Naprapathic Medicine is a specialized system of health care founded by Dr. Oakley Smith, DC, DN in 1907 that employs hands-on manual medicine, nutritional counseling and a wide variety of therapeutic modalities. Naprapathy focuses on conditions caused by contracted, injured, spasmed, bruised, and/or otherwise affected myofascial and connective tissue.
Naprapaths are connective tissue specialists. Connective tissue supports and contains all of the integral structures of the entire body, including the tissue surrounding the spinal column and spinal cord, it envelopes muscles, organs, joints and all of the articulations of the body. This unique gel-like tissue includes ligaments, tendons, fascia, inter-vertebral discs, and cartilage of which all can develop into a pathologic condition which responds well to Naprapathic intervention. Naprapaths have a very specialized and holistic approach to address connective tissue problems.
Connective tissue conditions treated by Naprapathic care can be characterized by abnormally rigid and/or contracted (strained) ligaments, tendons and the related muscles and fascia in many areas of the body. Conditions may exist where this contracted tissue may impede and create interference with the normal action of nerve pathways, in addition to affecting the proper circulation of blood and lymph. When this occurs, naprapathy contends that the result can be pain, inflammation, and restriction of normal movement of the affected area of the body and negatively affect vessels passing through these tissues.
Causes of these types of connective tissue problems may arise from traumatic injury - including car accidents, sports injuries, and falls. It is also known to result from repetitive motion syndromes, such as work-related computer or machine use, heavy lifting and also improper posture and other lifestyle factors and may be similarly affected by extreme temperature related events.
Licensed "Doctors of Naprapathy" (D.N.), in states that regulate and license the profession, can evaluate and treat patients with a referral from your MD, DO, DC, or DPM and access insurance payments. Doctors of Naprapathy may also treat a patient based on their own evaluation without a referral but will defer to a physician's diagnosis and work with a referring doctor when a diagnosis has previously been made.
Doctors of Naprapathic Medicine often use a three-fold strategy in the Naprapathic treatment of connective tissue disorders.
- Naprapathic Manual Medicine: involves hands-on (gentle) connective tissue manipulation to the spine, joints and articulations of the body.
- Nutritional Counseling: Recommendations for holistic dietary changes, food supplementation (as through the use of herbs, vitamins and minerals) to assist the body in achieving optimal health.
- Therapeutic Modalities: The use of the effective properties of physical measures of heat, cold, light, water, radiant energy, electricity, sound, air and assistive devices for the purpose of preventing, correcting or alleviating a physical disability. Modalities may include ultrasound, electric stimulation and/or photobiostimulation (also known as low-level laser or cold laser therapy).
Some common musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders successfully treated through Naprapathic Medicine include:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Hip Pain
- Leg Pain
- Tension Headaches
- Migraine Headaches
- Disc Herniation
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer's Elbow
- Shoulder Pain
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Knee pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bursitis and more