Description of a Session
A typical session with an osteopathic physician begins with an extensive past and present medical and surgical history and a thorough evaluation of the patients chief complaint with an emphasis on the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Lifestyle and emotional health are also addressed.
The assessment will also consist of a complete physical exam that may involve blood work, urine analysis, X-rays, or other tests as are necessary.
In addition, a hands-on evaluation of the neuromusculoskeletal system will be performed as well as any necessary specialized tests. After this extensive evaluation, the osteopathic physician may prescribe medications as necessary, offer recommendations regarding changes in diet or lifestyle, or refer to a specialist for different treatment. If a structural abnormality has been found, or if the physician feels that the patient may benefit from osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT), a hands-on approach to treatment of structure and therefore function is initiated. A first visit may take up to an hour and subsequent visits are usually 20 to 30 minutes.
If OMT is deemed necessary, the patient is positioned on the table accordingly and certain osteopathic techniques are performed. Usually, the physician starts from a location most distant from the site that needs treatment and ultimately ends up at the target area. The physician helps the patient reach a state of physical and physiological balance. During the treatment many patients may feel a deep sense of relaxation or tingling. After the session, depending on the type of treatment and the individual, responses may vary ranging from a slight temporary discomfort to a feeling of physical and emotional ease.
Course of Treatment
If the condition is a chronic one that took years to develop, the physician may need to utilize OMT throughout a significantly greater number of sessions than if the disease entity were an acute episode. Acute illnesses such as asthma exacerbations, the flu, ear infections, headaches, etc., may only require one to a handful of treatments in order to be effective.
Craniosacral therapy may uncommonly cause headaches or dizziness, or alter heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. High Velocity and Low Amplitude techniques may cause a temporary exacerbation of symptoms or a soreness.
Craniosacral therapy is contraindicated in patients with an intracranial bleed or an increase in intracranial pressure. OMT is contraindicated in osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, fractures in the area of the thrust, and bone metastases. Caution must be taken with all techniques if a patient has advanced stage cancer due to the risk of spreading of the metastatic disease.
Other Modalities that Work Well with OMT Aspect of Osteopathic Medicine
|The patient is able to continue all medical and surgical interventions and implement OMT as an adjunct treatment.|
|Physical therapy works well with OMT in that the patient is encouraged to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility as necessary.|
|General health maintenance and strengthening of the immune system to support the bodys improved state of equilibrium will work effectively with the OMT.|