About Osteopathic Manual Medicine

What is a D.O.?


D.O.s (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine) are fully licensed physician who can practice in all areas of medicine. In addition to normal medical training, D.O.s receive extensive training in the musculoskeletal system and the relationship between the body’s nerves, muscles, bones, and organs. D.O.s are trained to use their hands to recognize changes in the body’s structural makeup, and to assess whether these changes are altering function and contributing to illness. They are also trained to use hands-on techniques to correct these changes in order to aid the body’s ability to return to homeostasis.

What is Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM)?

OMM is a set of gentle hands-on techniques used to restore normal function to the body’s tissues. OMM can be helpful in addressing a number of medical concerns.

In the general population, OMM can be helpful for:

  • Musculoskeletal pain (including neck, back, shoulder, knee, ankle etc)
  • Headache (chronic and acute)
  • TMJ pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Menstrual pain
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues
  • Acute and chronic injuries

 In infants and pediatric patients, OMM is often an effective part of addressing:

  • Breast/bottle feeding difficulties
  • Colic
  • Reflux
  • Tongue ties
  • Birth trauma
  • Torticollis
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Constipation
  • Ear infections.

It is also an incredibly beneficial part of prenatal and postpartum care. OMM can help both mom and baby be more comfortable, aid in the normal progression of labor, and support postpartum recovery by:

  • Reducing tension and strain
  • Improving body mechanics
  • Allowing mobility and ease of motion
  • Properly aligning mothers pelvis
  • Optimizing baby’s positioning in utero


Musculoskeletal pain

How is OMM different from other body work?

The primary difference is in the level of training and scope of practice of the practitioner. Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) attend four years of medical school followed by additional postgraduate training during which they are trained to find and correct any abnormalities in the body’s structure that are preventing homeostasis. Osteopathic treatment goes beyond spinal alignment and addresses abnormalities in broader physiology by using an array of direct and indirect techniques. In addition to occasionally using thrusting (cracking) techniques, D.O.s use other, more gentle, therapeutic techniques such as Myofascial Release, Muscle Energy, Counterstrain, Visceral Manipulation, and Cranial Osteopathy. This broad range of treatment options allows D.O.s to customize their treatment plan to the patient’s unique needs.