An Osteopractor is a physical therapist or medical doctor that has completed an evidence-based post-graduate training program in the use of spinal and extremity high-velocity low-amplitude thrust manipulation, dry needling, instrument-assisted manual therapies, and differential diagnostics for the management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Osteopractic Physical Therapy is an approach to care, a sub-specialty within physical therapy, and more accurately describes the kind of physical therapy services (rather than simply “physical therapy”) offered so the public, potential patients and colleagues alike, can identify the appropriate practitioner of choice for the condition in question.
When you break a bone, you look for an orthopedist, not just a general medical doctor. When you have a skin condition, you go to the dermatologist. When your child needs medical care, you look for a pediatrician, not just a general medical doctor. Likewise, when you have neck pain, low back pain, headaches, tennis elbow, heel pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, shoulder impingement, or joint pain etc., it makes sense to look for a specialist within physical therapy, i.e. an Osteopractic Physical Therapist or Osteopractor, not a generalist, that is specifically trained and has advanced post-graduate qualifications to treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Osteo- orginates from the Greek osteon (“bone”) and –practor orginates from the Greek praktikos (“to practice, do, or perform”). Although the term osteopractor literally translates to “bone practitioner”, the most recent evidence-based practice guidelines for musculoskeletal disorders clearly supports a “multi-modal” approach; therefore, in addition to the joints (i.e. the bones), the direct treatment of myofascial trigger points, tendons, ligaments and fascia (all connected to the bones…) is certainly recognized within the osteopractic approach for optimal patient management. Likewise, a neurosurgeon doesn’t just operate on nerves during surgery, and osteopaths don’t just treat bone diseases.
The term osteopractor has nothing to do with the chiropractic or osteopathic professions; that is, the osteopractic concept is firmly focused on the management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in an evidence-based fashion, not the treatment of other organ systems as the profession of chiropractic has traditionally engaged. More specifically, Osteopractors do not subscribe to the theory of the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex” as the primary cause of “dis-ease”. In short, Osteopractic Physical Therapists do not diagnose or treat all 10-organ systems as chiropractors are trained and licensed to do, and they do not utilize medicine or surgery as osteopathic physicians are trained and licensed to do. Lastly, spinal manipulation and dry needling are shared procedures between many healthcare professions (i.e. no one profession owns these procedures, e.g. 2012 Supreme Court Ruling: Alabama State Board of Chiropractic vs. James Dunning); however, the philosophy, the clinical reasoning, and the conditions treated with these procedures dramatically differs between professions.”
Source: Spinal Manipulation Institute (2018) Diploma in Osteopractic.
Retrieved from https://spinalmanipulation.org/diploma-in-osteopractic/
“I was fortunate to meet Dr. Shea first as a fellow cyclist here in the Upper Valley, and then later as a therapist when I needed help working through a cycling-related injury. As a highly competitive cyclocross racer, I have had more than a few occasions over the years to seek help from a therapist, and often, my condition did not improve until I received coordinated care from a team of individuals (chiropractor, physical therapist, sports medicine rehabilitator). The amazing thing about Greg is that his training and expertise allows him to fulfill all of these roles at once—so you not only get more improved care overall, but the results come faster. Also, being a competitive athlete himself, Greg wholeheartedly embraces the “active lifestyle” at the center of his practice. Finally, if you’re squeamish at all about dry needling, I would encourage you to “bite the bullet” and try it, knowing that you’re in the best hands with Greg. He is one of the gentlest, most precise dry needlers I have worked with, and it makes a huge difference from both a therapeutic and performance standpoint.”
Thanks for all your help—you’re a lifesaver!
Precision Physical Therapy, LLC
Dr. Gregory Shea of Precision PT