Most people call their regular doctor when back pain strikes them. According to a Consumer Reports survey, only 34% of respondents were highly satisfied with the treatment they received from primary care physicians for back pain. This type of pain is extremely hard to diagnose and treat; there are many potential causes, and effective treatment usually requires a number of steps that the average medical doctor is not trained to prescribe.
Osteopathic physicians specialize in musculoskeletal disorders but have the same amount of training as M.D.s. They can perform surgery and prescribe medicine as well. The fundamental difference between these two professionals is that medical doctors are trained to treat a wide array of isolated symptoms, whereas osteopathic physicians are trained to look at the body as an interconnected system and focus on causes of pain and dysfunction.
Osteopathic physicians are trained in a diverse spread of treatment techniques, including spinal manipulation and massage. The type of spinal manipulation they practice (osteopathic manipulative treatment) often differs from chiropractic manipulation in the velocity and amplitude of thrusts applied. Their various methods of treatment that fit together to tailor an effective treatment program for each patient. Given their extensive knowledge of soft tissues and the spinal structure, musculoskeletal problems are their specialty.
Some may choose to see an osteopathic physician over a chiropractor because the former are more capable; they can address other health problems beyond the back and spine. They can also prescribe medication if needed to help you through a bout of severe pain or perform surgery in case of emergency. D.O.s can take over the normal roles of a primary care physician while providing extra support in the musculoskeletal area of treatment.
Not all insurance companies cover the cost of osteopathic medicine, and not all D.O.s accept insurance. Talk with your insurance provider (if you have one) and ask D.O.s in your area regarding this issue.
Overall, people who seek treatment from osteopathic physicians tend to spend less money, partly due to lower need for medication. A study was conducted to compare the effects of OMT specifically to standard medical care for lower back pain. Both treatment groups experienced similar pain reduction results, but the OMT group achieved this result at a lower cost. Whereas more than 75% of M.D. visits resulted in prescribed medication, only 30% of D.O. visits did. To know more about this, visit Doctor Tafler doctor osteopathy NY.
Seeing an osteopathic physician increases your chances of receiving effective treatment for the cause of your pain and not just the symptom of pain itself. If you’re suffering from back pain, consider taking advantage of the wealth of musculoskeletal knowledge possessed by doctors of osteopathic medicine.
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