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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is the therapeutic application
of manually guided forces by an osteopathic physician (U.S. usage) to
improve physiologic function and/or support homeostasis that has been
altered by somatic dysfunction. Somatic dysfunction is defined as
impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body
framework) system: skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures and
their related vascular, lymphatic and neural elements. Acute somatic
dysfunction is an immediate or short-term impairment or altered function
of related components of the somatic(body) framework. It is
characterized in early stages by vasodilation, edema, tenderness, pain
and tissue contraction. It is diagnosed by history and palpatory
assessment of tenderness, asymmetry of motion and relative position,
restriction of motion and tissue texture change. Chronic somatic
dysfunction is the impairment or altered function of related components
of the somatic (body framework) system. It may be characterized by
tenderness, itching, fibrosis, paresthesias and tissue contraction.
While there are many treatment techniques, OMT methods utilized may
broadly be classified as active or passive and direct or indirect in nature.
Active Method: A technique in which the person voluntarily performs
an osteopathic practitioner-directed motion.
Passive Method: Based on techniques in which the patient refrains from
voluntary muscle contraction.
Direct Method (D/DIR): An osteopathic treatment strategy by which
the restrictive barrier is engaged and a final activating force is applied
to correct somatic dysfunction.
Indirect Method (I/IND): A manipulative technique where the restrictive
barrier is disengaged and the dysfunctional body part is moved away
from the restrictive barrier until tissue tension is equal in one or all
planes and directions.