WHAT IS OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE?
Osteopathic medicine is a complete system of medical care, providing all the benefits of modern medicine with the added benefit of hands-on-diagnosis and treatment through the use of Osteopathic Manipulative treatment (OMT). Osteopathic Medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention, treating the whole person, not just the illness. Osteopathic physicians, in addition to mastering all the traditional subjects of medicine, takes approximately 200 additional hours of training in the art of osteopathic manipulative medicine.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment or OMT is a hands-on technique using the hands to diagnose, treat and prevent illness or injury. OMT helps alleviate pain, restores motion, supports the body’s natural function and influences the body’s structure to help it function more efficiently. OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. OMT is very helpful in addressing both acute (i.e: waking up with stiff neck, pulled muscle) and chronic pain of the entire musculoskeletal system (i.e: low back pain, pelvic pain, neck pain etc.). Patients prefer to use OMT to reduce their pain naturally, rather than taking medicine with added side effects, without addressing the source of the problem.
Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility. OMT is often used to treat muscle pain but it can also help patients with a number of other health problems. For a more complete list, please see below.
Here are a few additional facts about osteopathic medicine:
- Osteopathic medicine was founded by Andrew Taylor Still in 1874.
- The first osteopathic medical school was opened in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri.
- Osteopathic medicine is the fastest growing medical field in the United States.
Some of the conditions that OMT can be help to treat are:
- Headaches, migraines
- Low back and pelvic pain (especially after childbirth)
- Sciatica, hip/leg pain
- Disc herniation
- Rib-related chest discomfort
- Rotator cuff injury, shoulder/arm pain
- Pregnancy related back pain
- Chronic/overuse or sports related injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.