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Osteopathic Medicine Gaining Acceptance

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There is even more recent evidence that supports osteopathic treatment for lower back pain. A study published in the Nov. 4 issue of TheNew England Journal of Medicine concludes that patients with chronic lower back pain can be treated effectively with manipulation. The study found manipulation to be as effective as other treatments for lower back pain and lower in cost.

During the 12-week study, patients were treated with a variety of accepted treatments for lower back pain such as pain medicine, anti-inflammatory medication, active physical therapy, Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (a device that provides a slight electrical current to an affected area using adhesive pads), and hot/cold packs. All of these forms of treatment, including manipulation, were shown to be effective for treating lower back pain. However, manipulation was associated with lower costs and less medication.

Officials of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) found the study proof of the validity and benefits of manipulation. "This study helps to reinforce what DOs and their patients have known for years," said Eugene A. Oliveri, DO, president of the AOA, in a written statement.

Vital Information:

  • A recent telephone survey of HMO members revealed that the public is not yet familiar with the concept of osteopathic medicine.
  • Osteopathic medicine is similar to traditional, or allopathic, medicine but places a greater emphasis on the role of the musculoskeletal system and normal body mechanics.
  • Studies have shown that osteopathics are especially effective in treating lower back pain, but can do so at a lower cost and using less medication, when compared with other physicians.
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