Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Archive for the ‘Osteopathic Manual Therapy’ Category

Osteopathic Manual Therapy

Friday, March 4th, 2011


Osteopathy is a holistic medical treatment modality developed by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. in the Midwestern United States at the end of the 19th Century. Osteopathy emphasizes the role of the framework of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease, including the connective tissue that supports all organs and tissues.

Dr. Still promoted the concepts that body structure and body function are intimately related and that the body is an integrated unit of mind, body, and spirit.

Balanced alignment of the body assists the inherent self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms of the body by allowing the blood to nourish the tissues and waste products to be removed, in addition to promoting optimal nervous system function and assisting free and efficient movement.

Structural imbalances are too often undiagnosed even though they are common causes of pain, restricted movement, feeling unwell, and eventually even disease. Physicians familiar with the relationship between body structure and function are often able to go beyond treating symptoms and managing disease by treating the root causes of health problems.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy

By using treatments that focus on the inherent health and self-correcting mechanisms to guide treatment, Dr. Hoch finds his patients are often able to obtain lasting results without ongoing visits. Dr. Hoch uses a variety of gentle techniques to help the body align itself, including:

  • Myofascial release to correct tension, laxity, or displacement of fascia, the web of connective tissue surrounding and connecting organs and the musculoskeletal system 
  • Cranial osteopathy to support normal cerebrospinal fluid flow and nervous system health and optimal functioning of the head and neck
  • Visceral osteopathy to assist health and function of the internal organs

Dr. Hoch counsels patients re: posture, diet, exercise, etc., to help them maximize their health and treatment benefits. His goal in using osteopathic treatment is simple: to help patients be able to do activities comfortably.

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy is based on perceiving and working with the inherent mobility in the brain, spinal cord, skull, and surrounding tissues, all of which are subjected to subtle cranial pulsations or rhythms.
Imbalances in cerebrospinal fluid flow, tension in the nervous system, and misalignments in the skull, face, and spine can be relieved and balance restored through gentle manipulation of the skull.

The subtle cranial rhythms in cranial osteopathy were discovered by Dr. Still’s student William Garner Sutherland, D.O. more than 100 years ago. The presence of these rhythms has since been validated by several scientific methodologies. The cranial osteopathic method is now used around the world. 

Conditions Treated

Back pain
   ~ motor vehicle, falls, sports injuries,  sprains, healing after fractures
Neck pain
Pain syndromes
Plantar fasciitis/Heel spurs
Rib pain 
Temperomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
Tension headaches

The following conditions are treated when a structural component is found on exam:

Asthma/Breathing problems
Facial pain
Gallbladder problems
Menstrual cramps
Migraine headaches 
Recurrent ear infections in children

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