Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is a hands-on approach used by osteopathic physicians and therapists to treat a variety of conditions. OMT is based on the philosophy that the body has an innate ability to heal itself and that manual manipulation can help restore balance and function to the body.
OMT involves using hands-on techniques to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. These techniques include gentle pressure, holding, moving the joints, and applying traction to address tension in joints and tissues. Many osteopathic physicians believe that manual manipulation helps improve blood flow to the area being treated.
In addition to helping to improve range of motion or relieve pain from injuries, OMT can help treat a wide range of medical conditions. It is used to address osteoarthritis, disc herniations, and some neurological issues such as sciatica. OMT has also been shown to be effective in treating back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic headaches, fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal problems.
Although osteopathic physicians are trained in using OMT, some choose not to use it as part of their practice. In addition, doctors of osteopathic medicine might sometimes recommend a referral to a physical therapist for those patients experiencing conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica, which may require some strengthening and conditioning exercises along with the manipulation.
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, be sure to speak with your doctor to see if OMT may be right for you.