The primary treatment we use for musculoskeletal problems is hands-on body manipulation, known as osteopathic manipulative treatment (or OMT for short). Many conditions can be treated with OMT as it addresses the body as a unit, rather than just individual parts that might break down.
OMT involves the use of a multitude of different techniques. Some can resemble chiropractic and involve audible “pops,” while others are so subtle as to be barely felt. Which techniques are used depends heavily on the nature of the complaint and what areas of the musculoskeletal system need addressed (joints, muscles, fascia, etc.). In addition to the standard medical training all physicians receive, osteopathic musculoskeletal physicians undergo years of specialized training to be able to evaluate, diagnose, and determine which treatment techniques will provide the maximum benefit to each individual patient.
After your first osteopathic manipulative treatment, you may experience soreness for 1-2 days. Some symptoms may even worsen. This is similar to getting your finger jammed in a door and then opening the door. You must open the door to fix the problem but restoring blood flow and function temporarily increases the pain. Typically, this post-treatment soreness resolves after a couple of days, and patients begin noticing overall improvement.
OMT is meant to be a treatment, not a therapy, and patients typically only require 3-4 treatments two to four weeks apart before noticing significant improvement. If there is no improvement after several treatments, we may have to move on to other treatment modalities.