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Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Upload: November 18, 2016

Doctors of Osteopathy have been trained in both medicine and manipulation. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is a way of using the hands to help ease pain and improve body function.

OMM is a manual medicine that is similar to chiropractic in that the doctor can adjust the bones, and also similar to massage therapy in that the doctor can adjust the muscle, but OMM can be used to treat muscle, bone, nerves, blood vessels, lymph, and internal organs. OMM can be safely performed on people of all ages, from newborns to elderly.

OMM may help with pain issues including acute pain from MVA or injury, and chronic pain such as headaches, neck or back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint disease, pain from pregnancy, scoliosis, endometriosis, pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, etc.

OMM can help with many medical issues including COPD/asthma, IBS, CHF, MS, scoliosis, sinusitis, bronchitis, infants with colic, newborns with difficulty breastfeeding, torticollis, etc.


OMM Services are available at the following Oregon Medical Group clinic(s):


Garden Way Medical Clinic 330 South Garden Way North Building - Suite 350 Eugene, Oregon 97401
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Oregon Medical Group at Country Club Road 600 Country Club Road Eugene, OR 97401 Fax: (541) 344-5251
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Who can get OMM ?
OMM can be safely performed on people of all ages, from newborns to elderly, including pregnant women.  It can be done on people with broken bones, osteoporosis, and many other health conditions.
What can I expect from my first visit?
Your doctor will ask about your health history including a detailed account of your injury.  You will be asked to remove items from your pockets, and to take off your belt and shoes. They will do a physical exam including checking your nerves, muscles and bones.  Some of the exam will be standing, some sitting, and some lying on your back.  Treatment styles vary between provider and patient need (for example some doctors do a lot of the “snap-crack-pop” while others do hardly any), if at any time during your visit you feel the treatment is “wrong” or too painful please let your doctor know and they will change how they are treating you. The doctor will touch various parts of you including your neck, back, tailbone, arms, legs, chest, and head (possible not every area every time).  Be aware the doctor will likely NOT start where you complain of the most pain, don’t worry they will get there.
How does OMM work?
Every person’s body is striving to be in a healthy balance.  Trauma (be it physical/mental/emotional) can knock a person out of balance.  When a person is young and very healthy, they can bounce back quickly to healthy balance after trauma. Over a person’s lifetime, multiple small traumas can occur and add up or when something really big and bad happens, it tips the body out of healthy balance.  At this point the body is asking for help by either causing pain or illness. During each visit using OMM, your doctor can peal back these layers of trauma to help restore healthy balance as your body is ready and lets them.
How long will the treatment help?
This can range from a few hours to months, dependent on the individual.  As each treatment builds on the previous (if done in close enough proximity), they generally last longer with more treatments.
How often will I need to come back?
As each individual has had a different life history and buildup of traumas and issues, this is dependent on the individual.  Generally, we recommend starting out closer together (eg every 2 weeks) and as treatment’s last longer and healthy balance is maintained more they are spaced out.  Some people need to come in monthly to manage chronic conditions, others a few times a year to stay healthy, others only as needed every year or more.
Do I need a referral?
If you are seeing an osteopath who is your primary care provider then no, but if you are interested in seeing someone just for OMM then it depends on your insurance. If your insurance requires referrals for specialists, then you will need a referral to see an osteopath who is not your PCP.
What could go wrong?
Most people find the treatment very relaxing and reducing in pain.  Occasionally a person will feel more sore for a day or two (such as after a hard work out) but then better after that.  Rarely, people will feel worse after a treatment.  If this happens, please call the clinic ASAP to get rechecked!
What are the differences between a DO and an MD?
There are two medical degrees recognized in the United States: MD (also known as Allopaths) and DO (also known as Osteopaths).  Both go to medical school and then onto residency and can specialize in anything they choose.  Both can prescribe medications and order tests. The biggest difference is that Osteopaths believe the body heals itself, and one of the ways DOs help is by using their hands and doing Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMM).
What is Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine?
All osteopaths learns some OMM, a specialist who has undergone extensive training in OMM is boarded in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.