As its name suggests, osteopathic manual manipulation (OMM) is a form of hands-on therapy. It’s often used to treat musculoskeletal problems but can also handle problems related to other bodily systems. OMM restores balance to your entire body, allowing it to work better as a whole.
At Santa Cruz Osteopathic, osteopathic physician Dr. Richard Bernstein takes a holistic approach to the body, looking at the big picture to diagnose and treat its diseases and injuries and focusing on nonsurgical and noninvasive OMM to encourage the body’s natural healing process. Here’s what he wants you to know about the body systems that respond well to osteopathic manipulation.
What is a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO)?
Osteopathic medicine is not a newfangled treatment. It was established in the late 1800s by a physician in Kirksville, Missouri, who believed the medical practices of that time often caused patients more harm than good. He developed a system that involved hands-on medical care and promoted the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Doctors of osteopathic medicine believe that all bodily systems are interconnected, and they view the body, mind, and spirit as integral parts of one larger, interconnected system. DOs focus on healing the musculoskeletal system, but they’re also licensed to treat the same health conditions as an MD in all 50 states.
DOs look at the body holistically. Instead of just masking symptoms, they dig to find the root cause of those symptoms and form a treatment plan to promote better overall health. To accomplish this, they evaluate your:
- Activity level and exercise habits
- Lifestyle and environment
- Physical and mental health
- Stress levels
- Sleep habits
Each can give clues about the problem, helping form an accurate diagnosis and defining appropriate treatment.
A DO uses gentle pressure, stretching, and resistance, among other techniques to move a patient’s muscles and joints. The goal is to achieve structural balance and create a healing environment within the body.
5 body systems that respond well to OMM
Dr. Bernstein often uses OMM for back pain relief, but he can use it to treat five important body systems:
- Respiratory: including breathing issues such as asthma and sinus infections
- Gastrointestinal: including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation
- Neurological/musculoskeletal: especially useful for chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and other joint pain, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, and migraine
- Hormonal: includes problems related to pregnancy
- Immunological: restores healthy functioning of immune system components
The beauty of the treatment is that all body systems are interconnected, meaning that treating one body system may also lead to benefits in other systems.
If you’re struggling with a chronic condition and looking for a treatment option that considers all of you, OMM may be a good choice for you. Give Santa Cruz Osteopathic a call at 831-464-1605 to set up a consultation with Dr. Bernstein, or book online with us today.