Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO’s) are trained doctors who view the different body systems as one large unit. While the body has its own way of healing, a DO can help the healing by using different techniques. These techniques are called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). A DO uses OMM to help get rid of pain and tightness in the different body systems, so the body can heal.

DO’s use Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) to put the body structures in the right place and help all the body systems function correctly together. OMM can be done on children of all ages. It can help with medical problems, ease pain, prevent illness, and let the body move more easily. Your child’s DO will do a full exam to make sure that OMM is right to diagnose and treat your child.

Reasons For OMM

There are many medical conditions that can benefit from OMM. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Head tilt, neck pain
  • Flat head
  • Neck or shoulder pain and strain
  • Back pain and strain
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Ear Infections
  • Constipation
  • Concussion or sports injuries
  • Shin splints
  • Muscle strain and sprain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist pain
  • Menstrual pain
  • Sinus problems
  • Asthma
  • Feeding problems in babies
  • Scoliosis or spinal curves

How Does it Work?

While some OMM treatments can cause discomfort in the beginning, they should never cause pain. Some treatments may involve rubbing the muscles (Picture 1). Some may involve quick movements to help line up joints and bones (Picture 2).

It is important to remember:

  • Your child needs to tell the doctor if he or she is feeling any pain during OMM. If your child is too young to speak, tell the doctor if you think he is having pain. The doctor may need to try a different approach.
  • Most problems will not be fixed with one treatment.
  • Always watch your child after a treatment to see how he is feeling and if there is any improvement.

What to Do After The Treatment

Your child may be sore or have a little pain after the first treatment. This is a normal reaction. To relieve pain and get the best results from OMM, it is important to do these things after a treatment:

  • Give your child plenty of fluids. Check with the doctor or nurse to make sure you are giving the correct fluids.
  • Ask your child’s doctor about the correct types of pain relieving medicine for your child.
  • Take notes on your child’s reaction to each treatment. Have your notes with you at the next appointment with any questions you may have.
  • Help your child keep good posture when he is standing and sitting.
  • Do all stretches and exercises prescribed by the doctor.
  • Call your child’s doctor if he has more or worse pain, numbness, tingling or muscle weakness.

If you have any questions or cannot keep your scheduled appointment, please call:


Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) (PDF)

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