What is Osteopathic Manipulation?

Sep 28, 2021

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“What is osteopathic manipulation?”

That’s a question many of our patients ask, and we love seeing their reactions when they hear how effective it can be.

Although patients have different reactions to the treatment, a great majority experience a great sense of relief that they didn’t even know they needed.

Osteopathic Manipulation: What It Is and How It Works

Many doctors learn about osteopathic medicine in medical school, but osteopathic manipulative treatment is a hands-on technique that requires additional training. Doctors of osteopathy use it to complement traditional treatments or as the core treatment.

The idea is that restricted or tight muscles may cause pain in different areas of your body. Patients may not realize the exact source of the pain and only be able to identify the symptoms. If only the symptoms are treated, therefore, the solution may be only temporary, as they may return if the source of the problems are not addressed.

During osteopathic manipulation, DOs gently move joints and tissues to correct any tightness that may be leading to pain or discomfort. During the treatment, which typically lasts about a half hour, patients will feel light pressure, resistance, and stretching.

It should not hurt, although some patients may feel some slight discomfort during the first treatment. Others report an instant sense of relief, and some may need multiple treatments.

The osteopathic doctors are trained to identify which procedure would be most ideal based on the symptoms that patients are experiencing. There are approximately 40 different techniques, including the following:

  • Soft tissue manipulation, which involves stretching and pressure at the muscles
  • Muscle energy technique, wherein you will be asked to make certain movements while the DO moves your muscles in opposing directions
  • Myofascial release, the goal of which is to release tension in the face
  • Cranial osteopathic treatment, where soft pressure is applied to your skull to relieve pressure

Through these techniques and many others, osteopathic manipulative medicine can be used to treat a wide array of health conditions, including:

  • Headaches, dizziness, and vertigo
  • Pain at nearly every part of the body
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Joint instability or unsteady gait
  • Mobility concerns, such as for Parkinson’s disease patients
  • Pinched nerves at the spinal column
  • Menstrual pain
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Digestive disorders

See if OMT is Right for You

If you are experiencing virtually any physical symptoms and have not been able to relieve them with traditional therapies, osteopathic manipulation may be the answer. Make an appointment with Dr. Max Feinstein, D.O., and he will review your medical history and symptoms to determine if osteopathic medicine is an ideal treatment for you.

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