If you have been referred to a doctor of osteopathy for an injury sustained on the job, it is important to know what to expect from your visit. This type of physician is often referred to as a DO and this niche medical field involves the practice of osteopathic medicine which focuses on the musculoskeletal system. It involves the treatment and healing of a patient by focusing on the entire body rather than just one individual part or system. Using a hands-on approach, these doctors will practice treatments to ensure all parts of the body are moving freely, allowing each system to work effectively. A DO has a highly developed sense of touch which provides key insight into the inner workings of the human body including the texture and motion of body tissues and the fluid flow throughout the systems.
At your first appointment, the DO will need to discuss with you a full medical history. They will focus on your history of previous episodes of pain as well as your current injury. Previous trauma from accidents or medical conditions will be important to your present treatment so it may be worthwhile to write down any episodes of pain or injury from previous years for a proper evaluation.
The DO may require some basic testing to be completed including urine tests or blood work. Imaging procedures including CT scans and x-rays may also be necessary. During the examination, the DO will assess your entire body structure including your spine, muscles, your balance, and how you walk. They will use a hands-on approach for the testing to get a true feel for your body as a whole.
The DO will look for specific regions of the body that are not functioning properly and recommend a plan of treatment for healing. The treatment options may including medication, manipulative therapy, or even corrective surgery depending on the injury. Many patients will need to undergo follow up treatments with the DO to reduce pain levels and improve functionality and range of motion in the injured areas as well as the body as a whole.