In Part 1 I cited information about strabismus as an overt form of visual somatic dysfunction. But the extent to which select osteopathic physicians have collaborated with developmental/behavioral/neuro-rehabilitiative optometrists extends to all levels of the visual system. Very little has been written in the optometric literature about this, and the only notable article I could find centered on a discussion of craniosacral therapy by a physical therapist, dating back to 1999.
An interesting collaborative article between DOs and ODs appeared in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, entitled Effect of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field on Visual Function—A Pilot Study. It was a randomized controlled double-blinded pilot clinical trial conducted through NOVA Southeastern, though it involved a small number of subjects and only one treatment session. More studies of this nature would be welcome, and it appears to be fertile area for collaboration.
What piqued my interest in this was coming across a website page on Vision and Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. It is fascinating reading, and describes the collaboration between James Mancini, O.D., and Joseph Field, D.O. The page mentions an osteopathic physician, Paul Dart, M.D., and I followed the Google path to a flyer for an intriguing course from the Osteopathic Cranial Academy that includes this brief bio:
Paul E. Dart, MD FCA, began studying osteopathic principles and practices while he was an undergraduate at Mayo Medical School in the early 1980’s. He is a Fellow of The Osteopathic Cranial Academy, and has taught on the faculty of The Osteopathic Cranial Academy for many years.
Dr. Dart began diagnosing visually induced somatic dysfunction in his patients, and prescribing lenses to correct it, after he was introduced to this problem in a course taught by Joseph Field, DO in 1997. The curriculum taught here include concepts that he learned from Dr. Field, and additional concepts (somatic strains produced by binocular imbalances such as esophoria, exophoria, and hyperphoria) that he has worked out in his own practice.
This is just to whet your appetite. In Part 3, I’m going to share with you a presentation made by Dr. Dart to the American Academy of Osteopathy in 2011 that will knock your socks off, and may even set your head spinning. Prepare to be exhilarated and perturbed at the same time.