Medical Definition of Osteopathy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Osteopathy: A system of therapy founded in the 19th century that is based on the concept that the body can formulate its own remedies against diseases when its parts are in a normal structural relationship, it has a normal environment, and it enjoys good nutrition. Although osteopathy takes a holistic approach to medical care, it also embraces modern medical knowledge, including use of medication, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy when warranted. Osteopathy is particularly concerned with maintaining correct relationships between bones, muscles, and connective tissues. The practice of osteopathy often includes chiropractic-like adjustments of skeletal structures. Craniosacral therapy, a practice in which the bones and tissues of the head and neck are manipulated, also arose in osteopathy.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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