Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician (D.O.) will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.
OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. It can: ease pain, promote healing and increase mobility. OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems. When appropriate, OMT can complement–and even replace–drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.
Consider the results of a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine in November 1999. In the study, researchers looked at how well OMT works to treat low-back pain.
Patients were divided into two groups. One group received standard treatments, such as hot and cold packs, physical therapy, and medications. The other group received standard care plus OMT.
Twelve weeks later, patients in both groups felt better. But those in the OMT group used less medication and less physical therapy.
Most forms of OMT, because of their gentle nature, are believed to be quite safe. However, mild short-term, self-limited discomfort may occur immediately following treatment.