Safety and efficacy of osteopathic medicine

Safety and efficacy of osteopathic medicine is not self evident. Apparently we need validated research to demonstrate what is already empirically obvious. The regulatory environment has become so paranoid that osteopaths are no longer allowed to advertise either the safety and efficacy of osteopathic medicine – there are after all no dedicated safety or efficacy studies.

Mountains of case and clinical studies as well as a substantial research literature exploring the biological mechanisms and effects of osteopathic manual therapy are not sufficient to claim either safety of efficacy. Osteopaths acknowledge that such studies cannot encompass the spectrum of manual approaches, practitioners and idiosyncratic patient responses. This logic applies to anything anyone does – clinical or otherwise. Manual medicine is not amenable to the logic or methodology of pharmacology where both efficacy and safety are easily measured

It is sad and amusing that many global health insurers are not insuring adverse treatment responses or medical mishap. Strange times indeed when regulators and professional boards imagine they are protecting a supposedly naive and vulnerable public from  predatory and unscrupulous osteopaths who as a profession have one of the lowest rates of adverse treatment outcomes.

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