SF Osteopathic Doctors & Physicians: Why We Are Different

History – What is an osteopathic doctor?

Osteopathy was founded by Andrew Taylor Still in the latter part of the 19th century after the Civil War.
Dr. Still was a medical doctor who was distraught at the loss of his wife and three children from spinal meningitis. He spent the rest of his life studying the human body and trying to find alternative methods for treating disease. The focus of osteopathy, as he called it, was on the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Still tried to relate structure and function and adhere to the belief that the body has the capacity to heal itself.

Osteopathy utilizes different types of manipulation to restore function. These include muscle energy, myofascial, craniosacral and visceral manipulation. The ultimate goal of treatment is always to identify what has been impaired and to restore its function. Osteopaths are body mechanics. The presence of pain usually follows the loss of function. As function improves, the pain diminishes and ultimately disappears in the patient.

The Osteopath Advantage

An important aspect of osteopathic medicine is to carefully identify the health elements that are affecting a patient and to address them all, as they may interrelate in ways that may not initially be clear, but that affect the well-being of the patient.

As San Francisco osteopathic doctors, we listen to patients as this is the only means to make a complete and correct diagnosis and obtain meaningful therapeutic results. Looking at an MRI scan is no substitute for taking a thorough multi-system history and complete physical examination. Being told someone has back pain and basing decision making solely on a scan leads to poor, often unsuccessful, treatment. The osteopathic medical approach is the absolute antithesis of what the traditional medical approach has become in the 21st century.

DO Doctors – Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine

Drs. Irène & Robert Minkowsky are San Francisco osteopathic physicians trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders, injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. For over 30 years they have included osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) in their approach and specialize in osteopathic medicine and the nonsurgical treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions, spine disorders, and sports injuries.

The musculoskeletal system is very complex and includes joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons nerves and blood vessels, all surrounded by fascia. All of these elements must be addressed for the successful resolution of a problem.

How We Diagnose

Jean Pierre Barral, a French osteopath, developed a technique called listening. Whenever the body struggles with a problem of balance – imbalance, tensions are created. Through training, an osteopathic doctor is able to detect where these abnormal tensions lie in the body. These are the most critical areas that require treatment, as they are usually the source of a problem. The use of this technique is particularly helpful in longstanding problems in which multiple compensatory layers have been created and current symptoms are often far removed from the original source of a patient’s problem.

As San Francisco osteopathic doctors, Drs. Irène and Robert Minkowsky use this technique in their patient evaluation, often helping them unravel difficult cases where a patient has been previously seen by multiple physicians without success.

DO Doctors – How We Treat

A thorough comprehensive evaluation precedes an individualized treatment program with an emphasis on restoration of musculoskeletal balance, control of pain (principally nonpharmacologic) and recovery of function. Success stems from being thorough and methodical in the approach.

Osteopathic physicians focus on the whole person, rather than a collection of independent parts. For osteopathic doctors and back specialists, the goal is to promote the body’s self-healing tendency and to try to restore balance and equilibrium in the musculoskeletal system.

As San Francisco osteopathic doctors, we use different types of visceral and cranial manipulation in our treatment approach. This includes treating bones, joints, ligaments, visceral structures, vascular structures and different parts of the nervous system. The approach is very gentle and is always coupled with a therapeutic home exercise program focused on restoring muscular function and balance.

Conditions We Treat

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Thoracic Pain
  • Rib Pain
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain)
  • Disc Herniation
  • Sciatica
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Headache and Migraine
  • TMJ and Facial Pain
  • Neuralgia / Neuropathy
  • Peripheral Joints (shoulder, hip, knee, ankle)
  • Spinal Stenosis and Other Spine Medical Conditions
  • Facet Arthritis
  • Post-Surgical Pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Overuse Training Injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Sports Training Injuries
  • Functional Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Disorders (heartburn, GE reflux, IBS, Pelvic Pain)
  • Tendinitis

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Physicians' Back Institute SF

Schedule Your Consultation Today
(415) 776-4644

Don’t let chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries affect your quality of life. Drs. Irène and Robert Minkowsky have helped thousands of patients. Let the doctors at the Physicians’ Back Institute treat you so you can enjoy an active lifestyle. They are proud to serve the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are located at
2000 Van Ness Ave, #305
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 776-4644
Call us for more information about how we can help you.