Farmington Hills, MI (March 20, 2006)--- Do you have a pain in your back or neck that won’t go away? Osteopathic physicians may be able to get rid of your discomfort using a traditional technique called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM).
OMM is part of the tradition and philosophy of Osteopathic Medicine, which began with Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., who founded the profession of Osteopathic Medicine in 1874. Osteopathic medical students spend time in the classroom learning the art and practice of OMM. This system of hands-on techniques helps alleviate pain, restore motion, support the body’s natural functions and influence the body’s structure to help it function more efficiently.
Any time the body is not functioning at its peak capacity, OMM may be used to help restore the body to normal and help the person heal. Botsford General Hospital’s Director of Medical Education, Vance Powell, D.O. says, “Osteopathic physicians study the body as an integrated whole. OMM helps to enhance the care of the patient. It allows the doctor to develop a connection with the patient using his/her hands. OMM is not the answer to everything, just like drugs and surgery are not either.”
Many people confuse osteopathic manipulation with chiropractic adjustments. One primary difference is that only the osteopathic physician has the training to apply the principal philosophy of osteopathic health care with comprehensive medical training in all parts of the body. This helps determine how manipulative medicine can be used with individual patients. OMM techniques can also be used on areas of the body that are not usually treated by chiropractic adjustments, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Botsford’s Program Director of OMM Residencies, Stephen Goldman, D.O., lectures several times a month to Botsford’s residents and interns about OMM and the various techniques that exist. Dr. Goldman says, “There are a myriad of techniques. The doctor must use what he or she is most comfortable with and what is best for the patient.” The American Osteopathic Association is also emphasizing the importance of OMM and pushing residency programs to continue to use the techniques. Dr. Goldman adds, “Alternative forms of treatment such as OMM are really being consumer driven. People are always looking for new tools to help them improve their health.”
It may be difficult for people to believe this technique truly works. Dr. Powell was initially skeptical until he learned first hand how OMM works. Prior to his formal medical training, Dr. Powell worked in an emergency room. While transferring a patient from the ambulance gurney to the ER gurney he experienced a sudden pain down the back of his leg. He could barely walk for months after this incident. No one was able to help him alleviate his pain, until he commenced medical school and met the head of the OMM department when he commenced medical school. The doctor put Dr. Powell on an exam table and after using various OMM techniques this pain immediately subsided. This graphic example truly exemplifies how powerful osteopathic medicine can be.
OMM is becoming such a useful tool, that some M.D.s are also taking similar courses. OMM should be used as an adjunct to traditional medicine. There has been limited hard core research on patients who have been treated using the OMM techniques, however those that have been treated with it will tell you it was a lifesaver.
The Botsford Health Care Continuum is an integrated system of care which includes Botsford General Hospital, the Botsford Physician Network, Community Emergency Medical Service, the Botsford Continuing Care Corporation and the Botsford Center for Health Improvement. The Botsford site on the internet is www.botsford.org.
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