Treatment Philosophy

osteopathic doctor

Osteopathic Doctor in Chapel Hill NC

Some physicians may oversimplify the cause of a patient’s pain. However, pain is rarely ever that straightforward. This is why patients may still suffer from back pain even after having a herniated disc surgically removed. In truth, the body’s musculoskeletal system is very complex and is constantly adjusting itself to provide stability and function. Often, the area that is painful is not the root problem. Imagine two individuals carrying a heavy object. If one should drop the object, it will be the other person who suffers when trying to compensate. Likewise, if your pelvis is dysfunctional, it will be your lower back, hips, and knees that hurt as they try to compensate. Over time, these areas will become dysfunctional too, leading to a cycle of pain and decreased function. However, if all efforts are spent to fix the knee pain, for example, and the pelvis is never addressed, then the treatment will just be temporary. Conversely, if the pelvis is addressed in a timely manner, the hips, knees, and back may resolve on their own.

As an osteopathic doctor in musculoskeletal medicine, Dr. Hennenhoefer is trained to identify the true problem areas in order to relieve the discomfort the patient may be feeling elsewhere. Using hands-on osteopathic manipulation, he can affect muscles, joints, nerves, and fascia to re-balance and correct these problem areas. Returning to the above analogy, the goal is not to help the struggling person trying to hold up the heavy load, but rather convince the other individual to pick their end back up. In this way, we can offer treatment for your pain rather than just temporary relief.

One of the biggest differences between osteopathic musculoskeletal treatment and other therapies is that one is a treatment whereas the other is a therapy. A treatment aims to resolve a problem, while therapies are often meant to address the symptoms of a problem. So if you are requiring monthly (or more) therapy sessions to stay pain-free and functional, consider an evaluation from a highly trained and qualified osteopathic doctor and a musculoskeletal specialist to see if your problem can be treated rather than just managed.

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