Medical science has come a long way in recent years, and almost every day, new discoveries are being made. With all of these breakthroughs, it’s easy to overlook what is sometimes the most effective treatment method: a healing touch.
Luckily, osteopathic physicians and chiropractors have not forgotten how powerful touch can be.
Understanding OMT and CMT
Both osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and chiropractic manipulative treatment (CMT) are based on hands-on care. These therapies utilize the hands in every step of the process, from the initial diagnosis to carrying out the treatment. The hands also play an essential role in preventing both illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician or chiropractor will move your muscles and joints via proven techniques, which include stretching and the application of gentle pressure and resistance.
Could you benefit from OMT or CMT?
OMT / CMT can be an effective treatment option for people of all backgrounds and ages. It can help to:
- Reduce pain
- Foster healing
- Enhance mobility
While OMT / CMT is typically used to ease muscle pain, including neck and back pain, it can be an effective treatment option for many other health concerns as well, including:
- Sinus disorder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Menstrual pain
In some cases, CMT and OMT can reduce or even eliminate the need for medications and other more invasive treatment options, such as surgery.
The Role of Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctors of Chiropractic
The physicians who treat their patients using the OMT method are called Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s), but they can also be called Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.s). D.O.s are completely licensed, and they can provide you with a full range of services, including prescribing medications and performing surgeries, and they make it a point to use the latest and most innovative medical tools. But, unlike typical physicians, D.O.s and D.C.s offer their patients something unique--a different kind of approach to patient care. They:
- Teach patients how leading a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent illness and injury.
- Take a holistic approach, looking at the whole person instead of just the symptoms they are experiencing.
- Focus on treatment that encourages the body to heal itself.
- Know that all parts of the body work in conjunction with one another, and they have special training focused on the nervous system and its effects on the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones).
What should you expect from your first visit with a D.O. or D.C.?
In general, you can expect a typical visit with a D.O. or D.C. to include four parts. Here’s what to expect from each part of the visit:
Your doctor will have a conversation with you about many aspects of your day-to-day life, including your personal and professional life. You can also expect to talk with your doctor about your medical history.
Your doctor will then perform a complete physical examination, which will include a structural exam. Structural exams involve checking your spine, posture and balance. Your doctor will use their hands to feel your feet, back and hands, and they will carefully check your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. At this time, your doctor will also order any necessary tests.
Once the interview and exam are complete, your doctor will use the results to diagnose the root problem that is causing your symptoms.
Your doctor will then suggest a plan to treat the problem, which may include CMT/OMT. Depending on the severity of your condition, medication or surgery may also be recommended.
Is Manual Therapy Effective?
Manual therapy (MT) may sound too good to be true, but it has actually been shown to be an effective treatment option for many people. Here are two studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of MT:
- In one study that was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, children who suffered from frequent ear infections were treated through MT as an addition to their existing treatment plan. Researchers found that, when used as an added treatment, OMT/CMT helped to prevent or decrease the need for an overuse of antibiotics, as well as surgery.
- In another study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers studied the effectiveness of using MT to treat lower back pain. The patients were divided into two separate groups; one group used standard treatments, including hot and cold packs, as well as physical therapy, and the other group received the same standard care, plus MT. After 12 weeks, patients in both groups claimed to feel better. However, the group that received OMT/CMT required less physical therapy and medication, which meant that they experienced fewer side effects and ended up with lower costs for their treatment.
Not only is our very own Dr. Sniezek a fully trained and licensed Doctor of Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic, he is board certified by the American Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He has also gone through additional training through the postgraduate program at Harvard Medical School in Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment.
Find out if our chiropractic care methods are right for you! Request an appointment today!