Each osteopath has a very personal relationship to the patient and therefore each diagnosis is unique and individual. Whatever these differences, life is complex and difference is rewarding: «Those highly focused on Science increase the inability to think what is global, connected, complex. Science ignores the complexity of reality.» Edgar Morin, directeur de recherche au CNRS
Osteopathy is concerned with mobility restrictions and their correction. This approach, codified by Still is not so recent:« It is necessary to have a solid knowledge of the spine, because many diseases are actually caused by a defective condition of the body » HIPPOCRATE De Articulis §45.
Restrictions on mobility, or osteopathic dysfunctions are the result of existing neurological disorders The nervous system, that great messenger, which affects all the tissues of an organism, is obviously the key to try to understand how all the symptoms associated with osteopathic lesion can interact and especially how osteopathic manipulation can work?
How can articular disruption (bone and soft tissue) that can affect locally and remotely, be connected with other pathological factors, be positively identified and corrected by osteopathic manipulation and, thus, all associated disturbances?
For a physiologist, it seems reasonable to assume that resistance to movement that characterizes the osteopathic dysfunction of a joint, is the product of the action of one or more of the muscles that move the joint in question. Muscle tissues not only activate the movement but are also the shock absorbers, this antagonistic role is what makes the movement smooth!
These two functions of creation and absorption of energy are based on the same cellular mechanism, that of contraction. The diagnosis is based on osteopathic research of facilitation or restriction of mobility: it is in its braking functions that the muscle can become the major and highly variable in mobility in the joints :
1.in structural techniques, mobility and amplitude are important criteria.
2.In the functional techniques,the emphasis is on ease of movement, and resistance to movement in the injured "métamère" appears to vary in an exponential manner, this resistance in a normal "métamère" changes in a linear fashion. The restriction in the joints found in dysfunction is active opposition or protest against physiological muscle movement direction, and the ease or fluency is a cooperation and a tender muscle in the opposite direction. The muscular strength is not due to a phenomenon of inextensibility or dislocation as viscoelastic ligaments, but to changes in the degree of activation and deactivation of contractile machinery, ie the degree of muscle contraction .
The functional techniques work in the direction of ease of movement ,bringing closer the muscle insertions, reducing tension and muscle length. The disparity between intra-and extrafusal fibers is reduced and the movement is done slowly as opposed to the triggering accident, the CNS has time to adjust the level of gamma activity by reducing the frequency of discharge and the muscle can regain its neutral position. Joint compression is relieved by the same methods. The treatment should take into account all the bodily disorders , the emotional and visceral, the sensitivity of each one, use it in fact, the neuro-motor re-education or proprioceptive if necessary, correction of a faulty diet, dental rebalancing, shoeing...
Returning to the CNS :in fact, the spinal cord does not read the signals individually, but seems rather to deal with complex signals that are presented collectively and from thousands of items of information. The Spinal cord is in a facilitating state when the information is contradictory, signals are unintelligible (a kind of seasickness): the highly sensitive receptors signal falsely that the muscle is stretched almost to the maximum, while it is actually shortened. The spinal cord segment is disturbed and becomes disruptive to any physiological activity in which it participates. Manipulation restores the sensitive function properly allowing the segment to operate smoothly. The hyper-sympathetic nerve activity induces an increase in the centripetal(towards the CNS) discharge , facilitating the automatic maintenance of the vicious circle of osteopathic dysfunction.
Life is not composed of visceral functions, we are not peristalting, we are not vasodilatating… activity starts to move all or part of the body and the substrate, essential for all these activities is the contraction of skeletal muscles. Life is expressed through processes contractile striated muscle, myriads of carefully controlled movements. Implication in the osteopathic globalist perspective, the musculoskeletal system is the primary machinery of life. The primary biological machinery is directed by the central nervous system that acts on behalf of it, in response to sensory information continues: heterokinesis function. Viscera are concerned about the care and maintenance of this neuro-musculo-skeletal system, providing food, elimination, defense, repair: function homeostasis. The mediator essential for adjustments of the somatic visceral is the sympathetic nervous system, in dependence of the CNS (especially hypothalamus), sensory information and chemical modification of the blood.
Health requires that there be a continuous line between a visceral functions and other applications of the soma and the environment.
Health requires the smooth functioning of our somatic machinery (neuro-musculo-skeletal), which is the source of the majority of sensory information that reaches the spinal cord.
Accordingly, ill health and disease can be attributed to a breakdown in communication between the two main components of the body, the soma and the visceral.
Disorders resulting from such failure can occur in several ways:
the application of the musculoskeletal system is excessive or inappropriate.
When the CNS receives information so senseless so that it can not respond adequately
Where the viscera provide answers inappropriate, inadequate or confusing somatic applications
Tensions, imbalances, which exist in an injured tissue , either a bone, a joint, ligament or muscle is continuously reported to the spinal cord, scrambling the transmission patterns of normal sensory information. The noise associated with that due to nerve irritation pointed out, noting one or more individual segments as well as tissues or organs of the same metamerism. Thus, the function held normaly vertically in the marrow becomes clearly affected on a horizontal level (facilitated level ) and the clinical disorder should be seen in cross section.
The tissus are offended or offensive, changes are detectable on the surface of the body: muscle tension, tissue texture, function and visceral circulatory, secretory function ... all of which is an integral part of osteopathic diagnosis.
The osteopath searches for signs, restrictions of mobility, muscle tension, changes of tissue and vascular disorders associated with visceral troubles, and uses the musculoskeletal system to break a vicious circle from which the spinal cord is essential.Facilitating spinal level help to understand, by the summation of multiple stimuli, a "blocking" does not happen by chance: the region has long been prepared to react to sudden and excessive trigger even something altogether more benign . (the step, the little slip ...) everything is an interdependent phenomenon of what precedes it.