Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Pain

Osteopathic physicians, or DOs, are particularly attuned to end-of-life pain management because the osteopathic medicine approach combines pharmacological treatment with a unique, distinctive tool called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).

OMT is effective as an adjunctive therapy to help control and ease somatic pain that many people suffer from during the final stages of life. Somatic pain includes that of the muscles, skin, bone, and other soft tissues.

The foundation of OMT is built on a thorough knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, which makes up two-thirds of the body's mass. DOs believe that all body systems work together and that disturbances in one system often adversely impact functions elsewhere in the body. By using their hands to seek out irregularities in the muscle tissues, joints, and tendons, DOs are able to treat a variety of health ailments. OMT as a hands-on treatment tool can relax muscles, relieve pain, reduce stress, stimulate nerves, and promote blood circulation. Manipulation may also help improve posture and increase mobility and range of motion.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that OMT is not only an effective and low-cost form of treatment for low back pain, but also helps decrease the need for medications and surgery.