Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cranial Osteopathy

A unique component of Osteopathic medicine, osteopathy in the cranial field, aims to treat the structural dysfunctions of the skull through manipulative techniques.

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field

Whether due to birth trauma, accidental injury, or abnormal strains, insults to the head can cause anyone distress. The cranium has numerous bones that move in an organized fashion to maintain optimal health. Like a dislocated joint, when one of these bones is forced out of alignment, somatic dysfunction ensues. This may present in the form of headaches, sinus congestion, neck pain, agitation, vertigo and a host of other complaints.

Initially difficult to comprehend and palpate, cranial alterations are smalll displacements of bones within the skull. Through diverse techniques the trained practitioner can treat everyone from neonates to elderly. As a student I am excited to be able to palpate the cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI). Apparently it can take hours and days before the CRI is appreciated. Despite making a step in the right direction, I find the cranial methods difficult to employ consistently as a beginner. Forty hour courses are available for extensive training, but the way tests keep coming my way, I don't think there will be much time to dedicate to this detailed study. For those who may be interested in learning more about this treatment The Cranial Academy has set up a website with course offerings and more.

Board Prep Question of the Week
A 50 year old woman with a history of headache presents with complaints of chest pain. She described the pain as pressure, and tightness in her chest. She said that the pain occured after taking a drug, the name of which she forgot. The most likely mechanism of this drug is:

A. Antagonist action at serotonin receptor
B. Agonist action at serotonin receptor
C. Release of nitric oxide
D. Inhibition of calcium channel opening
E. Decreased levels synaptic levels of catecholamines
Answer & Explanation

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