In the United States, there are two types of fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine: Medical Doctors (MDs), and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs). Allopathic medical doctors and osteopathic medical doctors receive comparable basic science and clinical training, and must pass national examinations to become licensed in the states in which they practice. In addition to these standardized requirements, osteopathic physicians also complete advanced training in the musculoskeletal system–the body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones. Through Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, DOs may use their hands to diagnose illness and injury, and encourage your body’s innate healing mechanisms.
The Osteopathic Philosophy
Osteopathic physicians consider themselves partners in your healthcare, and greatly respect your body’s innate wellness. Although our physicians are well-equipped to provide prescription medication or surgical intervention, they primarily emphasize prevention, and explore with you how your lifestyle and environment affect your health. Osteopathic medicine addresses foundational components of health–body, mind, and spirit–through the balance between scientific advances and traditional wisdom, keeping the humanity and dignity of each person at the core of care.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Although physicians have been using their hands to evaluate patients and deliver care for centuries, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) was first developed by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, in 1874. While using OMT, our physicians move your muscles and joints using techniques that may incorporate stretching, gentle pressure, or resistance. This hands-on technique is used to ease muscle, back, and joint pain, encourage blood flow, and increase mobility. It can also be used for other medical conditions, such as asthma, migraines, or menstrual pain. Where appropriate, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment can complement medication or surgery, or can replace these interventions entirely.