What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)?
Not all ‘DOs’ practice OMM, even thought they have had the training during their preparation for practice. Those of us who do, examine you (as an individual) keeping in mind your primary complaint and your medical/surgical history. Our goal is to find stresses and/or strains related to your muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue that might affect the problem(s) for which you have sought help. The ability to diagnose these stresses and strains helps ‘DOs’ design a treatment that will help speed recovery and healing. Most of you have sprained an ankle at one time or another. The ankle got swollen. It affected how you walked. You may have needed crutches for a while, as well as an ankle support. There was strain in the tissues right around the ankle and this strain was part of what made the swelling linger, even as you started to feel like you could walk on the ankle again. We, those who practice OMM, find that the strain can be improved and largely normalized with manipulative treatment if ligament damage is not too severe. This speeds the reduction of swelling and return to more normal, as well as walking again. So Osteopathic manipulative treatment has positive local effects. Many of you got sore in your low back or hips after the ankle sprain. This was either because of the way you fell or because of the odd way you had to walk due to the sore ankle. OMM also looks at these related strains and can identify them whether you feel them or not. Treatment of these additional elements also helps speed recovery and return to normal.
The ankle sprain is something that all of us can relate to. Osteopathic manipulative medicine uses the same principles that were applied to the ankle sprain example for all other complaints. We ask and answer the questions about what the diagnosis might be, what different things might be affecting or inhibiting recovery and how do the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue play a role in that problem and your recovery. With the answers to those questions Osteopathic manipulative medicine can be used to help the speed and effectiveness of return to health and optimal function.