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Osteopathic Manipulation

Osteopathic medicine specializes in the spinal and joint health. Osteopathic therapy works with the natural healing abilities of the body and considers the whole person. Osteopathic physicians commonly treat the cause of the problem rather than focus only on symptom relief. Osteopaths study the relationship between the structures and functions of the body. The approach considers the inseparable connection of the body’s functioning to the emotional and spiritual aspects of the person as well. Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

Who Can Benefit From OMT?

OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility. OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems such as:

-asthma
-sinus disorders
-carpal tunnel syndrome
-migraines
-menstrual pain

When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.

Manipulation Techniques by a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

There are numerous manipulation techniques a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) may use. Common forms of manipulation used today that a patient may encounter include:

-Cranial-sacral
-Counterstrain
-High velocity-low amplitude (the classic “thrust” technique)
-Muscle energy
-Myofascial release
-Ligamentous release
-Lymphatic pump
-Soft tissue techniques
-Visceral techniques

With the patient sitting or lying down on a table, the doctor of osteopathic medicine will gently apply a precise amount of manual pressure in a specific direction. The pressure is applied either directly in the affected areas or at some distance away. It is used to put the tissues at ease (relaxed) or to engage them at their functional limit in order to effect the following:

-Treat structural and tissue abnormalities (vertebrae, muscles, myofascial structures, etc.)
-Relieve joint restriction and misalignment
-Restore muscle and tissue balance
-Promote the movement of bodily fluids