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About The O’Brien Clinic

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About Dr. Philip A. O'Brien

Philip O’Brien, DC, CKTP
Chiropractic Physician

Dr. Philip O’Brien is a highly regarded and respected chiropractic physician in Bethlehem, Pa. Prior to becoming a physician, his prior work experience was in the biological and pharmaceutical industry. He spent the majority of his time in research and development in those industries. With the advanced knowledge he obtained there, coupled with his training in human nutrition, he is uniquely qualified to treat many health issues within his scope of practice. His patients are benefiting from his background by achieving optimal levels of health and wellness.

Dr. O’Brien runs a diverse office with a focus on general family practice, complicated spinal disorders, sports injuries management and nutrition. His practice currently treats a multitude of musculoskeletal complaints including difficult to treat cases and chronic pain. His geriatric, adult, adolescent and pediatric patients benefit from the superior wellness programs he has in place as well. Prevention, thorough examinations with full medical history, accurate diagnosing and individually designed treatment plans for spinal pain, extremity pain, and sports injuries are his specialties. His holistic approach to wellness, combined with his synergistic relationship with diverse medical professionals enables him to fully understand and meet the needs of his ever growing patient population.

Dr. O’Brien received the Pagett Merit Scholar Award as a student and The Levittown Center for Clinical Excellence Award while in his residency. He has extensive experience in nutrition supplement design and brings that experience to Zeolife Inc, a next generation neutraceutical company. He also has trained with professionals in the field of athletics such as: team chiropractors for the Pittsburg Steelers, the New York Jets, and the Lake Placid U.S. Olympic Training Center for winter sports. He is also currently receiving his post doctorate certification in chiropractic sports medicine.


First Treatment

Upon entering our office, you will be greeted by our kind and friendly staff. For your first visit, we ask you to download the patient intake forms and fill them out prior to coming to the office to expedite the check-in process. If you do not fill out the patient intake forms prior to coming into our office, you should allow an extra thirty minutes prior to your scheduled time to complete the necessary forms before seeing Dr. O’Brien

In your first treatment, you will meet with Dr. O’Brien and discuss your problems in a detailed manner. Dr. O’Brien will take a complete history of your injury, review your overall health history, past medical history, and discuss any contradiction, if any, exist. If any red flags pertinent to other medical condition arise during the initial visit that are not related to chiropractic medicine, Dr. O’Brien will discuss your treatment options and referral to another competent physician that specializes in such conditions.

A detailed exam is performed and any other tests (X Rays, MRI, Cat Scan, Blood Work), if needed will be ordered. The exam will include specific orthopedic tests, functional assessment tests, and joint function analysis specific to your condition to locate which structures are actually causing the discomfort and treating the source of your pain. The results of your exam, in addition to the patient history, will give Dr. O’Brien the information he needs to make an accurate assessment and diagnosis.

Treatment options and frequencies will then be discussed so you know up front what is involved in your return to a healthier lifestyle free from pain and discomfort. Any questions or comments you have can be addressed at this time.

Dr. O’Brien may or may not treat you in the first visit. Since every patient is different, every treatment plan is different. The treatment plans can also evolve over the course of treatment. For this reason, each treatment plan is devised specifically towards you and your condition.


Treatment Philosophy

Our treatment philosophy is to take a comprehensive approach towards your return to optimal health. With the multitudes of different conditions we treat on a daily basis, experience dictates, that even though there are many similarities to treating similar conditions, there is no set protocol for treatment that can apply to everyone. For this reason, every treatment protocol is a custom plan designed specifically for your needs to facilitate your return to a healthier, pain-free lifestyle.

The one thing I have learned in my experience as a physician, who examines the very specific and complicated function of your neuro-musclular system, as well its effects on the overall performance of the body, is the fact that everything is interconnected. At our office, we feel that a holistic/total body approach is the best approach. In order to responsibly treat spinal pain, muscle or joint dysfunction, one has to address the joint motion and function, the attachments to muscles, tendons and ligaments, the nervous system intervention, and how they work synergistically to control normal motion. Overall, any one of these can result in the overall dysfunction in the body resulting in altered biomechanics and ultimately injury.

Most importantly, due to the hectic lifestyle that we are accustomed too, most pain results from a dysfunction in a musculo-skeletal system or a weakened core. For this reason, we are avid proponents of a functional rehabilitation program for every patient. Treating a dysfunctional joint complex or muscular dysfunction and not strengthening the weakened area to prevent further damage is a recipe for disaster. Whether you are a child, an amateur or professional athlete, or even a senior citizen, there is always time to start exercising and improve your overall health.


Typical Patient Visit

Each treatment plan is different for each patient .

Once the initial exam is completed, the patient will return for their follow up visit which consists of reviewing your examination findings, what specifically is causing your pain and discomfort, and your specific treatment protocol which will help your achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Depending on your specific treatment protocol, you will receive chiropractic manipulation to address the joint dysfunction.  You may also receive manual therapy which includes highly specific therapies to facilitate the healing process with proprietary treatment methods from a certified practitioner/physician.   Passive modalities may be used along the way to help control the pain as we progress through your treatment which may include muscular stimulation, ultrasonic therapy, laser therapy, and Kinesiotape® .  Traction/Decompression therapy may also be used.

Once a treatment time is established, treatment visits normally last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.  Consistent treatment is required to guide the body from a state of dysfunction to a state of optimal function and  healthybody.

As you return to a normal state of biomechanics, treatment times will reduce because less treatment will be needed.

Lastly, as we progress in our treatment, most patients undergo a program progressive functional rehabilitation to strengthen the problematic areas to prevent further or repetitive injuries.  This may include a therapeutic stretching program, core stabilization exercises, or neuro-muscular reconditioning exercises.  Sometimes these are performed in office or they may be prescribed to do at home.

The treatment philosophy is to educate our patient and inspire them to become active participants in their own well being.  We try to give you the tools and the knowledge to continue to improve your lifestyle after our treatments are completed.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic Medicine is traditionally known as a health care system based on a scientific fact that your body is a self-healing system.  This health care system focuses on the structure of the body, with the assumption that a body that maintains proper structure will function well.  Basically, the relationship between the structure (the spine) and the function (the nervous system) of the human body may affect the restoration and preservation of health.  “Webster’s Medical Dictionary” defines Chiropractic as “a system of therapy which holds that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function and which employs manipulation and specific adjustments of body structures (spine column and extremity joints).”

That theory has been around in America since 1895, however, in the Greecian Islands, bone setters (the European version of a chiropractic physician) have been practicing their traits for four hundred years.  Over the past century, the field of chiropractic therapies performed by physicians has made tremendous strides alongside their medical counterparts.

There are many different kinds of Chiropractic Physicians much like there are different specialists in the medical field.  Regardless of the subspecialties, Chiropractic Physicians are doctors that specialize in musculo-skeletal complaints which means that if your complaints or issues involve a muscle, ligament, tendon, joint, or joint complex that is the primary cause of your symptoms, then a Chiropractic Physician can most likely help you.

On a daily basis, I commonly treat knee pain, elbow pain, shoulder injuries, headaches, TMJ, sciatica, disc derangements, disc herniations, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, earaches, Benign Positional Vertigo, Allergy and Asthmatic episodes, and Autism.  The list continues well past the above list, but those are general conditions that are the most common.

If there is a muscle, ligament, tendon, joint, or pain in the spine, many times Chiropractors are heavily trained to treat those injuries.  Since the body is anatomically constructed from muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and bones, we are, many times, the most qualified to treat these conditions in an effective and conservative manner.  Remember, when visiting your medical doctor for the spinal and muscular pain, they treat the result of the problem and the symptoms you experience.  I often co-manage with medical doctors and will perform the physical medicine while they treat medicinally.  What we experience is that this is the most efficient and fastest way to alleviate the patient’s pain as well as return then to a function state experienced prior to the injury.

Mission Statement

Dr. Philip O’Brien operates a sport, spine and progressive rehabilitation clinic.

Our goal is to not only alleviate pain and suffering, but more importantly, inspire and educate our patients to become active participants in their own well- being. We provide the fellow members of our community the highest quality, research driven, scientific care for spinal pain and musculoskeletal injuries in a comfortable and caring environment.

Our approach is to not only focus on your pain, but also to treat the source of pain as compared to the symptoms which is commonly seen in western healthcare. Through this comprehensive and structured approach of joint health, exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation, we are better able to help patients achieve optimal levels of health and wellness.

We are a patient centered practice where your health is our main priority.

Please feel free to browse our website as it contains a wealth of nutrition, health and fitness related information also with information about our office, staff, and treatment philosophies. We hope that you enjoy this information and share it with others.

In good health,

Dr. Philip A. OBrien

"Incredible results in just a few sessions. Dr. Phil was able to assess my struggle and put a plan into action that has been extremely fruitful."

John from Easton, PA