Shell
Laura Woodrow, d.o.
Osteopathic Physician
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Structure and function are interrelated

From the smallest cell to the largest bone, all anatomy and physiology are interdependent components of a unified, living, dynamic, rhythmic system.

Andrew Taylor Still

Anatomy without physiology is a skeleton while physiology without anatomy is a ghost. In other words, in order for normal chemical processes to function the anatomy must be in proper relationship and have good tone and vitality. Similarly anatomy needs the proper supply and the elimination of waste to have that vitality and stay in proper relationship. (Andrew Goldman, DO).

Osteopathic physicians are trained to feel this living anatomy with their hands. When this motion becomes impaired, the tissues will not function as they were intended. As a result of this altered motion, symptoms develop, and disease my occur. Dr. Still described this process as follows, "Disease is the result of anatomical abnormalities followed by physiologic discord."

A sprained ankle can lead to misalignment in the bones of the lower leg, ankle, and foot. An X-ray of the bones would likely be read as "normal" (assuming it is a mild to moderate sprain with no broken bones), and yet, the ankle may not feel "normal." Perhaps there is chronic swelling, mild pain, or a sense of instability on the foot when walking. Sometimes a presenting symptom related to the sprained ankle might be neck pain, because the ankle injury resulted in asymmetrical weight-bearing while walking which then translated up to the neck. Carpal tunnel may not only be a result of strain in the wrist, but can also be related to restrictions at the neck, collarbone, or even the diaphragm. Headaches can occur for a wide variety of reasons — stress, hormones, or trauma. However, most people do not consider that dental work or a fall as a child with a hit to the head or even one's birth might be associated with headache pain as an adult.

Disease is the effect of a change in the parts of the physical body...if the parts do not sit well with one another in any machine, the parts at best wear abnormally, or fail altogether. So it is in the human body. The architecture of the human body, and all the natural world, exists the way it does because it fulfills a specific function. Form determines function. Function determines form. Health emerges when FORM and FUNCTION are perfectly expressed. (Mark Rosen, DO).

Osteopaths are trained to sense subtle restrictions in the tissue and fluids of the body and help restore balance and freedom in the entire body.