Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment?

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, is a set of hands-on techniques used by osteopathic physicians (DOs) to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury, including back pain. Using OMT, a DO moves a patient’s muscles and joints using techniques that include stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

As part of their education in osteopathic medicine, DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, the body’s intricate system of muscles, nerves and bones. This advanced training provides DOs with a keen understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others.

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

Benefits of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)

OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility. Although often used to treat back pain and muscle pain, the treatment can also help patients with several other health problems such as:

  • Asthma
  • Sinus disorders
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual pain

Through OMT, physicians manually apply a specific amount of pressure to different regions in the body. These techniques can help:

  • Treat structural and tissue abnormalities
  • Relieve joint restriction and misalignment
  • Restore muscle and tissue balance
  • Promote the overall movement of blood flow throughout the body

OMT for Pain Relief

Just as there are multiple types of chronic pain, there are a wide variety of treatment options, from medication to hands-on techniques like OMT, which has been clinically proven to provide relief from low back pain and other types of musculoskeletal pain.

What's the difference between OMT and Chiropractic Care?

Osteopathic Physicians vs Chiropractors – Scope of Practice

Osteopathic physicians and a chiropractors differ substantially in levels of training and scope of practice. Unlike a DO (or MD), a chiropractor is not a fully licensed medical physician, and is not required to have completed residency training in a hospital. Chiropractic practice is limited to the diagnosing and locating of misaligned vertebrae and treating disorders via manual manipulation of the spine and other skeletal structures. Ostopathic physicians are residency-trained, board certified physicians that care for all aspects of an individual’s health.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment vs Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic treatment is primarily concerned with normalizing the alignment of the spine to influence the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system.

OMT is similar to chiropractic care, but a more holistic approach affords the Osteopath a broader spectrum of therapeutic options. Osteopaths use OMT not only to treat musculoskeletal dysfunction, but also for systemic disease treatment and prevention. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment goes beyond simple spinal alignment, to deal directly with abnormal body physiology using a variety of techniques.