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Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy vs Chiropractic Care, What is the Difference?

01 - Feb - 2021 Navarro Medical

A woman is undergoing OMTDoes your physician offer osteopathic manipulation therapy? If so, you may be wondering about the advantages of this service and how it relates to your chiropractic care. This guide can help you decide which of these services is best for your musculoskeletal manipulation needs.

What is Musculoskeletal Manipulation?
The act of using one’s hands or equipment to apply pressure, pull, or bend muscles, ligaments, or bones for the purpose of assessing illness or injury as well as to provide relief is called musculoskeletal manipulation. Both chiropractors and osteopathic doctors use musculoskeletal manipulation. However, the techniques and services can vary greatly.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy?
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) is the process of moving muscles and ligaments with such noninvasive methods as stretching, and applying gentle pressure to test your body’s range of motion and resistance. Your DO may use musculoskeletal manipulation in your wellness visits or as part of your treatment plan. In addition, your osteopathic doctor (DO) may use palpation to find and treat musculoskeletal abnormalities causing inflammation in the body. Palpation is the act of using one's hands to feel for irregularities in the human body. Such skilled techniques help your DO diagnose illnesses or injuries, provide treatment options, and treat ongoing health-related concerns.

Isn’t That the Same Thing as Chiropractic Care?
Not exactly. The two styles of musculoskeletal manipulation can be similar. However, there are a couple of key differences to note. Chiropractors are more focused on spinal alignment . Your DO is also your primary care physician and, as such, can look deeper into the cause of your discomfort as well as other potential health-related concerns. Furthermore, chiropractors commonly use x-rays to diagnose health concerns. Osteopathic doctors are trained to utilize less invasive techniques such as palpation and more holistic approaches beyond musculoskeletal manipulation and x-rays whenever appropriate.

Do They Treat the Same Issues?
Both methods have proven to be effective in treating a wide variety of illnesses and symptoms. Patients often report finding relief with OMT and continued chiropractic care techniques when suffering from such conditions as:

  • Asthma
  • Sinus Infections
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Skeletal Misalignment
  • Muscle or Tissue Inflammation
  • Migraines
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated Disc
  • Neck Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Menstrual Pain

What Else can an Osteopathic Doctor Do?
As your primary care physician, your DO can provide continuity of care whether you require musculoskeletal manipulation or a wellness visit. He or she can provide appropriate medical screenings, post-operative clearance, minor laceration treatment, injury assessment after an accident, diagnosis and treatment of viral and bacterial illnesses, vaccinations, recommendations for specialists, and prescribed medications when determined to be the best course of action. Some DO’s, like Dr. Navarro at Navarro Medical, can also qualify patients for medical marijuana, provide access to ongoing psychiatric care, or visit you in the hospital to ensure there is no interruption in your treatment plan during your stay.

Which One Works Faster?
Both OMT and chiropractic care are excellent treatment options for people with chronic pain or fatigue. Time may be the biggest difference when it comes to musculoskeletal manipulation. Patients typically report feeling better in under three visits with a DO using a combination of OMT and other noninvasive techniques. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, can continue for a number of weeks before true relief is experienced. This can become expensive in terms of time and money. Plus, there may be an underlying medical concern that cannot be found through chiropractic care services alone and the continuity of care is disrupted when using multiple techniques and providers.

Which is Best for Overall Health?
For these reasons, many patients prefer to begin treatment with a full-service osteopathic physician before pursuing other avenues of treatment, such as chiropractic care. In this way, you can save the time and expense of a potentially longer form of treatment as well as improve your chances of finding a holistic care plan that works for your specific medical condition(s), symptoms, and challenges beyond the benefits of musculoskeletal manipulation. In other words, you have a trusted and experienced physician helping you plan your next step and every step after.

Where can I Find a Full-Service Osteopathic Doctor in Lake Wales, Florida?
Dr. Navarro of Navarro Medical offers an extensive array of medical services to assist you and your family with feeling your best both now and as you age. There are also virtual services available for your convenience. Contact Navarro medical to schedule your appointment by visiting the Navarro Medical website or calling (863) 949-6541 today!