Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
OMT involves the gentle "hands on" diagnosis and treatment of somatic dysfunction.
Somatic dysfunction (S/D) is diagnosed by examining the body for altered joint function, gait (walking) problems, decreased range of motion, muscle spasm, and other causes that may contribute to pain or impair physiologic function.
S/D cannot be diagnosed by imaging (x-rays, MRI, CT scan, etc.).
S/D is commonly found in all age groups ranging from newly born infants to the elderly.
The presence of S/D can either induce a new or aggravate nearly any pre-existant illness of both men and women.
For this reason, OMT is helpful in treating both ambulatory and hospitalized patients.
Once present, somatic dysfunction often complicates a patient's condition. The followning is a non-exhaustive list of symptoms/diagnoses for which OMT may be beneficial:
Migraines/headaches Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Neck Pain Tennis Elbow/Golfer's Elbow
Shoulder Pain TMJ
Knee Pain Muscle Spasms
Low Back Pain Scoliosis
Generalized Back Pain Asthma/COPD
Hip Pain Torticollis
Extremity Pain Plagiocephaly
Plantar Fasciitis Cerebral Palsy
Otitis Media Acute Sprains and Strains
Pain Associated with pregnancy/postpartum, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, dermatomyositis
A doctor's decision to use OMT is made on a visit-by-visit basis, depending on the condition of the patient and the S/D identified. The number of visits required is different for each patient.
There are two common misconceptions about OMT.
The first is that something is "out of place" and second, that "an adjustment" is given to realign it. It is not that something is out of place, instead it is restricted within its normal range of motion.
OMT is not an adjustment, rather it is the removal of restriction which enables normal range of motion.
By combining OMT with all available medical care, physicians can offer their patients a form of comprehensive health care.