The osteopathic medical practice offers more than conventional medicine.
Physicians in this field are trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). This treatment targets structural dysfunctions or blockages which may be interfering with the body’s ability to heal. These can include lymphatic obstructions, segmental or regional restrictions of motion, muscle spasms, and structural irregularities.
The application of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is possible in virtually every patient case, especially when related to musculoskeletal pain. Osteopaths have great knowledge of the neuromusculoskeletal system and how it integrates with other bodily structures. Through physical manipulation, an osteopath can stimulate other systems including respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, and lymphatic systems to treat disease.
OMT for Respiratory Conditions
The use of OMT on top of conventional medical care increases a patient’s fighting chance against disease. At the same time, it also complements other conventional medical care techniques. This is clearly visible when it comes to the treatment of respiratory infections like the flu or pneumonia, which claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year. In addition to recommended standard-of-care administration, osteopaths offer manipulative medicine to support lymphatic flow, rib cage mobility, immune function, and respiratory function.
OMT for the treatment of respiratory conditions was first recorded in 1918 during the time of the Spanish influenza pandemic. During this time, patients treated by osteopathic physicians experienced a mortality rate of 10%. In comparison, allopathic physicians produced a 33% mortality rate. Additionally, patients treated with OMT experienced reduced hospital stay and time receiving intravenous antibiotics, and reduced prevalence of respiratory failure and death (Yao, 2014).
This trend is visible throughout the history of Osteopathic medicine, osteopathic hospitals experience lower mortality rates when compared to allopathic hospitals when it comes to the treatment of respiratory conditions. OMT can help free-up any blockages which may be interfering with an individual’s ability to breathe without extra resistance. Manipulation techniques of this kind can help strengthen respiratory muscles, promote lung expansion, and eliminate secretions. Individuals with respiratory infections, allergies, and COPD can all benefit from this type of manipulative medicine.
OMT for Musculoskeletal Pain
Osteopathic manipulative treatment involves diverse manual techniques to relieve and diagnose pain. A patient might experience manipulation of the spine, soft-tissue structures, the application of manual pressure or even being asked to perform basic movements with increased resistance. With these techniques, the osteopath is able to affect desired organs or structures of the body by reading their relation to the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems.
OMT can be used to treat a variety of pains, including discomforts that present themselves in response to pain. One example of this is lower back pain and morning sickness experienced by pregnant women. The shift in gravitational pull, the extra weight, and the relaxation of smooth muscles around the pelvic area to provide extra space for the fetus all play a role in this discomfort. The pregnancy itself can represent a series of physical obstacles for the body’s function. The added pressure and rearranged internal configuration can lead to muscle spasms affecting the gastrointestinal system and inducing morning sickness. Osteopathic treatment can ease morning sickness through pure body manipulation.
In sum, osteopathic treatment is a great alternative to surgical or medicated alternatives. By taking a “full-body” approach, osteopaths can determine how one structure is affecting another, and thereby remedy that issue.
If you would like to explore osteopathic treatments, come to CORE! This March, we are introducing several new services including OMT, as well as prolotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and more! Get out of pain now!
Yao, Sheldon, et al. “Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment as a Useful Adjunctive Tool for Pneumonia.” Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE, MyJove Corporation, 6 May 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173698/.