Believe it or not, this is the most difficult question we answer. “OMT” stands for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.
Osteopathy is a medical philosophy that believes a problem or pain develops only when the body is unable to heal itself. This is where OMT is used to correct the problem. The physician finds the strain or lesion and removes it by using a number of different techniques including myofascial release, muscle energy, ligamentous articular strain and others. The result is decreased pain, improved mobility and restoration of the body to its healthy state.
OMT differs from physical therapy by treating the body as a whole, not just certain body parts. In some cases, physical therapy and stretching can worsen strains and increase pain. In general, OMT is gentler than many chiropractic techniques, performed over less visits and does not involve the use of x-rays in the diagnosis of structural dysfunction.
Ann Wales, DO summed it up best in her “Ligamentous Articular Strains and Membranous Articular Strains” article:
“If the bony-ligamentous-fascial system is strained and does not recover from the strain, the mechanical conditions under which the muscles function are altered. Many times the irritations thus produced stimulate the muscles to action which rebalances the skeleton and thus resolves the strain in action. Many other times the structural system resolves its own strains and imbalances through its own tone and mechanical physiology, frequently during the relaxation of rest or in sleep. The science of osteopathy is fundamentally concerned with reversing those structural strains which are not spontaneously resolved and the physiological perversions which develop from them. The power of the body as a biological unit to normalize itself following the removal these basic strains is the reason why the osteopathic profession can point with pride to its clinical history. Adjustment of the osteopathic lesion works.”