Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

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Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) (os-tee-oh-PATH-ick man-IP-you-lut-tiv MED-i-sin) is a set of hands-on techniques. They are used to ease pain, calm the nervous system and improve a variety of symptoms. This lets the body function better and move more easily to help your child feel better.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, doctors who use OMM are pediatricians with extra training in OMM.

Who OMM Can Help

OMM can help most children, teens, and adults. At your child’s first appointment, the doctor will ask about your child’s medical history. The doctor will examine the child to see if OMM should be done at that appointment.

Common Conditions That OMM is Used For:

  • Earache
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual pain
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing problems
  • Plagiocephaly (head shape)
  • Torticollis (neck tightness)
  • Scoliosis (spinal curves)
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Headache

There are many other conditions that can be treated with OMM.

What You Can Expect at Your Child’s Visit

During treatment, the doctor positions the patient while they are relaxed, or tells them how to move their body (Pictures 1 and 2). After treatment it can be normal to have sore muscles, but not pain. Sometimes your child may need more treatments, physical therapy, medicines, blood tests, x-rays, and/or referrals to other doctors.

Rubbing and massaging the muscles and doctor moving a child's head to align bones or joints

How to Get the Most Out of OMM

Your child’s cooperation is key during treatment.

  • If your child is a baby, bring a bottle, pacifier, or toy to distract them.
  • Have your child dressed in loose clothes to be comfortable.
  • Keep your child hydrated. Give fluids before and after treatment to help prevent soreness.
  • Do your homework! You can help your child make more progress faster if you help them do home stretches and exercises.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) (PDF)

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