What is Osteopathic Medicine?
Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was started in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. It focuses on preventive medicine, eating properly, keeping fit, and the unity of all body parts, noting that the musculoskeletal system is a key element of health. In addition to standard medical care, osteopathic physicians use their hands and medical knowledge to diagnose and provide manual treatment. Osteopathic physicians guide patients to take responsibility for and be active in their own care and well-being.
OMT requires a specially-trained physician to provide care with his/her hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury/illness and promote the body's natural tendency towards good health. Using OMT techniques, your physician will help restore balance and healthy function to the body by using a variety of unique, non-invasive methods described below. The primary goal of OMT is to relieve pain, optimize function, and correct neuromuscular skeletal dysfunction.
- Soft tissue technique - This approach applies pressure to the muscle area around the spine. It consists of rhythmic stretching, deep pressure and traction.
- Muscle energy technique - The patient is directed to use his or her muscles from a precise position and in a specific direction against a gentle counterforce applied by the physician.
- Thrust technique - This approach uses high velocity forces to restore motion to a joint in order to reduce or eliminate the signs of tissue changes, asymmetry, restricted movement, and tenderness. This is the "cracking" technique of manipulation.
- Counterstrain technique - The patient is moved away from a position of restricted motion to one of greater comfort. This technique is good for an acute injury.
- Trigger Point Injection (TPI) - This approach applies pressure to the muscle area around the spine. It consists of rhythmic stretching, deep pressure, and traction.
- Nerve Block Injections - This is an injection of anesthetic to decrease the pain signals of the affected nerve. Nerve blocks treat neuropathic pain and often help patients manage their symptoms.
- Joint Injections - This is utilized for delivery of local anesthetics when appropriate for pain relief and may include corticosteroids for suppression of inflammation.