Osteopathic Manipulation

Osteopathic manipulation is a hands-on treatment for pain, injuries, and illness, and is safe for all ages.

What is Osteopathic Manipulation?

Many people suffer from pain or diseases that can’t be found on a CT/MRI or on a lab test. Osteopathic Manipulation (OM), also known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is a specialty in which a physician uses his hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury.

Osteopathic manipulation is based on the priciple that the health of an individual is dependent upon the body's systems working in unison. This means that treatments are focused on balancing all structures of the body (skeleton, muscles, ligaments, fascia, connective tissues), and the systems of the body (the nervous sytem, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system and cranial-sacral system).

Osteopathic physicians work with their hands to identify areas where body structure is abnormally impaired or restricted. Using precise osteopathic manipulation techniques, restrictions are removed, pain is relieved and the body is able to heal itself.

What is a D.O.?
Osteopaths or Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.s). are fully licensed physicians like M.D.s who are authorized to prescribe medication, perform surgery, and order all diagnostic tests. While attending their own medical schools, D.O.s are responsible for the same academic courses as M.D.'s but receive additional training in the study of the body's musculoskeletal system and learn osteopathic manipulation. In contrast to chiropractors, a D.O. is a fully licensed physician trained to prescribe medication and perform all necessary diagnostic tests.

D.O.’s also have a “whole person approach to healing” and look at the mind, body and spirit, rather than focus only on the diseased parts. They embrace the philosophy that the body has an innate ability for healing.

Who Can Benefit From Osteopathic Manipulation (OM)?

People of all ages and backgrounds, including infants, children, athletes, workers, and the elderly have all experienced pain relief and improved mobility from OM. Osteopathic Manipulation promotes deep relaxation and well-being. Osteopathic manipulation also helps to maintain health and prevent disease or injury.

What types of conditions can osteopathic manipulation help?

Pain Relief

-Neck, back, and shoulder pain
-Headaches and migraines
-Sprains and strains
-Muscle aches
-Joint pain
-Overuse Syndromes
-Sports injuries and accident related injuries

Illness/ Medical Conditions
-Frequent colds and sore throats
-Post-concussive syndrome

Infants and Children
-Spitting up
-Suckling difficulty
-Birth Trauma
-Delayed development
-Down's syndrome
-Recurrent ear infections

-Back pain
-Groin pain
-Leg swelling

How does Osteopathic Manipulation work?

In order for the body to maintain health, it must have normal nerve function and be able to circulate all of its fluids (ex. blood, lymph, digestive fluids, cerebral spinal fluids etc). These fluids carry hormones, enzymes, nutrition, and oxygen required to regulate the body and sustain health. Any blockage of the fluids or nerves results in pain or disease. These blockages may be structural or non-structural.

Structural(physical) blocks may be in the bones, tissues or organs. Osteopathic manipulation uses gentle hands-on techniques to remove physical blocks—this restores normal structure and function, which promotes innate healing and pain relief.

Non-structural impediments may include emotional patterns or memories that create physical stress on the body which result in pain or disease. These are often responses to stressful incidents of the past or present, or are of a repetitive nature. Non structural impediments may be helped with osteopathic manipulation and many other treatment methods to include: spiritual medicine and nutrition.

What osteopathic manipulation techniques are used?
Depending on your condition, different osteopathic procedures are used. Some examples include: soft tissue, myofascial release, cranial-sacral, visceral manipulation, muscle energy, lymphatic, Jones strain-counterstrain, facilitated positional release, cranial biodynamics, percussion hammer. For a more detailed explanations click here.

What is an osteopathic manipulation treatment like?
Most patients are treated sitting or lying down. All treatments are specific to the patient and their particular condition. A variety of techniques are used: some resemble stretching while others are very light in touch. During the treatment some patients feel a sense of relaxation, warmth, or tingling. Others report no sensation at all.

For those who have never experienced it, Osteopathic Manipulation is difficult to describe, as it is unlike any other form of manual therapy. It is not massage, reiki, or chiropractic. Many patients cannot even feel most of the Osteopath's most effective techniques.

Are there any side effects to a treatment?
Most patients experience deep relaxation and improvement of symptoms. Adverse effects may include, but are not limited to: muscles aches, and the possible aggravation of symptoms existing prior to treatment, which usually resolve in 1-2 days.

How long does it take to get better?
Many factors are involved in healing. A patient in general good health responds more quickly than someone with a chronic problem. A chronic condition takes years to develop and takes longer to heal. Depending on the nature of the problem, an individual may be helped within a few treatments, while others require a much longer periods of time. Once pain is resolved, stabilization care is offered to help prevent recurrence of pain or disease.

Tamara McReynolds 2012