions. (2)

How Do I Find a Practitioner?

Finding an osteopathic doctor can be the difference between regaining your health and continuing to suffer. Working in unison with your osteopathic doctor gives you a great chance of recovering quickly and without the negative side effects of non-holistic medical treatments.

Without the correct knowledge it can be hard to find an osteopathic physician near you even in the United States. Osteopaths work in primary care and all areas of the medical field however they do not always practice osteopathy within their daily consultations, so you do need to find an actively practicing osteopath rather than just somebody who has been trained in the field.

You may be asking how you find an osteopathic physician in the USA but there are some great resources that you can use to find the help you need in your area, no matter where you are!

An they may be referred to as a ‘D.O’, a doctor of osteopathy, which may help you to be aware of in your search. You can ask your local practitioner if they are trained in osteopathy or if they are aware of any in your area. This is certainly one route to finding an osteopath near you however there are also useful online resources that you can look towards to help you find the medical services that you need.


How Can I Find A  Doctor Near Me

  • Yelp. This commonly used site to find services in your area can be used to find osteopathic doctors near you.
  • Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. This purpose-built website specializes in helping you find the osteopathic treatments you can benefit from in your area. Simply put your Zip Code, City or State into the search bar and you’ll be shown a whole list of the registered osteopathic professionals near you.

What is the difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor?

Although it may seem a little confusing to most people there is a major difference between an osteopath and a chiropractor. A chiropractor primary focus can be with the joints and spine, and injuries associated with that, and they mainly use manipulative therapies to treat conditions.Also there is never any medicine associated with the Chiropractic treatment. The Chiropractor believes in treating from inside out and letting the body heal itself once the subluxation/ blockage is released. Whereas the osteopath incorporates this into their practice the use of medicine. The osteopath is fundamentally a holistic physician.

Chiropractors are excellent physicians and their skills should not be overlooked, however a well trained osteopath is an invaluable ally for anyone in the fight against disease and ill health of all kinds. The osteopath takes a broad view of a medical situation and will work with you to achieve the outcomes that you most need even if it involves prescriptions of medication.

What is an Osteopath Best For and What Do They Treat?

Osteopaths take a holistic approach to your health care but they particularly specialize and have the best results in the following areas :

  • Helping improve the mobility of joints, including arthritis, aches and pains.
  • Improving the blood flow around your body which has a huge range of health benefits.
  • Helping you to heal and recover after injury, surgery or following an illness.
  • Helping you to relieve muscle pains and strains. (3)

They help a wide range of people who are suffering from many different kinds of conditions. Many people who have health conditions related to their work or life situations seek out this non invasive healing technique to improve the quality of their lives and their overall wellbeing.

People who commonly seek help from an osteopath include those with:

  • Chronic back pains.
  • Neck pains and aches.
  • A whole range of sports injuries.
  • Joint pains and aches that are caused by driving, work related duties and even pregnancy.
  • Shoulder injuries.
  • Those suffering with arthritis and other age related conditions.
  • People recovering from surgeries.

Osteopathy and your Health

Incorporating holistic forms of medicine into your health care regime can have amazing results for your overall wellbeing. Osteopathic treatment helps to provide you with long term health solutions that can be combined with other treatments and are not invasive and do not rely on strong drugs or chemicals.


Osteopathy is becoming more and more popular all the time as people learn about its amazing capabilities to heal people with a broad range of medical conditions and complaints.

References :
  1. American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, URL : https://www.aacom.org/become-a-doctor/about-osteopathic-medicine
  2. Institute of Osteopathy, URL : https://www.iosteopathy.org/the-io/history-of-osteopathy/#:~:text=Osteopathy%20was%20founded%20in%20the,body%20should%20work%20together%20harmoniously.
  3. National Health Service, URL : https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteopathy/
  4. Image by jarmon_88 from Pixabay

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