What is OMT?

What Is OMT?

Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician (D.O.) will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

Who Can Benefit From OMT?

OMT can help people of all ages and backgrounds. It can:

  • ease pain
  • promote healing
  • increase mobility

OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems, among them:

  • asthma
  • sinus disorder
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • migraines
  • menstrual pain

When appropriate, OMT can complement–and even replace–drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an imporatant dimension to standard medical care.

Does OMT Work?

Consider the results of a study published in a 2003 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers observed the effects of OMT as an added treatment for children suffering from frequent ear infections. Patients were divided into two groups. One group received routine care for the infections while the other received routine care plus OMT.

The results found a potential benefit of using OMT as an added treatment by possibly preventing or decreasing the need for surgical interventions or the overuse of antibiotics.

In addition, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in November 1999. In the study, researchers looked at how well OMT works to treat low-back pain.

Patients were divided into two groups. One group got standard treatments, such as hot and cold packs, physical therapy, and drugs. The other group received standard care plus OMT.

Twelve weeks later, patients in both groups felt better. But those in the OMT group used less medication and less physical therapy. That meant they had fewer side effects and lower health care costs.