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Biomedical origins of the term 'osteopathic lesion' and its impact on people in pain

      Abstract

      Osteopathic manual practitioners in Canada use, and continue to be educated to use the term 'osteopathic lesion'. This term is either derived from or directly drawn from the biomedical model; the overarching framework through which most healthcare is delivered. Use of the term illustrates the adoption and misappropriation of a biomedical term and follows the same curative reasoning processes as in biomedicine. Manual osteopathic practitioners in Canada believe the osteopathic lesion to be a palpably detectable entity. Use of the term could arguably be capable of eliciting nocebo and iatrogenic symptom effects. The origin of, and potential iatrogenic consequences of using the term with patients appears to be largely invisible to osteopathic practitioners. Awareness of the origin and use of this term and potential problems for patient-centred osteopathic care are necessary before comprehensive transformation in education and practice standards at the association and educational levels can be adopted.

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