Treatment Philosophy

osteopathic doctor

Osteopathic Doctor in Chapel Hill NC

Some physicians may oversimplify the cause of a patient’s pain. But pain is rarely straightforward. For example, 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. It 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 person drops the object, it is the other one who suffers when trying to compensate. Likewise, if your pelvis is dysfunctional, it is your lower back, hips, and knees that hurt as they try to compensate. Over time, these areas become dysfunctional too, leading to a cycle of pain and decreased function. But if all efforts are spent to fix the knee pain, 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 specializing in musculoskeletal medicine, Dr. Hennenhoefer is trained to identify the true problem areas to relieve the discomfort patients feel elsewhere. Using hands-on osteopathic manipulation (OMT), 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 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 OMT is a treatment whereas the others are therapies. 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 musculoskeletal specialist to see if your problem can be treated rather than just managed.

Schedule an Appointment