Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is actual hands-on care. It involves the use of the physician’s hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent both illness and injury. Using OMT, an osteopathic physician (D.O.) will move your muscles and joints using a variety of techniques that include stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance.
A doctor trained in osteopathic medicine is well-versed in spinal manipulation. The “D.O.” after their names signifies that, in addition to their medical training, they have received extra training in the musculoskeletal system. This type of training provides an osteopathic physician with a keen understanding of the ways an injury or illness in one part of your body can affect another part. There are several D.O.s on staff at Dreyer – all are well-trained in OMT.
For decades, people of all ages and backgrounds have benefited from OMT to help ease pain, promote healing, and increase their mobility. OMT has been particularly effective for treating back pain, but it can also relieve such conditions as tension headaches, when used as a complement to other conservative treatment modalities.
The results of a study published in the November 4, 1999, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine showed how well OMT worked in the treatment of lower back pain. Researchers looked at patients divided into two groups. One group received the standard treatments, such as hot and cold packs, physical therapy, and medications. The other group received OMT in addition to the standard care. After twelve weeks, the patients in both groups felt better, but the ones that had OMT used fewer drugs and needed less physical therapy. The end result was fewer side effects and lower health care costs for the group getting OMT.
Another study looked at how well OMT worked to reduce pain after a hysterectomy. Researchers measured the amount of morphine required to treat and control the pain associated with this type of surgical procedure. They also asked the patients to describe the levels of pain they experienced. The results showed that patients getting OMT needed less morphine.
Osteopathic physicians use their hands through OMT to both diagnose injury and illness as well as to encourage your body’s natural tendency toward good health.