The philosophy of osteopathy justifies that the function and structure of the body work together to achieve integrated function. The mechanism behind the theory is that if the problem occurs in the musculoskeletal system, it can affect the other organ of the body which is “somato-visceral reflex” or any changes in the body organs can affect the musculoskeletal tissue and intervertebral joint motion which is “viscera-somatic reflex.” Therefore, any abnormality in the neuromusculoskeletal system and organs is considered as an osteopathic lesion or somatic dysfunction. Manual osteopath looks for these osteopathic lesions which are useful in physical diagnosis before initiating the treatment.
Manual osteopathy uses subtle hands-on techniques such as palpation and static joint play to examine any restrictions, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, and range of motion in the body. The treatment offered by manual osteopath is soft tissue therapy; osteoarticular joint mobilization techniques; cranial; and visceral therapy which is considered four pillars of the manual osteopathy. Manual therapy focus on bones, muscles, organs, and joints to help the patients in reducing pain, muscle tension, and improve the flexibility, range of motion, and overall balancing of the body. It also improves the blood flow to the affected area and stimulates hormones such as endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine which relieves the stress and helps the patients to heal faster. Some of the conditions that manual osteopath deals with are: