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Naprapathic medicine

Doctors of Naprapathic Medicine (DN or D.N.) use the science of Neuromyology (the study of nerve and muscle). They are connective tissue specialists. A Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine can also be referred to as a Neuromyologist.

The naprapathic system allows specific evaluation of connective tissue disorders in various ways; including Naprapathic examination of the spine, performance of orthopedic and neurological examinations, detailed medical history, MRI reports, muscle and range of motion testing, etc.

Doctors of Naprapathic Medicine (Doctors of Naprapathy) are treating connective tissue disorders with , neuromuscular techniques, CTM Therapy (connective tissue manipulation therapy), adjunctive therapies (such as electro-therapy, ultrasound, soft laser, infrared, hot/cold packs), therapeutic exercises, orthopedic appliances and supports, traction. Doctors of Naprapathy are also performing nutritional counseling, assessing patients diet through case history and various clinical tests (e.g., nutritional blood work) to establish optimal recommendations for your diet and supplement intake.

The various conditions treated by doctors of Naprapathic Medicine include low back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, neck pain, headaches, tennis elbow, whiplash, fibromyalgia, sciatica, spasms, sprains/strains, and TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint Pain).

Some Doctors of Naprapathic Medicine are specializing in Sports Medicine. Naprapaths are as example the largest group of therapists of orthopedic manual medicin in Sweden.

Naprapathy (Czech náprava, correction - from napravit, to correct) - is a branch of medicine, (manual medicine) that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. Doctors of Naprapathy are connective tissue specialists.

  • Doctors of Naprapathy (naprapathic physicians) are not Doctors of Medicine (MD) (allopathic physicians) - an important distinction,

Naprapathic treatment consists of naprapathic manipulative techniques, adjunctive (additional) treatments, and nutritional counseling.

Additional recommended knowledge



Napapathy was founded in the early 1900s by Dr. Oakley Smith who called his manual medical technique naprapathy. It is an alternative to chiropractic which focuses on spine and subluxations. Naprapaths working with the spine emphasize the underlying ligaments.

The oldest and largest naprapathic school is the National College of Naprapathic Medicine in Chicago. The NCNM offers a four-year program, a 3 year accelerated program and a five-year program. Graduates receive a DN or Doctor of Naprapathy degree.

In Sweden, naprapaths - doctors of naprapatic medicine, (D.N. or DN) undergoing a 5 year full time education at the Scandinavian University-College of Manual Medicine, and is currently the biggest group practitioners of orthopaedic medicine. Naprapaths are in Sweden licensed by the state board of health and welfare. In Finland you can study naprapathy in Kotka at the University of Applied Sciences

Naprapaths are insurance and cash based solo practitioners, using their hands and modalities to manage neuromuscular or soft tissue related pain.

Naprapaths are in the US licensed in Illinois and New Mexico, regulated in Ohio and also practice in California, Florida and other states where freedom of access statutes permit naprapathic doctors to practice. Although the term Oakley Smith Method is trade marked, the word naprapathy may not be.

Massage therapists who want to practice naprapathy in California, Florida or other states in which naprapathy is not regulated can complete an online DN program and begin practicing even before they graduate, but this program is not supported by mainstream naprapaths nor by NCNM.

Naprapaths who practice psychotherapy are eligible for membership in the Chicago Open Chapter for the Study of Psychoanalysis.


A study conducted at the Department of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, in Sweden compared naprapathy with evidence-based care for back or neck pain regarding pain, disability, and perceived recovery. The study is published in Clinical Journal of Pain.

Four hundred and nine patients with pain and disability in the back or neck lasting for at least 2 weeks, were included in a randomized controlled trial. The two interventions were naprapathy, including spinal manipulation/ mobilization, massage, and stretching and support and advice to stay active and how to cope with pain, according to the best scientific evidence available, provided by a physician (Control Group). Pain, disability, and perceived recovery were measured by questionnaires at baseline and after 3, 7, and 12 weeks.

The results showed that at 7-week and 12-week follow-ups, statistically significant differences between the groups were found in all outcomes favouring the naprapathy Group. At 12-week follow-up, a higher proportion in the naprapathy group had improved regarding pain, disability, and perceived recovery. Separate analysis of neck pain and back pain patients showed similar results.

The study concluded that naprapathy might be an alternative to consider for back and neck pain patients.

See also


Naprapathic Manual Therapy or Evidence-Based Care for Back and Neck Pain; A Randomized, Controlled Trial. by Eva Skillgate, Eva Vingard, Lars Alfredsson Clinical Journal of Pain, May 2007, 23:431-439.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Naprapathic_medicine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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