What is OMT?
Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a form of manual treatment applied by a physician to eliminate or alleviate somatic dysfunction and related disorders. This treatment may be accomplished by a variety of techniques.
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 (D.O) will move your muscles and joints using techniques indicating stretching, gentle pressure and resistance at various body regions.
Including the following body regions:
Who Can Benefit From OMT?
OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. It can:
OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems, among them:
When appropriate, OMT can complement- and even replace – drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.
What is a D.O.?
The physicians who practice OMT are called Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s). In many ways, D.O.s resembles medical doctors. They provide a full range of services, from prescribing drugs to performing surgery. And they use the latest medical tools.
But D.O.s offer something special – their unique approach to patient care. They:
They provide the best care that medicine has to offer.
What Is an Office Visit Like?
If you’ve never been to a D.O. before, you may wonder what to expect. A typical office visit includes four parts: exam, interview, diagnosis, and treatment.
Your D.O. will do a complete a physical exam. If necessary, test will be ordered.
The D.O. will talk with you about your medical history. In addition, you will be asked about such factors as your home, work, and family life.
The D.O. will consider the results of the exam and interview and will tell you what may be causing your symptoms.
The D.O. will suggest a treatment plan. This may include such options as drugs and surgery. It may also include OMT. Depending on how severe your problem is, you may need more than one OMT session.
“I went to a D.O. because had a sharp pain my side. I was having trouble moving. The D.O. asked some questions about the pain: how strong it was, when it started, and how long I’d felt it.” We also talked about my medical history.
He ordered some tests to find out if the pain was caused by disease. The tests showed that it wasn’t.
Then he asked me about my lifestyle, including my job. When I described my workstation, he said the pain might be cause by sitting and moving in unhealthy ways.
The D.O. recommended using OMT to reduce the pain and help me become more mobile. And he gave me some tips for changing my workstation to prevent future problems."
“I had a cough, stuffy nose, fever, and headache. After feeling sick for a while, I visited my D.O. She though that I might have chronic sinusitis. To make sure, she first did an exam and ordered tests. It turned out she was right on target.
Then she gave me a prescription for an antibiotic to get rid of the infection. Plus, she used OMT to help drain my sinuses and relieve my headache. After just one OMT session, I felt a lot less stuffy. And the antibiotics cleared up the problem for good."
Does OMT Work?
Consider the results of a study published in the November 4, 1999, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. In the Study, researchers looked at how well OMT works to treat lower-back pain.
Patients were divided into two groups. One group got standards treatments, such as hot and cold packs, physical therapy, and drugs. The other group received standard care plus OMT.
Another study looked at how well OMT works to reduce pain after a hysterectomy. Researchers measured the amount of morphine used to treat pain. And they asked patients to describe their pain levels. They found that patients getting OMT needed less morphine.
What Credentials Does a D.O. Have?
Upon receiving a college degree, D.O.s complete four years of training at an osteopathic medical school.
After graduation, D.O.s serve one-year internship. The internship exposes them to all areas of primary care medicine – family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology.
D.O.s then serve a residency, requiring between two to six years of additional training, in order to specialize in an area of medicine. But 64 percent of D.O.’s choose to stay in primary care.
To go into practice, a D.O. must pass a licensing exam. Each state offers its own exam.
When Did Osteopathic Medicine Start?
Physicians have been using their hands to treat patients for hundreds of years, at least. But osteopathic medicine traces its official start to the year 1874. That’s when Dr. A.T. still founded the discipline.
More than a century later, osteopathic medicine is among the fastest-growing sectors of health care. It’s projected that more than 95,000 D.O.’s will practice in the U.S. by the year 2020.
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