Osteopathic Malpractice

Osteopathy, often grouped in the field of alternative medicine, focuses on the interdependent relationship between the function and structure of the body. Osteopaths, osteopathy practitioners, believe in the body’s ability to heal itself. These practitioners believe it is their role to facilitate that healing ability. This medical philosophy teaches that “the body is a unit” and can heal itself if given the right circumstances. 

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) are fully licensed medical physicians and surgeons, practicing in all clinical specialties along with their M.D. colleagues. Just like Mds, DOs practice the full scope of medicine, but with an emphasis on the role of the neuromusculoskeletal system. DOs practicing in primary care, pediatrics, family, or internal medicine, are trained to have a more empathetic approach to patient care, which has awarded them some level of distinction from MD’s outside the United States. Osteopathic physicians receive additional coursework specializing in osteopathic education. The therapeutic interventions of osteopaths range from purely traditional medicine to a purely osteopathic approach. The latter utilize tissue techniques to assist with digestion, breathing, and nerve concerns and refer to themselves as “traditionalists”.

Physical or manual treatment carried out by DOs is referred to as Osteopathic Manual Medicine or Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (both abbreviated OMM). OMM is the resolution of somatic (of the body) issues to assist the self-regulation of the body. There are various techniques applied to the musculoskeletal system as OMM. These are normally employed together with dietary, postural, and occupational advice, as well as counseling to help patients recover from illness and injury, and to minimize pain and disease. 

There is little evidence that osteopathic methodology is effective, making these individuals at high risk for not treating symptoms with the appropriate medical interventions. In some cases, instead of normal medical testing, some osteopaths will only examine “living anatomy”. This refers to: examination of the texture and motion of tissues, monitoring the body’s fluid activity, and the patient’s structural makeup. The main goal of the osteopath is to assist the body in returning to a state of normalcy by conventional and nonconventional means. They are trained to specifically impact the lymphatic, circulatory, and nervous systems in a positive way. 

If an osteopath neglects other medical interventions, this can cause unnecessary discomfort and possibly a lack of diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Life threatening illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, need prompt and timely treatment. Treating the patient holistically is completely appropriate, but if necessary emergency treatment is delayed or avoided it could result in medical negligence. 

If you or a loved one has suffered negligence at the hand of an osteopathic physician, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. If we decide to accept your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or fund recovery made on your behalf.