This information explains osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).
OMT involves moving your muscles and joints with stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance. It can be used with other forms of medical care, such as medications or surgery, to help you recover from illness and injury and reduce pain.
OMT can help to:
- Reduce pain.
- Improve how well your joints move.
- Improve how well your muscles work.
- Balance your body by realigning your musculoskeletal system (your muscles, skeleton, and the connective tissue that supports your organs and tissues).
- Prevent more injury to your musculoskeletal system.
- Promote healing.
OMT can be used to treat conditions such as:
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Neuromuscular pain syndromes (syndromes that affect your muscles or nerves, such as neuropathy or myopathy)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Sinus disorders
- Middle ear infections
Doctors who perform OMT are doctors of osteopathic medicine. They are licensed doctors who have received the education and training needed to perform this therapy.
Before Your OMT Session
Before scheduling an OMT session, your doctor will evaluate you to see if the treatment will be helpful. They will speak with you about your medical history and lifestyle, including your job. Tell your doctor if you:
- Have or had any recent illnesses or surgery.
- Have or had a fracture, surgery, or cancer in your spine, ribs, or the bones in your arms or shoulders.
- Have osteoporosis.
- Think you may be pregnant.
During your exam, your doctor will check your spine, posture, and balance. They will also feel your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. After reviewing the results, your doctor will discuss the cause of your symptoms and whether you may benefit from OMT. If they think you may benefit, you can make an appointment for an OMT session.
The day before your appointment, you will get a phone call the day to confirm your appointment. You don’t need to do anything to prepare for your OMT appointment. You can eat, drink, and take your usual medications.Back to top
During Your OMT Session
When you arrive for your appointment, you will change into a gown. You can leave your undergarments on.
During your treatment, you will lie in a comfortable procedure bed. Your doctor will apply gentle stretching, pressure, and resistance to the areas that are causing you problems.
The OMT session usually lasts 30 to 60 minutes.Back to top
After Your OMT Session
In general, OMT is a safe treatment. Although rare, some people have reported having:
- A mild headache, which usually goes away in 1 hour.
- Mild discomfort in the area you received treatment. This goes away in 1 to 2 days.
- Brief episodes of feeling flushed, dizzy, or nauseous immediately after the treatment.