OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE APPLICATIONS IN ATHLETES
GATA Spor Hekimliği Anabilim Dalı, Etlik, Ankara
Keywords: Sports injuries, osteopathy, manipulation
Osteopathic medicine is among the fastest-growing sectors of health care. From its beginning, it has undertaken an active role in promoting athletic participation at all levels, as a means of healthy lifestyle. Its role in athletes may be of particular importance for performance improvement, prevention of and recovery from injury, and ultimately for successful competition outcomes. It is projected that by 2020, approximately 100,000 physicians of osteopathic medicine will be practicing in the United States. Despite its growing popularity, osteopathic medicine is not as widely understood as traditional medicine, also known as allopathic medicine. Manipulation, a component of osteopathic medicine, is often a subject of debate, especially concerning evidence-based medicine. Questions as such are raised: What is the purpose of osteopathic manipulation? Who would benefit from it? What harm may cause the practice? This article attempts to answer these questions by discussing the philosophy of osteopathic medicine, to delineate the differences between osteopathic physicians and other performers of manual medicine, by reviewing some of the current literature. The article particularly focuses on the use of manipulation in the athletic setting. Implementation of osteopathic principles and practices, which may include manual medicine, can then be applied to aid in the prevention of or recovery from illnesses or sports injuries.