Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What is OMT and how can it help me?

Osteopathic manipulative therapy or OMT is an advanced form of hands-on care.  It is usually performed by Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O. or osteopath) and is useful for easing pain, promoting healing, increasing mobility and treating asthma, sinus disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, as well as muscle and back pains.  OMT can complement and in some instances even replace the need for medications and surgery.  It can be complementary to other forms of manipulation and alternative therapies as well.

Like MDs, DOs are fully licensed physicians that provide a full range of services from prescribing medications to performing surgery.  DOs typically have a unique approach to practicing medicine by looking at the whole person when determining the diagnosis and not just the symptoms.  This comes from the belief that the body is a dynamic unit of function, has self-regulatory mechanisms, and structure and function are interrelated at all levels.  DOs have an appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself.

The typical doctor’s appointment with a DO will start like any other—height, weight, blood pressure and other vital signs, a medical history, and a physical exam.  The osteopathic exam will look at structural alignment, function, and flexibility as well as muscle tone and spasm.  OMT is customized for each individual patient based on their needs.  The techniques used in an OMT visit can feel anywhere from light touch to stretching to massage to cracking and popping similar to a chiropractic treatment.  Usually patients feel great after an OMT session but some may notice they are slightly tired or feel like they started a new workout routine—these symptoms usually go away within 24 hours.   

Dr. Stephanie Aldret DO
Regional Primary Care Physicians