Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

Traditional medicine typically focuses on a disease or a part of the body. In contrast, osteopathic manipulative medicine strives to treat a patient as a whole. Conditions that can benefit from osteopathic manipulative medicine include sports injuries, lower back pain, and neck pain. In addition, people who suffer from migraines, asthma, and menstrual pain might benefit from osteopathic manipulative treatments.

Hands on care provided in a comfortable and compassionate environment.

After a thorough examination and diagnosis, treatment may include osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), medications, various types of injections and/or back surgery. As a treatment, osteopathic manipulation attempts to improve joint range of motion and balance tissue and muscle mechanics in order to relieve pain. The goal of osteopathic treatment is to enhance the patient’s ability to function independently with minimal or no pain, while maintaining this independence through appropriate home exercises, nutrition, and lifestyle.

The number of OMT treatments required varies with each patient and condition. While there are no “hard and fast” rules as to the duration and exact number of treatments required, objective improvement in pain and/or functional abilities should become apparent in as few as five to six consecutive treatments, unless there are prominent complicating factors. (Source: American Osteopathic Association Protocols for OMT, 1998 Division of Socioeconomic Affairs.)

  • Initially, treatment may be twice a week for two to four weeks (in rare cases, treatment may be three times a week).
  • Follow-up treatments typically are no more frequent than once or twice a week for a certain period of time (not open-ended).

Accordingly, in a chronic pain situation and as long as function is maintained, treatment is generally reduced to a minimum yet reasonable number of visits, but may require a limited set of additional treatments during an episode of exacerbation.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injection (TPI) is used to treat extremely painful areas of muscle. Normal muscle contracts and relaxes when it is active. A trigger point is a knot or tight band of muscle that forms when muscle fails to relax. The knot often can be felt under the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched (called a jump sign).

The trigger point can trap or irritate surrounding nerves and cause referred pain — pain felt in another part of the body. Scar tissue, loss of range of motion, and weakness may develop over time.

Here at Horizon Highland Falls, we can offer trigger point injections.

  • They take approximately 15 minutes.
  • Sometimes when trigger point injections are performed over a sensitive area of the body, a topical vapo-coolant spray (cold spray that numbs the skin) may be applied to decrease the discomfort.
  • A small needle is inserted into the trigger point and a local anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine, procaine) with or without a corticosteroid is injected.
  • Injection of medication inactivates the trigger point and thus alleviates pain.

Sustained relief usually is achieved with a brief course of treatment.

Joint Injections

A  joint injection (intra-articular injection) is a procedure used in the treatment of inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and occasionally osteoarthritis.   The technique may be used to also withdraw excess fluid from the joint, which might be causing inflammation.

  • A hypodermic needle is injected into the affected joint and delivers a dose of any one of many anti-inflammatory agents. The medication injected, usually a steroid, is meant to reduce the inflammation and/or swelling of tissue in the joint space. This may in turn reduce pain, and other symptoms caused by inflammation or irritation of the joint and surrounding structures.
  • The injection typically consists of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication.
  • The actual injection takes only a few minutes.

Immediately after the injection, patients should note that their pain may be gone or quite less. This is due to the local anesthetic injected. This will last only for a few hours. Pain will return for a day or two. This is due to the mechanical process of needle insertion as well as initial irritation from the steroid itself. Long-term pain relief is usually notable starting the 2nd to 3rd day following the procedure.