You’ve moved to a new area and you need to change doctors. Or your favorite doctor decides to retire. Good for them, but not so good for you. You start asking neighbors and friends at work for recommendations, and you make a list of options.
While doing your research, you notice that some doctors on your list have an MD after their names, while others have DO, which stands for doctor of osteopathy. You may wonder what’s the difference, and does it really matter? And you may get a little confused.
In this blog, the highly skilled providers at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, Edison, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, unpack what osteopathic medicine is and how they use osteopathic manipulative therapy to diagnose and treat medical conditions.
DOs are specially trained and licensed physicians
A doctor of osteopathic medicine who performs osteopathic manipulative therapy is a fully licensed physician. Like MDs, DOs can practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states and can also prescribe medications.
Although the classroom and clinical training are similar for MDs and DOs, the real difference lies in their philosophy of practicing medicine and their use of osteopathic manipulative therapy.
Approach for diagnosing and treating pain and disease
Osteopathic manipulative therapy is a form of strategic manipulation. Think of OMT as a combination of applying manual force or pressure. Practitioners perform OMT by using their fingers and hands to palpate connective tissue, joints, and muscles with the distinct purpose of diagnosing and treating ailments.
The underlying principle behind osteopathic manipulative therapy and osteopathic medicine as a whole is that the human body is a complex collection of interconnected systems that encompass bones, nerves, joints, and muscles. Pain or ailments happen when these systems are thrown off balance, which can in turn trigger problems in other parts of the body.
Using OMT and taking into consideration lifestyle and environmental factors, practitioners work to reset proper balance so the body can ultimately heal itself.
Patient-centered focus on treating the whole person
Here at Cardio Metabolic Institute, osteopathic manipulative medicine, sometimes referred to as osteopathic manipulative therapy or OMT, is included as part of our integrative medicine menu of services, along with acupuncture, cupping, and gua sha (scraping).
As an integrative medicine modality, osteopathic manipulative therapy is based on a holistic approach. It doesn’t simply look at resolving issues by addressing symptoms but instead is a patient-focused philosophy of care that treats the whole person.
OMT addresses pain and many other issues
Although it may seem intuitive to think of osteopathic manipulative therapy simply as a tool to diagnose or treat conditions related to pain in the back, shoulders, neck, or knees, it’s so much more.
OMT may be used to prevent injury or illness as well as treat a wide range of medical conditions and ailments such as asthma, sinus problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, and menstrual cramps as well as digestive conditions such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you’d like to learn more about osteopathic manipulative therapy and find out if OMT can help you optimize your wellness, contact the Cardio Metabolic Institute office nearest you for an evaluation. Click or call for an appointment and start your journey to wellness today. Our multidisciplinary team is committed to helping our patients maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit.