29 Mar OSTEOPATHIC MANIPULATIVE TREATMENT (OMT)
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, is a set of physical techniques used by osteopathic practitioners to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and/or illness. Using OMT, an osteopath moves a patient’s muscles and joints using stretching, the application of gentle pressure and resistance techniques.
Osteopaths undergo special training in the musculoskeletal system, the body’s intricate system of muscles, nerves and bones as part of their education. This advanced training provides them with an extensive understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each system affects the other.
OMT can complement, delay and even replace, drugs or surgery in certain cases. In saying this, OMT brings an important dimension to standard or traditional medical care.
Key to the osteopathic approach is the idea that tightness and/or restriction of the muscles and/or nerves can be caused by or lead to other problems, so practitioners are trained to use their hands to gently move the joints and tissues to eliminate any restrictions in one’s range of motion.
BENEFITS OF OMT
OMT can help patients of all ages and from all backgrounds suffering from a wide range of conditions relating to every system in the body, including the musculoskeletal system, digestive system, nervous system and immune system.
OMT can be used to ease pain, promote healing, and increase overall mobility to achieve a state of good health more quickly and easily.
While it is typically used to treat and alleviate muscular pain, OMT can also benefit patients suffering from other health conditions such as:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Ear and sinus disorders
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Menstrual pain
Through OMT, osteopaths apply specific amounts of pressure to different areas of the body. These techniques are aimed at:
- Addressing structural abnormalities in the joints, muscles, and/or tissues.
- Soothing tight muscles, relieving joint stiffness and improving one’s range of motion.
- Correcting misalignment
- Restoring muscle and tissue balance
- Improving circulation of blood (and other fluids) throughout the body.
- Helping the body heal itself by improving how the body works as an overall unit.
OMT focuses on the whole body, including the soft tissues (such as muscles, ligaments and tendons), the spine and nervous system, and involves of a variety of different hands-on methods that include:
- Spinal manipulation
- Soft tissue massage techniques
- Articulation – rhythmic joint movements using gentle pressure
- Stretching of muscles and joint capsules
- Muscle energy techniques – to encourage muscles to work against resistance
- Visceral manipulation – gentle movement of the abdomen and pelvis.
OMT techniques, there are typically no side effects associated with the procedures and is therefore considered safe to use. After a session, patients may feel tired and/or slightly sore but can typically resume usual activities in a day or two, if not immediately.
Osteopathic manipulative therapy is widely used in the treatment of conditions relating to every system in the body. By realigning the body and restoring balance, OMT allows for and promotes the better functioning of the body as a whole.