Osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT)


Osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT) is a hands-on therapy used to manage pain, enhance circulation, and address structural imbalances in the body. Osteopathic manipulative therapy, or osteopathic manipulation, is another name for OMT.

Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) that specialize in musculoskeletal problems are hands-on in treating patients. OMT is used to treat a variety of conditions as well as mechanical pain, which is pain in the muscles, tendons, or bones brought on by a structural imbalance. OMT is another tool that DOs employ to help the body function better and to diagnosis and prevent disease.

DOs utilize light pressure to manipulate the joints, soft tissues, and muscles using a variety of OMT techniques. The treatment promotes the body’s natural healing ability by ensuring that the muscles and bones are properly balanced and positioned.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

OMT is most commonly used by patients for lower back pain, but DOs treat many kinds of conditions using it. Osteopathic manipulative therapy is beneficial for adults, children, and babies. OMT helps expectant mothers sleep better and manage pain. Infants with colic can also benefit from OMT.

Osteopathic manipulative therapy is the treatment option for back pain used by DOs. However, OMT may treat a wide range of conditions, such as:

  • Chronic pain, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and menstruation discomfort.
  • Musculoskeletal issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, joint discomfort, and pain in the back and neck.
  • Any breathing related condition like asthma and sinus infection.
  • Constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Pregnancy-related issues such sciatica, sleeplessness, and swelling (edema).
  • Repetitive stress injuries and injuries from sports.

OMT helps correct the structural imbalance by enhancing blood and nerve flow to the affected body part, which might enhance the organ’s overall health.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment is not recommended for those with osteoporosis, bone cancer, or other joint-related conditions. Before beginning this treatment, make sure the DO is aware of any previous medical conditions.


Techniques for OMT are safe. These procedures have no known adverse effects. Intense pain is an abnormal reaction to OMT.

Before the procedure

The DO will inquire about the patient’s lifestyle, health issues, and symptoms. Providing information regarding sleep patterns, physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being is important. Using this data, DOs are able to have a comprehensive understanding of how lifestyle choices impact general health.

The DO will examine the patient by applying pressure or touching various bodily areas. Before beginning OMT, the DO may request imaging tests (such as an MRI or X-ray) based on the patient’s concerns.

During the procedure

The patient will be asked to sit, stand, or lie down on an examination table during osteopathic manipulation. The DO will move their limbs in various positions and apply pressure to their muscles and soft tissues. Over forty OMT approaches exist. The DO may employ one method or multiple approaches.

The DO may instruct the patient to roll onto their side, pull their knees to their chest, or lie on their back, depending on the technique. The DO will apply pressure and use mild manipulation while they are in these positions to help them stretch their muscles and realign their joints. At some moments, the DO might advise the patient to hold and release their breath.

The DO may apply gradual, steady pressure or quick, abrupt manipulations. A few of the motions could seem a little weird or unnatural. They shouldn’t hurt, though. Notify the DO as soon as the patient experiences any pain or discomfort during treatment.

After the procedure

Everybody reacts differently to osteopathic manipulation. After treatment, the patient can have some soreness for a day or two. Some people have fatigue following OMT. Some people are energized.

Following every therapy session, the patient must:

  • Drink a lot of water. After therapy, toxins can be removed from the muscles by staying hydrated.
  • A brief walk helps in the body’s adjustment to the right alignment and balance.
  • Go gentle on the self, after OMT, abstain from strenuous exercise for 24 hours. Keep the breathing in mind and give the body some downtime.


Conditions affecting the musculoskeletal, digestive, neurological, and immunological systems are all treated with osteopathic manipulative therapy. OMT helps the body function as a whole by realigning the body and reestablishing the balance of the bones and muscles.

The DO is able to do the following after using OMT:

  • Take care of structural concerns with the tissues, muscles, and joints.
  • Enhance the body’s circulation, or the way blood and other fluids move through it
  • By enhancing the body’s ability to function as a whole, prevent health issues and assist the body in healing itself.
  • Reduce stiff joints, relax tense muscles, and increase range of motion.

Patients can typically resume their regular activities within a day or two following an OMT session. After treatment, they can experience some soreness for a few days, but no pain. Discuss starting or continuing an exercise program and other activities with the healthcare provider.

If discomfort persists more than a few days following therapy, contact the DO. If the patient experience pain following OMT, consult the healthcare provider straight away. Osteopathic manipulative treatment does not typically result in pain as a side effect.