"What is different about osteopathic treatment?"
Osteopaths are often confused with other MSK professionals because they use the body to administer treatment. But, the reality is that treatment is only a tiny part of the osteopathic process.
Osteopaths do not see a patient with an injury.
They see (as examples):
An animal in pain.
An animal whose 5 Freedoms are not being met.
A fractious relationship with the owner.
A stressed animal who needs help.
Additionally, an osteopath will thoroughly evaluate the animal’s body from a musculoskeletal and neurological perspective, listening to the tissues and watching the animal’s response.
The osteopath will also evaluate the environment and ask many questions to ascertain the contributing and maintaining factors of the case. Only in this way can they get a complete picture.
The findings are identified, acknowledged and considered when developing the treatment and management plan to ensure long-term improvement.
And, after all this, sometimes the osteopath doesn’t treat at all!
They may instead decide to change the environment, educate the owner, refer, or recommend training before they treat the animal. This is because they know the contributing factors will hinder long-term success if left unaddressed.
That’s why we tell our students, “Set your horse/dog up to succeed”.
To an osteopath, treatment is not about rubbing something better. It is about assessing the animal’s internal and external “health”; seeking the point at which the patient, or its tissues, can bear pressure no more.
When we do this, we design the management plan for long-term success, which benefits the animal and the owner.
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