Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)
Osteopathic Physicians (D.O.’s) provide you with all the best that medicine has to offer. They can specialize in any recognized area of medicine, from pediatrics to neurosurgery. However, their knowledge and use of the latest medical technology is complemented by their application of a hands-on treatment tool known as osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT.
Using OMT, D.O.’s bring an added dimension to healthcare in the form of non-invasive treatment. D.O.’s use OMT to diagnose, treat and even prevent illness or injury. When appropriate it can be used in
conjunction with, or even in place of, medication or surgery.
Osteopathic Medicine, a Unique Philosophy of Care
D.O.’s are widely recognized for their incorporation of hands-on medicine into their spectrum of care. OMT is one element of the unique philosophy of osteopathic medicine.
Caring for the Whole You
By taking the whole person approach to care, D.O.’s don’t just focus on the disease or injury. They look for the underlying causes of disease instead. No only do they consider your physical condition, but they also take other factors into account like home, work and family life when making a diagnosis.
Cooperating with Your Body
D.O.’s recognize that God created the body with the inherent ability to heal itself, although it must constantly fight physical, emotional and nutritional “stressors” to maintain a state of wellness. D.O.’s believe in educating you about good health and prevention of disease.
The Musculoskeletal System
D.O.’s place particular emphasis on the musculoskeletal system, which comprises two-thirds of the body’s mass. D.O.’s believe that all of the body’s systems, including the musculoskeletal system, work together and that disturbances in one system may impact function elsewhere in the body. This understanding of body structure and function provides the foundation to the osteopathic approach to medicine.
The ABC’s of OMT and how it can work for you.
OMT is predicated upon your D.O.’s knowledge of medicine. Once your D.O. has ruled out mechanical causes for your illness or injury (through blood or urine testing, X-rays, etc.), and based upon physical and mechanical findings, you D.O. may decide to utilize OMT. While it is commonly associated with physical ailments such as low back pain, this modality can also be used to relieve the discomfort or musculoskeletal abnormality associated with a number of disorders, including asthma, sinus disorder, carpal tunnel, migraines and menstrual pain.
The osteopathic approach to treating many diseases includes medication and/or surgical intervention, plus OMT. OMT can relieve muscle pain associated with a disease and can hasten your recovery from illness by promoting blood flow through tissues.
Your structure exam will begin with an assessment of your posture, spine and balance. Your D.O. will then use his fingers to palpate your back and extremities. He will also check your joints for restriction and/or pain during motion as well as check your muscles, tendons and ligaments where tenderness can signal a problem. Through extensive osteopathic training in manipulative medicine, D.O.’s can detect changes in tissue, however small, that signal injury or impairment.
Once the structural exam is complete, your D.O. will integrated this information with your medical history and a complete physical exam. After that point, a treatment plan can be established.
Using a variety of OMT techniques, your D.O. will apply manual forces to your body’s affected areas to treat structural abnormalities and will then apply specific corrective forces to relieve joint restrictions and misalignments. Based upon the severity of your problem, you may require more than one treatment.
Who Can Benefit from OMT
People of all ages and backgrounds have found relief from pain and dysfunction as well as improved mobility through OMT. D.O.’s incorporate this modality into their treatment plans for top athletes and performance artists, workers with on-the-job injuries and thousands of other people just like you.
Proof Positive: OMT Works!
A study published in the November 4, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine confirms what D.O.’s have known for years – that OMT works. In this case, researchers examined the effectiveness of OMT for treating low back pain.
Patients were divided into two groups – one treated with standard options like hot/cold packs, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication while the other group received OMT and standard care. After a 12-week period, patients in both groups showed improvement. However, researchers learned that the patients receiving OMT required less medication and physical therapy, resulting in less side effects and lower health care costs.
Another study released on OMT revealed its effectiveness in reducing pain after a hysterectomy. Researchers measured the amount of morphine to treat patients’ pain as well as their perception of their pain levels. Upon the study’s completion, it was determined that administering OMT significantly reduced patients need for pain medication.
By incorporating OMT into their practice of complete medicine, D.O.’s are providing the most comprehensive care available today.